Study shows that less than 1pc of births are ‘practically perfect’
LESS than 1pc of births are “practically perfect”, according to a new study.
A practically perfect birth is defined as one without intervention where there is spontaneous labour, no cuts to allow the baby come through more easily, and a healthy baby.
Researchers looked at births in the National Maternity Hospital in Holles St, Dublin over two years.
The study comes amid the increasing influence of social media, which can leave women under pressure to have a socalled ‘perfect birth’.
They examined the percentage of ‘practically perfect’ births at the hospital between 2014 and 2015.
The study found that of the 18,698 births recorded during the study period, just 0.8pc fit into the “perfect” description.
The researchers were from Holles St, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Beaumont Hospital and St Vincent’s University Hospital.
Interventions included induction, artificial rupture of membranes in labour (breaking the waters), the use of the drug oxytocin to speed up labour, and caesarean sections.
The rate of perfect births was slightly higher among women who had opted for community midwife care compared to those who had opted for standard obstetric care.
The study in the Irish Medical Journal notes that Holles St practises active management of labour, and that this is potentially an area for future research.
However, it is important to note that midwifery-led services are reserved for the lowest-risk mothers. While there was a significant difference between the rate of practically perfect births in the midwifery-led cohort compared to the obstetric cohort, statistical comparison would not be practical due to the small number in the midwifery group.
A practically perfect birth is one without interventions