NICE draft guidance on intrapartum care for healthy women and babies

Clare Murphy, Chief Executive of BPAS, said:

“It is crucial that in our efforts to improve maternity safety we ensure risks are properly contextualised when they are communicated to women, and that they are supported – not stigmatised – as they engage with maternity services. Our research has found that women living with obesity, who now account for more than one in five pregnant women, can be refused birthing choices, with the reasons not necessarily well explained.

Women and their babies deserve world-class, safe maternity care. The relatively high rate of stillbirth in this country remains a key concern, and must be addressed. It is vital that we do this in a way that accepts risk can never be completely eliminated from any area of healthcare, and that the drive to improve safety and reduce adverse outcomes does not come at the expense of women’s right to make their own choices in pregnancy and birth – including how and where they give birth. We support the recommendation that women are given personalised information about the risks associated with different methods of delivery, but ultimately these are decisions for each pregnant woman to make.”

The full draft guidance, Intrapartum care for healthy women and babies, is available via the NICE website here.



For further information, please contact Katherine O’Brien, BPAS Associate Director of Campaigns and Communications, on katherine.o’ or 07881 265276.

About the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication at BPAS

BPAS is a charity that sees over 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice.

BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication. Established in 2019, the Centre for Reproductive Research & Communication (CRRC) at BPAS exists to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare and choices. Through rigorous multidisciplinary research and impactful communication, the CRRC aims to inform policy, practice, and public discourse. We draw directly on BPAS’ own work as a reproductive health provider to inform our agenda and work in collaboration and through strategic partnerships to achieve our mission. You can find out more here.