NHS Digital has published a report on NHS maternity activity in England which highlights the data on delivery and birth episodes in 2018-2019 and the booking appointments for these deliveries. The data sources for the report include Hospital Episode Statistics and the Maternity Services Data Set.
Key findings from the report are as follows:
- There were 603,766 deliveries recorded during 2018-2019. This represents a 3.6 per cent reduction from 2017-2018.
- Spontaneous delivery was the most common method of delivery across all age groups, except in women aged ≥40 years, where caesarean section remained the most common method of delivery.
- The proportion of deliveries involving anaesthetic or analgesic administration before or during deliver has decreased by 6 per cent in the past 10 years.
- The most common complication during delivery was perineal laceration, reported in 42 per cent of deliveries.
- Discharge from the hospital was given on the same day or the day after the delivery to 77 per cent of women with a spontaneous method of delivery and 36 per cent with a caesarean delivery.
- Eighty-two per cent of women delivering at 37 weeks had skin-to-skin contact with the baby within one hour of birth.
- Twelve per cent of women reported being current smokers at their booking appointment. This figure was 30 per cent for women aged
- Ninety-seven per cent of women reported consuming zero alcohol at the time of antenatal appointment.
- Folic acid supplementation before or upon confirmation of pregnancy was reported by 83 per cent of women.