Getting ready for baby - the implementation and evaluation of a group based antenatal care model

Jenny McNeill, Denise Boulter, Kyrsten Corbijn van Willenswaard, Fiona Lynn, Fiona Alderdice, Lorna Lawther, Aideen Gildea

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Antenatal care and education are generally recognised as the mechanisms through which improved maternal and infant outcomes are achieved both in the short and long-term. Since the early 2000s, maternity care in the UK and NI has encouraged innovation as well as increased public participation. Concerns about health inequalities affecting women’s entry into motherhood have prompted a more social and community-development approach. Important links between maternity care and early childhood services have encouraged intervention in early years to lessen social disadvantage and giving every child the best start in life is a strategic priority. In NI women generally attend regularly for antenatal care but uptake of antenatal education is low. An innovative group-based model was developed, combining care and education, promoting partnership working, informed choice and evidence-based preparation for birth and parenthood using The Solihull Antenatal Approach. The model consists of six antenatal contacts providing midwifery continuity, equipping parents with skills to assist their child’s physical, emotional and educational development. Opportunity to develop friendships and support networks is facilitated whilst being empowered through a partnership working model to improve health, develop parenting behaviours to improve infant development and create a safe, secure home environment. The evaluation of the project utilises a mixed methods approach consisting of a comparison of women who have received standard care and those receiving group antenatal care and education. Participants are invited to complete 3 questionnaires; 2 antenatally (14-20wks & 35-40wks) and 1 in the postnatal phase (approx. 12 weeks). The questionnaires include validated instruments to measure the outcomes of interest such as adequacy of care and psychological well-being, in addition to clinical outcome measures. Focus groups will be used to understand the experiences of midwives and managers involved in implementing and delivering the model. An economic cost comparison analysis is also included within the evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018
EventScottish Maternity Festival - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Nov 201828 Nov 2018


ConferenceScottish Maternity Festival
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Group Based Antenatal Care
  • Evaluation Studies
  • Models of care


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