First alongside midwifery led unit in a high complexity public hospital in Spain: Maternal and neonatal outcomes

Lucía Alcaraz-Vidal, Inés Velasco, Montse Pascual, Roser Gol i Gomez, Ramón Escuriet, Carmina Comas

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


Problem: Midwifery led units are rare in Spain. Background: Midwife-Led Care (MLC) is a widely extended model of care and, within this, the alongside midwifery-led units (AMLU) are those hospital-based and located in close connection with obstetric units. In Spain, CL is the first center belonging to the National Health System of these characteristics. Aim: To evaluate the first year of activity of this pioneering unit. Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was carried out to assess maternal and neonatal outcomes of births facilitated at CL by comparing with those births that fulfilled the criteria to be admitted at the AMLU but were assisted at the standard obstetric care unit of the hospital. Findings: 174 (20,3%) women and birthing people decided to give birth at CL, whereas 684 (79,7%) gave birth at the Obstetric Unit of the Hospital. Women assisted at the AMLU had lower intervention rates (episiotomy, epidural analgesia) and a higher rate of breastfeeding practice. There were no statistical differences in maternal outcomes (postpartum hemorrhage, third-or-four-degree laceration) or neonatal outcomes (Apgar< 7 at 5 min; birth weight < 2500 gr; macrosomia; shoulder dystocia, neonatal care transfer). Discussion: There were differences in transfers from MLU to OU between nulliparous and multiparous; the main reason for transfer is the request for analgesia. Epidural analgesia should be considered when analyzing maternal outcomes. Conclusion: An alongside midwifery-led unit is a safe option with a low incidence of complications. This model of care can be positively implemented at the Public Healthcare System.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101577
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Alongside midwifery-led unit
  • Birth
  • Birthplace
  • Low-risk pregnancy
  • Midwife-led care
  • Midwifery


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