We are advocates for women and aim to change the lives of those injured during childbirth.

The MASIC Foundation supports women who have suffered serious injuries during childbirth.

Our organisation and it's objectives

  • The MASIC Foundation is the only multi-disciplinary UK charity to support women who have suffered severe perineal injuries during childbirth known as OASI (Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury).
  • We are staffed by injured women and healthcare professionals who are committed to better detection and prevention of injury during childbirth.
  • More than 1 in 5 women in the UK experience bowel incontinence after a natural birth because of OASI, pelvic floor trauma or nerve injury.
  • The proportion of instrumental deliveries resulting in detected OASI is between 3% to 11% in first-time mothers.
  • These injuries can have a devastating impact on quality of life - affecting a woman’s health, intimate relationships, family relationships and employment.
  • In addition to bowel incontinence OASI injuries can also cause other symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction such as urinary incontinence, painful sex, nerve damage, and pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Many women may also experience mental health issues such as postnatal depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, problems bonding with their babies, and the fear of having another child.
  • Women who have sustained these injuries often suffer in silence due to societal stigma and shame. This results in extreme social isolation and a delay in support and treatment.
  • Many women feel they should keep symptoms a secret from their partners and children
  • Suffering OASI can lead women to feel they have suffered a loss of dignity
  • Seeking help is difficult and embarrassing and many GPs are unaware the problem exists
  • Health professionals are reluctant to discuss the long-term effects due to fear of frightening pregnant women
  • Lack of multi-disciplinary care within the NHS to support the complex needs of severe perineal injury
"The MASIC Foundation aims to reduce the incidence of birth injury as well as helping new mothers who may be suffering in silence from its symptoms which are too often hidden in society. These issues are crucial to the future wellbeing of women and their families, which I strongly support"
BARONESS CUMBERLEGE, HEAD OF THE NATIONAL MATERNITY REVIEW

Our Objectives

The MASIC Foundation has three main objectives:

1

Raising public awareness and supporting injured women

We focus on raising awareness of serious birth injuries and promoting where injured women can go to get help and support. We are growing a nationwide network of support groups for women, both face to face and online and we launched a helpline in 2021. We aim to work closely with the media, parliamentary groups and related charities to increase awareness of maternal birth injuries and their consequences. We also host a programme of webinars throughout the year to educate and inform on a variety of topics related to OASI and its consequences.

2

Supporting research and prevention

Centring the lived experience of injured women, we gather qualitative and quantitative data on the impact on their lives and on the services and support available to them. Our focus is on research which can prevent birth injury, ensure women are better informed about risks and how to manage them and how women can manage the impact of their injuries. We are key players in important national initiatives to improve birth outcomes – including the RCOG/RCM OASI 2 Care Bundle – which aims to inform women about their risk of perineal injury during vaginal birth, and better support midwives and obstetricians to prevent injuries and to detect injury if it has occurred. We are also represented on expert groups established by NHS England to support maternity care outcomes as part of the NHS Long-Term Plan.

3

Educating healthcare professionals

We offer a multi-disciplinary educational programme for a wide range of healthcare professionals including Midwives, Health Visitors, General Practitioners, Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Psychiatrists, Sexual Health Practitioners, Colorectal Nurses, Urogynaecologists, Physiotherapists, Physiologists and Counsellors. Our programme focuses on prevention, early intervention and supporting injured mothers to develop self-help strategies.

Looking for support?

There is support available if you need it, don’t suffer in silence and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice.

MASIC can help you over come the physical and emotional trauma you may have experienced during and after childbirth. We can support you and guide you to helpful resources, all you need to do is get in touch.

Not sure where to start?

Please call the MASIC 24h freephone Birth Injury Support Helpline 0808 1640 8333

The stats speak for themselves.
More women are affected and need support…

85%

of women with severe birth injury said it impacted on their relationship with their child

78%

were affected by traumatic memories of the birth

52%

stated they were embarrassed by the symptoms of their injury

49%

of women affected said they doubted their ability to mother

45%

suffered postnatal depression as a result of their injury

24%

of women affected regretted having a child because of the injuries sustained