Londoners most likely to want epidural when giving birth

New research from Which? Birth Choice among 48,000 expectant parents found Londoners were most likely to think medical staff and equipment were necessary when giving birth.

One in three Londoners (33%), who answered the survey on the Which? Birth Choice site, said they wanted to have an epidural on the big day, compared to a quarter (25%) nationwide and only one in five (19%) in the South West, Midlands, Wales and the North West.

Which? Birth Choice – a free advice website for expectant parents – also found:

  • Only half (52%) of expectant parents in London said they wanted to use a birthing pool during labour, compared to seven in ten (69%) in Northern Ireland

  • Nearly two thirds (64%) of expectant parents in Scotland would consider using a birthing pool during labour, the same number as those in Wales

  • Those over 40 were more likely to want medical intervention during labour, with a third (32%) considering having an epidural (compared to 24% of under 40s)

  • Only 50% of over 40s wanted to use a birthing pool (compared to 60% of under 40s).

Vickie Sheriff, of Which? Birth Choice said:

“Deciding where and how to give birth is a deeply personal decision. Although it’s important to have a plan in mind, we know that women and their partners will often need to adapt this on the day.

“This is why it’s important that expectant parents have as much information as possible to help them prepare. The Which? Birth Choice tool provides parents with personalised results based on their preferences and circumstances to help them decide where to have their baby.”

Which? Birth Choice had honest conversations with a handful of new mums to find out how they planned to give birth and what actually happened on the big day. Watch how expectation can sometimes differ from reality, here.

Notes to Editors

  1. Which? Birth Choice is a free website that allows mothers-to-be to find out more about different types of birth, from water births to home births, as well as giving informative, impartial information on pain relief options. The site allows you to view hospital and birth centre statistics and facilities in your area and to narrow down your local options based on your personal preferences. Which? Birth Choice has helped tens of thousands of women decide where to give birth, with the Birth Choice tool being used almost 60,000 times in the last year.

  1. We analysed data from 48,085 Which? Birth Choice website users, who used the Birth Choice tool between June 14, 2015 and June 13, 2016. The survey results are not nationally representative, but covered areas including….

  1. Which? Birth Choice found that compared to other regions, expectant parents living in London (37%) and Northern Ireland (37%) were most likely to see birth as a medical event.

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