As part of my Birth and Beyond series, I thought I would try and answer the question, ‘what will my birth be like?’ I found some interesting statistics about birth in the document ‘NHS Maternity Statistics for England‘ by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Covering the years 2013-2014, it provides lots of information about what birth is like for women in England. Although no statistics can predict how your birth will turn out, it gives a fascinating overview, with a few surprises along the way.
However, the stats are quite heavy going, so I’ve prepared a little infographic (my first one ever!) to make them a little bit easier to follow and absorb. I hope you enjoy it.
Reading this information I was surprised how common it is for women to need intervention during labour. I think it is worth learning a little about the different types of interventions that might be needed because there is no way to predict whether you will one of the 61% of women who deliver spontaneously, the 13% who have ventouse or forceps, or the 26% who have a Caesarean (unless you are having an elective Caesarean, then you can be pretty sure how you will deliver!).
In an ideal world we would all go into labour spontaneously and give birth without any assistance. But that’s not reality. Although it’s great to go into labour with positive beliefs in your body’s ability to birth your baby, I think too much focus on this can make women feel as though they’ve failed if their birth doesn’t go to plan. I know that I found my son’s emergency c-section quite hard to come to terms with; I certainly felt as though I had ‘failed’. An attitude of ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst’ might be more helpful.
Sometimes we’re poorly, sometimes baby’s poorly, or upside down, or just too comfortable in there! Sometimes we need to be induced, sometimes we need help to deliver our babies. This doesn’t have any reflection on you as a woman or as a mother. The main goal in all of this is for your baby to be born safely. And if you end up with a less-than-perfect birth, remember, as the statistic show, you are not alone.
Catch up with other posts in the series here. If you’ve enjoyed reading, share the love!