New guidance for midwifery care in labour

on 20 November 2018

On 19 November the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) launched a new set of guidance under their ‘Midwifery Blue Top Guidance Programme.’

Midwifery care in labour guidance for women in all settings provides midwives with high-quality evidence when it comes to caring for women during labour and birth

The guidance, which includes new research from the University of Nottingham’s Maternal Health and Wellbeing Research Group, as well as contributions from a multi-disciplinary Expert Advisory Group,[i] seeks to support midwives in their vital work to provide high-quality maternity care. It provides an accessible version of evidence-based recommendations for all aspects of labour and birth, and aims to enable an inclusive approach to support women receiving midwifery care in the UK.

The guidance also emphasises an approach that suggests a woman’s own preferences ahead of giving birth should define the care they receive.  To this end, a companion booklet for mothers has also been produced, to support discussions with their midwives so that they have information to make the right choices for their care.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive at the RCM, said:

“We are really proud of these new professional guidelines, which will support all midwives in the UK to practise at their level best, and should also encourage and support conversations between midwives and the women they care for, about what the options are for them as individuals.

“Our gratitude goes to our esteemed colleagues, for their dedicated research and support throughout this project.”

Helen Spiby, Professor of Midwifery of the University of Nottingham, said: “Midwifery care makes a positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of childbearing women and their families.  We hope that this guidance will be a useful resource for midwives when providing care for all women, across the range of birth settings and circumstances.”

The guidance - both the booklet for professionals and for mothers - can also be accessed via the RCM’s website in our Publications section

To contact the RCM Media Office, call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected] 




[i] Research was carried out over a period of 14 months, between 1st September 2017 and 31st October 2018.


Notes to editors


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