A team of four midwives provided the majority of care during pregnancy, labour and the puerperium to 503 women at low obstetric risk, over a 2-year period. Compared with standard hospital care randomly allocated to 498 women this 'Know Your Midwife' scheme was associated with greater continuity in all phases of maternity care. The scheme appeared very acceptable to women: they spent less time in the antenatal clinic, and overall, felt more satisfied, better prepared and better able to discuss problems. The scheme was characterised by less obstetric intervention particularly in respect of augmentation of labour and intrapartum analgesia; labours tended to be longer. Neonatal outcome was generally similar in the two groups but the size of the trial did not allow a precise assessment of differential effects in these terms. The 'Know Your Midwife' scheme is feasible. It should now be introduced more widely but in a way which allows continuing evaluation.