12 week maternal assessment for Q3 & Q4 2015/16

Image Source: NHS Photobank

Official Statistics from NHS England giving the number and proportion of women seen and assessed by a healthcare professional within 12 weeks and 6 days of their maternity and the number and proportion of mothers’ who have initiated or not initiated breastfeeding.

To see the statistics click here


Facilitating women’s choice of midwife

Image source: http://www.rcm.org.uk

The Royal College of Midwives has published Facilitating women’s choice of midwife: RCM guidance: practical approaches to managing with flexibility.  This guidance is designed to help midwives and their managers to better meet the needs of responding to women’s wishes for a specific midwife to be present at the birth of their baby.

RCM press release click here

To read the full report click here

State of Maternity Services Report 2016

Image source: http://www.rcm.org.uk

The Royal College of Midwifery has published State of Maternity Services Report 2016. The report examines emerging issues and trends in relation to maternity services.  It highlights that over a third of the UK’s NHS midwives are nearing retirement age; the increase in births to older mothers, who may require more care throughout their pregnancies;  and rates of obesity which are placing additional demands on maternity services.

For full text click here

A Million Decisions: evidence-based healthcare


Health Education England and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals have launched a joint campaign for decisions in the healthcare sector to be fully evidence-based.  Every day more than a million decisions are made that have a profound and lasting impact on people’s lives and which influence the quality of healthcare and the cost of services.  The #milliondecisions campaign calls for everyone involved in policy making and care delivery to use the skills of librarians and knowledge specialists in meeting their obligations under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

For Campaign information from HEE click here

For examples of impact please click here

Zika in pregnancy research shows fetal anomaly rates

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Image Source: Public Health Image Library (PHIL) via Flickr

New research published in JAMA has attempted to answer the question  of  what proportion of fetuses and infants of women in the United States with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy have birth defects.

“Conclusions and Relevance: Among pregnant women in the United States with completed pregnancies and laboratory evidence of possible recent Zika infection, 6% of fetuses or infants had evidence of Zika-associated birth defects, primarily brain abnormalities and microcephaly, whereas among women with first-trimester Zika infection, 11% of fetuses or infants had evidence of Zika-associated birth defects. These findings support the importance of screening pregnant women for Zika virus exposure”

Source: Honein MA, Dawson AL, Petersen EE et al. Birth Defects Among Fetuses and Infants of US Women With Evidence of Possible Zika Virus Infection During Pregnancy JAMA. 2017 Jan 3;317(1):59-68

Read the full article here