NCT believes birth and the transition to parenthood should be an experience that enriches parents’ lives.
We welcome the 2014 NICE guidance for the NHS on care for women with a straightforward pregnancy and for parents and the public.
There is a well-established research literature on women’s experiences of labour and birth, and growing evidence on what matters to different groups of women and partners. NCT approaches pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal care from a biopsychosocial perspective, asking about the emotional and social effects of different experiences as well as the biological (physical) and clinical effects.
The epidemiologal evidence looks at different populations of women and babies and the clinical effects for them of having different kinds of antenatal care, and care for labour and birth. See for example the review by Sandall et al. on Midwifery-led continuity models of care and the revised Intrapartum care guideline from NICE, which incorporates findings from the Birthplace in England cohort study.
NCT staff and research networkers have contributed to a number of Cochrane reviews of systematic reviews, including the overview of systematic reviews on pain management for women in labour. This has moved the research agenda forward by asking how many studies have investigated the effect of opioids for pain relief during labour on babies’ feeding behaviour after birth.
NCT has used social and public health research to inform NCT’s birth policy. We produce parent-centred, evidence-based information on labour and birth, normal birth and other modes of birth, place of birth, and women's experiences.
There are links on these pages to:
- evidence-based clinical guidance from NICE on intrapartum care, induction of labour and other topics
- systematic reviews of evidence from the Cochrane Collaboration
- a range of policy documents and briefings from government and other public bodies.