Pregnancy, birth and postnatal care
Maternity and family and children’s services should be parent-centred and informed by relevant theory and research evidence. Services should be evaluated to see how well they meet agreed aims and objectives. We have a rolling programme to evaluate NCT-led services provided via the NHS and children’s centres and accessed directly via the NCT.
One of NCT’s proudest achievements has been to play a part in improving the quality of care that women and babies receive during pregnancy, birth and postnatally, and the support and full involvement extended to fathers and other family members. These achievements have been made possible through our lobbying and campaigning and - in no small part – on the basis of a growing body of research evidence which is now systematically appraised, synthesised and disseminated in forms that are easier for parents, practitioners, policy-makers, commissioners and managers to access and understand.
The development of good quality evidence from theoretically-informed, quantitative and qualitative research is one of the best ways of making sure that policy-making is responsive to parents’ needs, concerns and aspirations, as well as directed towards improving well-being and public health.
NCT articles and briefings and research overviews are extensive, covering many different aspects of pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. NCT Services provides research about antenatal classes and postnatal courses, drop-in sessions, one-to-one support with breastfeeding and telephone help lines.
We also provide links to high quality research reviews and evidence-based information from other reliable sources, such as NICE, Cochrane, NHS Choices, Healthtalkonline and BirthchoiceUK. Recent NCT publications include, the benefits of yoga in pregnancy, access to birth centres and the postnatal care experiences of first-time mothers.