Maternity Survey – Interesting Facts

The below information is useful for organisations to check their practices, though some responses depend on the individual’s circumstances and medical condition. Other information presented here is useful as it provides background information to the women that responded – e.g. in terms of their age, ethnic group and previous births.

Of the women surveyed:

Antenatal care

  • 6% gave birth less than 37 weeks through their pregnancy and 94% gave birth when more than 37 weeks pregnant
  • 6% of babies weighed less than 2500 grams or less and 94% weighed more than 2500
  • 52% of women were less than 6 weeks pregnant or less when they first saw a healthcare professional about their pregnancy, 43% were 7-12 weeks pregnant and 6% were over thirteen weeks pregnant.

During labour and birth

  • 50% had a labour that lasted less than eight hours, 16% had a labour of between eight hours and twelve hours or more, 16% had a labour of between 12 and 18 hours or more and 18% had a labour of 18 hours or more.
  • Labour started naturally for 74% of women and it was induced for 26% of women
  • Pain relief:
  •           o 48% used natural methods (eg breathing, massage)
  •           o 11% used water or a birthing pool
  •           o 20% used a TENS machine (with pads on your back)
  •           o 81% used gas and air (breathing through a mask)
  •           o 34% used an injection of pethidine or a similar painkiller
  •           o 29% used and epidural or similar (injection in your back, given by and anaesthetist)
  • 64% of women said they definitely got the pain relief they wanted, 28% said to some extent and 8% said no they didn’t receive the pain relief they wanted.
  • 95% of women gave birth in a hospital, 3% in a birth centre or maternity unit and 3% at home.
  • 64% of women had a normal (vaginal) birth, 5% had a delivery using forceps, 8% delivered using a vacuum cap and 24% delivered via a caesarean.
  • If the baby was born by caesarean, 38% were planned and carried out before they went inoto labour, 7% were planned but carried out after they had gone into labour and 56% of caesareans were the result of unforeseen problems before or during after they went into labour.
  • 91% of women gave birth on a bed, 24% gave birth on the floor and 3% gave birth in water or in a birthing pool
  • 53% of women had a tear while their baby was being born
  • For 17% of women this was a serious tear, and for 83% of women this wasn’t a serious tear.
  • If a woman did have a tear which required stitches,  59% were stitched within 20 minutes of their baby being born, 29% were stitched between 20 minutes to an hour and 12% were stitched more than one hour after their baby was born.
  • 78% of women hadn’t met the staff who looked after them during labour and birth.
  • 83% had a husband, partner or companion with them during labour and birth, 8% during birth only and 5% during labour only.


  • 43% of women stayed in hospital for one day or less after their baby was born, 39% stayed for 2-3 days, 13% stayed for 4-5 days and 6% stayed in hospital for more than 6 days.
  • 28% were over 35, 32% were 30-34, 23% were 25-29, 15% were 1925-249 and 1% were aged between 16 and 18 years old.

Previous pregnancy

  • 57% had previously had a pregnancy, 43% had not. Of those that had previously been pregnant, 10% had given birth to 3 or more babies before this one, 80% had given birth to 1 or 2 babies, and 10% had been pregnant before though this had not resulted in a birth.
Ethnic group
  • 87% of respondents were White, 7% were Asian / Asian British, 4% were Black / Black British, 2% were Mixed, and 1% were Chinese or ‘Other’.

  • The survey asked respondents which language was spoken most often at home. 92% reported English, 3% said another European language, 4% an Asian language, 1% an African language, and 1% reported another (including British Sign Language).

Healthcare Republic does not have an editorial influence or input in to these press releases. The views expressed within these documents are not endorsed by Healthcare Republic or Haymarket Medical Publications Limited.

Enquiries should be directed to any contacts listed within the press releases.




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