Need more information on rise in inductions and caesareans says RCM

By RCM on 10 November 2017 NHS Digital Induction Caesarean Section Stillbirth Smoking

Today figures released by NHS Digital show that the proportion of pregnant women having a spontaneous labour has decreased over the past year. Over the same time, the proportion of caesareans undertaken before the onset of labour has also increased.

Commenting on the figures, Louise Silverton, Director for Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, said:  “We need more information regarding the reasons behind these increases. It is important to look at the effects of initiatives such as the drive to detect babies who aren't growing as well as they should be and to reduce stillbirth rates. The RCM fully supports these but more needs to be done to be accurate in these assessments and reduce false positives. 

“There is also clearly a need to tackle smoking in pregnancy, and the population as a whole. Smoking is a major contributor to stillbirths and reducing smoking in pregnancy could have a significant and positive impact on stillbirth rates.”

The NHS Digital Statistics can be read at NHS Maternity Statistics, England 2016/17.

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].


Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at