RCM comments on City University time of birth research

By RCM on 14 June 2018 Research Midwives NCT - National Childbirth Trust Staffing Levels Timing of Birth UCL - University College London

Today (7pm Thursday, 14th June) research published by City, University of London in collaboration with UCL (University College London) and the NCT analysed over five million births over a 10 year period in England. The study has found that the time and day that women give birth can vary significantly depending on the onset of labour and the mode of giving birth.

Commenting on the research Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Health and Social Policy at the Royal College of Midwives, said:  “This is useful research that will support maternity services to more effectively organise their staff and staffing rotas. A note of caution though as these are national results and individual services will need to look at their own patterns of birth in order to manage services.

“Birth is however very unpredictable and maternity services must be staffed to ensure that unexpected surges in demand can be managed to continue delivering safe and high quality care.

“It is also worth noting that this study focuses on birth and the work of midwives and maternity support workers of course encompasses much more than just birth,  including antennal and postnatal care and specialist work such as maternal mental health, bereavement care, infant feeding support and much, much more besides. So any planning of services must consider also these aspects of care.”

For information on the research please contact To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]


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The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.