Study shows that less than 1pc of births are ‘prac­ti­cally per­fect’

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

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

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