NFWI responds to Royal College of Midwives’ report into postnatal care, 24 hour signs & symptoms

Commenting on a report on postnatal care to published today (Monday, 7th April), by the Royal College of Midwives, Marylyn Haines Evans, Public Affairs Chair of the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) said:

"This report paints another disappointing and worrying picture of the state of postnatal care.  This area remains a cause of concern and these findings clearly demonstrate that there is still significant room for improvement.  

"The NFWI's own research, Support Overdue, undertaken with NCT last year, reports on the maternity experiences of 5,500 women and identified that as many as 60% of women want more postnatal support.  Women spoke of feeling 'like a burden' and described visits and appointments with rushed midwives who had 'their resources clearly stretched.'  We also identified a worrying postcode lottery for postnatal care; while the NICE guideline appears to provide a robust framework for delivering postnatal services, guidance is not applied systematically across areas resulting in unacceptably wide variations in the quality and standard of care across different parts of the country.

"It's no coincidence that postnatal care is often referred to as the 'Cinderella service' of maternity care.  This report should be compulsory reading for the Department of Health, NHS England and service providers."


Further information: Charlotte Fiander / 020 7371 9300
Notes to editors:

  1. The full report, Support Overdue: women's experiences of maternity care, is available on request. 
  2. The WI is the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK with more than 212,000 members in 6,600 WIs.  The organisation plays a unique role in enabling women to develop new skills, giving them opportunities to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities, and provides wide-ranging activities for members to get involved in.  For further information please visit