NCT responds to the launch of 'A Strategy for Maternity Care in Northern Ireland' by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland.
Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser at NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, said:
“NCT supports the overarching objective of the strategy not only to place women in control of their pregnancy, but also to provide them with the support they need to achieve a positive outcome for them and their baby.
This includes improved, consistent communication between healthcare professionals in order to provide a high level of continuous care and supporting women in their choices of antenatal care and birth place. Midwives are the key component in continuity of care and support, and midwifery services must be adequately staffed to ensure these commendable objectives are fully implemented.
Seana Talbot, NCT Trustee and Chair of the MSLC in the Southern HSC Trust, said:
“We welcome the pledge to increase support for mothers wishing to breastfeed. Northern Ireland has had some of the lowest rates in the UK, but improving access to information, breastfeeding counsellors and support groups will help give more women the confidence and support they need to breastfeed successfully.
We are encouraged by plans to promote the normalisation of birth in order to ultimately reduce unnecessary interventions during low risk births.
NCT is also pleased to see reference to greater involvement of Labour Ward Forums and engagement with Maternity Services Liaison Committees; ensuring the users’ voices are heard will help the focus of services to be parent-centred, accessible and effective”