Birth survey makes revealing reading

Antenatal classes come under fire in a recent UK survey.

Antenatal classes come under fire in a recent UK survey of birth experiences undertaken by a leading mother and baby magazine and which canvassed 2,000 mothers. Some 40% said the classes has been misleading about what to expect from labour and delivery. Over 43% of women did not end up having the type of birth they wanted with up to 25% having a Caesarian; 35% having to be induced; 45% having epidurals; 12% having forceps delivery and 53% requiring stitches. All in all, 47% were of the opinion that they would not return to the same hospital to have another child.

Once home, things were not much better. In the region of 50% of the women said the experienced poor post natal care after leaving hospital. The medical profession came in for a lot of criticism in general. Mothers complained that they rarely experienced consistency in who they saw at their ante-natal appointments - with only 4% saying they had the same midwife every time and at the birth itself. The women also voiced how worried they became in the months running up to the birth, as a result of all the tests and scans they were told they had to undergo.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is concerned at the negativity that has come out of the survey - though did admit that the national shortage of midwives would not be helping the situation as the deputy secretary of the RCM, Louise Silverton, confirmed, 'The concerns of mothers in the survey support our own assessments of the problems linked to the shortage of midwives and the lack of investment in maternity care.' She went on to say, 'We are pleased to see the government is tackling this issue by developing a national framework for maternity services.’


 On a more optimistic note, the survey praises the role of male partners in labour. Some 94% of respondents who had their partners present at delivery, said they were a 'big help'. 

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