Birth data from 2011 has been released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today.
Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive of parent charity NCT said:
“Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released today shows that in 2011 there were 723,913 live births in England and Wales, which is an increase of over 20% in the past decade. The number of mums having more than one baby as a result of their pregnancy has also increased by 8.8% over the last ten years. Whilst these rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever that there is an adequate number of midwifes and they are organised to be there when women need them. The most recent data from a CQC survey suggests that 22% of women were left alone and worried at some time during labour.
“The home birth rate has decreased slightly, despite the results from the Birthplace study that shows babies of low-risk, second time mums are equally safe when born in a birth centre, at home or in an obstetric unit. This may indicate lack of communication and understanding of this research and NHS systems which work against the availability of community settings for birth in England and Wales.
“We feel it is important that not only is choice between an obstetric unit, birth centre or home birth available to all parents but that they know they have this right, understand the evidence there is to help them make their decision and are supported in the choice they have made.”