A new study from the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) looks at the variation of caesarean rates and rates of induction of labour across hospitals in England, and assessed whether there was an association between emergency caesarean rates and induction of labour and adverse perinatal outcomes.
The study of over one million births found no evidence of an association between the hospitals’ rate of emergency caesarean births and risk of adverse perinatal outcomes.
The study also found that hospitals with a higher induction of labour rate had a lower risk of stillbirth and the need for mechanical ventilation of babies born after 37 weeks.
Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
“We welcome this new analysis of births in the UK by the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) which acts to provide further evidence around maternity safety.
“This study found no significant correlation between emergency caesarean rates and adverse perinatal outcomes, including stillbirth, admission to neonatal unit or mechanical ventilation for babies. It also found that hospitals with a higher induction of labour rate had a lower risk of stillbirth. “The safety and care of a woman during labour and birth, and the safe arrival of their baby, should always be the main focus.
“Women and people giving birth should feel supported to make an informed decisions about their care based on real evidence. We are committed to working with the Royal College of Midwives to ensure that everyone has the best possible maternity experience, and that positive improvements to maternity services continue to be made to provide high-quality, individualised care.
“We support calls from this NMPA paper to include independent reviews into maternity safety within larger national studies.”
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Notes to Editor