Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the incidence of and risk factors for neonatal unit admission, intrapartum stillbirth or neonatal death without admission, and describe outcomes, in babies born in an alongside midwifery unit (AMU). DESIGN: National population-based case-control study. METHOD: We used the UK Midwifery Study System to identify and collect data about 1041 women who gave birth in AMUs, March 2017 to February 2018, whose babies were admitted to a neonatal unit or died (cases) and 1984 controls from the same AMUs. We used multivariable logistic regression, generating adjusted OR (aOR) with 95% CIs, to investigate maternal and intrapartum factors associated with neonatal admission or mortality. RESULTS: The incidence of neonatal admission or mortality following birth in an AMU was 1.2%, comprising neonatal admission (1.2%) and mortality (0.01%). White 'other' ethnicity (aOR=1.28; 95% CI=1.01 to 1.63); nulliparity (aOR=2.09; 95% CI=1.78 to 2.45); ≥2 previous pregnancies ≥24 weeks' gestation (aOR=1.38; 95% CI=1.10 to 1.74); male sex (aOR=1.46; 95% CI=1.23 to 1.75); maternal pregnancy problem (aOR=1.40; 95% CI=1.03 to 1.90); prolonged (aOR=1.42; 95% CI=1.01 to 2.01) or unrecorded (aOR=1.38; 95% CI=1.05 to 1.81) second stage duration; opiate use (aOR=1.31; 95% CI=1.02 to 1.68); shoulder dystocia (aOR=5.06; 95% CI=3.00 to 8.52); birth weight <2500 g (aOR=4.12; 95% CI=1.97 to 8.60), 4000-4999 g (aOR=1.64; 95% CI=1.25 to 2.14) and ≥4500 g (aOR=2.10; 95% CI=1.17 to 3.76), were independently associated with neonatal admission or mortality. Among babies admitted (n=1038), 18% received intensive care. Nine babies died, six following neonatal admission. Sepsis (52%) and respiratory distress (42%) were the most common discharge diagnoses. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study are in line with other evidence on risk factors for neonatal admission, and reassuring in terms of the quality and safety of care in AMUs.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed

Publication Date



epidemiology, neonatology