The Choice Framework stresses the options that women have and covers antenatal and postnatal care.
There is now hope that the government will ensure that choice for women when it comes to maternity services becomes a reality.
Cathy Warwick, RCM chief executive, said: ‘This is welcome and a sign of the government’s increasing commitment to maternity services.
‘I am pleased to see specific mentions about antenatal and postnatal care, both of which are important but often overlooked and under-resourced areas of pregnancy and childbirth.
‘This framework highlights the importance of providing choice. The challenge now is to ensure that real choice is offered to women.
‘Our concern is that, at the moment there seem to be no real levers or mechanisms to ensure these important commitments are delivered.
‘There is a danger that when resources are under pressure choices will be limited.
‘The RCM looks forward to working with the National Commissioning Board to ensure that rhetoric becomes reality.’
The document stresses that women have the choice to give birth at home; in midwife-led facilities; or in a hospital.
It goes on to stress that, depending on where the client lives, they may have other maternity care choice and should contact their Primary Trust for information.
The framework does stress that this choice is not a legal right and ‘it depends what is best for you and your baby, and what is available locally. Every pregnancy is different’.
For more information and to read the framework, please click here