‘Worrying’ says RCM as rates of obesity amongst pregnant women in Scotland on the rise’

By ‘Worrying’ says RCM as rates of obesity amongst pregnant women in Scotland on the rise’ on 27 November 2019 RCM NHS Staff Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Pregnancy Midwifery NHS NHS Scotland Smoking Caesarean Section Specialist Midwives

The Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS Scotland have published their annual report on Births in Scottish hospitals.


The publication covers important statistics related to pregnancy, childbirth and the early care of babies born in Scotland from March 2018- 31st March 2019.

Responding ,Dr Mary Ross-Davie, Director for Scotland at the Royal College of Midwives, said: "The RCM really welcomes this report as it gives an excellent snap shot of what is happening in Scotland’s maternity services and with over 50,000 babies born in Scotland you can see why our midwives and maternity support workers are busier than ever.

It’s great to see that women are attending their first antenatal booking appointment much earlier, with almost 90 percent of women seeing a midwife within their first twelve weeks of pregnancy, which is really positive. A woman’s first booking appointment with a midwife is so important as this is where any health concerns can be discussed and its usually at 12 weeks where the first scan will be offered.

There’s been a continued rise in births to older mothers and all women deserve the very best care, regardless of the age at which they give birth. Women have every right to give birth later in life and the RCM supports that, but typically, older women will require more intensive screening and care during pregnancy and the birth.

The increase in  caesarean section rates across Scotland is of concern, as it is higher than most other areas in the UK and significantly higher than the level recommended as optimal by the World Health Organisation. This rise is likely to be linked to the rising rate of obesity and maternal age, but of course there are many reasons why the caesarean rate could be increasing such as women who are pregnant with twins and other multiples, along with changes in clinical guidance around responding to women reporting reduced fetal movements.


The rates of increasing maternal obesity are worrying as we know that obese mothers have a greater risk of experiencing complications like diabetes and high blood pressure and this increases the risk for the baby in terms of their growth, a higher rate of prematurity and other complications.It’s encouraging to see fewer women are not smoking during pregnancy, but a lot more work needs to be done in this area and we need more smoking cessation midwives to properly support women to stop smoking.


We know that higher rates of smoking and obesity are closely linked to wider social and financial inequalities in Scotland. As a country there is much we can do, not just in maternity services, but much wider across society in other ways, such as education in schools, focusing on positive preconception care, advice and support, the reduction of poverty and social exclusion and a real focus on improving the health of everyone in our communities.


“Midwives across Scotland continue to seek to provide the highest level of care to all of the women in their care, working tirelessly to get the best possible outcomes.


ENDS

Read full NHS Scotland Report: Births in Scottish Hospitals Year ending 31 March 2019

https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Maternity-and-Births/Publications/2019-11-26/2019-11-26-Births-Report.pdf

 

 

 

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

Note 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 https://www.rcm.org.uk/.

ENDS

 

 

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

 

 

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 https://www.rcm.org.uk/.

 

 

ENDS

 

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

 

 

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 https://www.rcm.org.uk/.

 

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