Maternity experiences and oUtcomes of MotherS facing Removal of their Infant due to Social Care proceedings (MUMS@RISC)

In the last decade in the UK, there has been a worrying increase of babies separated from their mother’s care shortly after birth due to safeguarding concerns. In 2017- 2018, 3,080 babies were in State Care within a week after birth (48 per 10,000 live births), compared to 1,700 babies in 2007-2008 (26 per 10,000 live births). Their mothers often have difficult, complex lives and are very vulnerable – both during pregnancy and especially after their baby is removed. Evidence is lacking on who these women are and how midwifery care can contribute to support them during pregnancy and the postnatal period. This is important as this time offers a unique ‘window of opportunity’ for women where services are more readily available to them than at any other time. By studying who these women are, what care they receive, how it varies, and how it affects their experiences and outcomes, my PhD project aims to inform future practice to improve care for this group of marginalised mothers and their babies.

The NIHR doctoral research study is co-designed with an expert panel of women with lived experience of infant removal and supported by several third sector organisations who support women in this context (Birth Companions, Pause, MPower, Reform).

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