Community Midwife Bags

Every mum and baby deserve the safest birth experience possible, no matter the place of birth. This means ensuring that all professionals, working in all environments, have the equipment and training to feel confident, competent, and valued. Nowhere is this truer than in the community sector.

 

The Community Midwife Bag

We listened to the pleas of community midwives, and we put together a nationally-recognised home birth bag with everything they need to give the safest and best care at home births.

  • Provides everything needed for births at home, including any emergencies (expert-led consensus of “essentials”).
  • Everything is easily and quickly accessible.
  • Designed for infection-control.
  • In a backpack or on wheels to make it easier to transport for midwives.
“We have had to source our own bags…this has the potential to be unsafe in an emergency.”
Community Midwife

Why are these home birth bags needed?

1 in 3 midwives reported issues with their home birth bags and its contents:

  • 30% reported that the bag/container used was not safe for use.
  • 40% reported that their bag/container did not adequately meet their needs.
  • 27% did not feel that they carried everything they might need to facilitate a homebirth in the community (including dealing with an emergency).
  • 35% sourced and purchased the bag/container themselves using personal funds.

Research by Baby Lifeline, supported by the Royal College of Midwives.

Who was involved in creating the bag?

The expert group worked hard to develop gold standard for equipment and how it should be carried. They were also guided by community midwives and what they told us they wanted.

The expert working group consisted of:

  • Midwives
  • Paramedics
  • Obstetricians
  • Pharmacists & Neonatologists
“I like the idea that…when I arrive as a second midwife I would know exactly where to find anything I may need. Currently because we all pack our kits up differently I feel I need to spend time on arrival familiarising myself as to where everything is in my colleague’s kit. This is clearly of benefit in the case of an emergency.”
Community Midwife
“I think the bag is really incredible, it makes me feel safer at a home birth. It is really well organised and amazingly light considering.”
Community Midwife

Where might you see a Baby Lifeline Community Midwife bag?

Even though the bag is fairly new, the reception to it nationally has been phenomenal. The bag is now used by Community Midwives across the UK!

Here’s where you may expect to see them:

  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Birmingham LMS
  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • East Cheshire NHS Trust
  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Gairloch Health Centre
  • Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Hywel Dda University Health Board
  • Jersey General Hospital
  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Lincolnshire East CCG
  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northern Health and Social Care Trust
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn NHS Trust
  • Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
  • Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
  • Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 

Home Births

Around 1 in 50 women in England and Wales will give birth at home [1].

Births in community settings, and community services in general, are gaining more attention as a better option for some low-risk mothers [2] [3], and to support a national initiative to improve care called “continuity of carer” [4].

Births in the UK are generally safe for first time mothers and for mothers giving birth again. For women having a second or subsequent baby, home births and midwifery unit births appear to be safe for the baby and offer benefits to the mother [3]. However:

For mothers having their first baby, a planned home birth increases the risk for the baby when compared to obstetric units [3].
In addition, research shows that nearly half of first-time mothers and 1 in 10 women having subsequent babies were transferred to an obstetric unit from a planned home birth [3].

This shows that, despite home births being a safe option for mums, community midwives need the right equipment in case a woman or her baby need extra support at home.

Would you like to order a bag?

Give us a few details and we’ll get back to you.

Sources

1. NHS. (6th March 2018) Where to give birth: the options. Retrieved 10th April 2019, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/where-can-i-give-birth/

2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2014). Choosing place of birth: resource for midwives (CG190). Retrieved from https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg190/resources/choosing-place-of-birth-resource-for-midwives-msword-248730877

3. Birthplace in England Collaborative Group: Brocklehurst P, Hardy P, Hollowell J, Linsell L, Macfarlane A, McCourt C, et al. Perinatal and maternal outcomes by planned place of birth for healthy women with low risk pregnancies: the Birthplace in England national prospective cohort study. BMJ 2011;343:d7400.

4. NHS England (2016) National Maternity Review: Better Births ­ Improving outcomes of maternity services in England ­ A Five Year Forward View for maternity care London: NHS England.