The Royal College of Midwives has released the 2012 ‘State of maternity services report’, with the latest statistics about what is happening in maternity care in the UK.
The baby boom continues in England, with 688,120 babies being born in 2011, a rise of 124,000 in 10 years. Provisional numbers for 2012 suggest that the number rose again last year, so as this boom continues, the pressure it exerts on midwives continues to grow.
In Scotland however, the baby boom appears to have run out of steam as the number of births fell in 2011, as it did in 2010 and 2009.
In Wales, the numbers of births varies between rises and falls. With the number falling in 2009, rising in 2010, then falling again in 2011, this can no longer be described as a boom.
Finally in Northern Ireland, the number of births has been on a high plateau for a few years, as in three of the last four years it has remained above 25,000.
A noticeable pattern occurring is the large increase in births to older women. In Scotland, England and Wales births to women aged 40 or over was seen to jump to as high as 80%. Only in Northern Ireland, do we see something slightly different where the number of babies born to older women between 2001 and 2010 actually fell.