Released on: 16 December 2015

In response to the CQC Maternity Survey 2015 senior policy adviser, NCT, Elizabeth Duff, said:

"New maternity data from the Care Quality Commission in England and the Scottish Government shows a generally positive picture with many women in both countries feeling satisfied with their care. 

However in England, the number of women left alone and worried in labour has increased, which can be a frightening experience and even dangerous if they are left alone during childbirth itself. 

Also of great concern is the increase in women who had a normal vaginal delivery giving birth in stirrups. (Twenty two per cent in England, up from 19% in 2013 and 17% in 2010. In Scotland, 16% of women who had a normal birth said that they gave birth on their backs with their legs in stirrups.) This is disturbing as it is contrary to best practice. The position reduces pelvic capacity and is likely to make labour longer and more painful. It also may leave women at greater risk of damage to the perineum. Women should be encouraged and enabled to remain active during labour and to adopt more upright positions for birth. 

Women must give consent for any procedure that affects outcomes and must not be given misleading information about benefits or drawbacks."

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