Research shows that women themselves are an invaluable resource in identifying problems during their pregnancy. However, their concerns are often dismissed by staff.
Women often face barriers to speaking up, and healthcare professionals are unable to respond appropriately. This can have severe consequences in pregnancy.
This study led by Dr James Harris at University College London Hospital focuses on how midwives and obstetricians handle concerns through phone calls and face-to-face interactions.
It will observe phone calls into the maternity triage lines in two hospitals, and then conduct focus groups with obstetricians and midwives to explore how they react to women seeking help.
This will help to better understand these interactions and to design interventions to improve health professionals reactions.
This research will build on a body of work on aiding women to seek help for safety concerns during their pregnancy.
It has the potential to impact on both outcomes and experiences of women using maternity services.