Midwives’ attitudes towards pregnant women using substances: Informing a care pathway
Women and Birth
School of Nursing and Midwifery
The purpose of this study was to identify midwives’ attitudes towards women using substances during pregnancy, which informed the development of an integrated care pathway for the provision of optimal care.
A mixed methods research design was used, that included an online survey via the online survey tool Qualtrics™ which collected quantitative data, and interviews and focus groups were used to collect qualitative data.
Participants held a positive or neutral view towards women who used substances during pregnancy, and the participants had an empathetic perception of the issue of substance use within pregnancy, believing that women were using substances due to the environment and circumstances that they lived in, and that they had been raised and socialised in.
Caring for women during pregnancy with substance misuse issues is complex and requires coordination and multidisciplinary care. Midwives have the capacity to provide sensitive midwifery care but require the framework to ensure women needing additional resources during pregnancy receive the services available and specific to their needs. The midwives in this study were supportive of developing an integrated care pathway to allow for collaborative care, and to enable a specialised midwifery approach.