Full Birth Statistics (2009) for National Maternity Hospital

Download this table as a PDF

All mothers First time mothers 2nd & subsequent time mothers
No. of mothers (whose babies > 500g) 9,161 4,407 4,754
No. of babies born > 500g 9,318 4,489 4,829
Onset of Labour
% spontaneous onset of labour 64.2% 61.4% 66.7%
% labour induced 25.2% 30.7% 20.2%
% elective caesarean birth 10.6% 7.9% 13.1%
% pre-labour emergency caesarean birth
Mode of Birth
% spontaneous vaginal birth 65.2% 52.5% 76.9%
% ventouse/vacuum birth 9.5% 15.6% 3.9%
% forceps birth 5.5% 9.7% 1.5%
% total instrumental birth 15.0% 25.3% 5.4%
% unplanned/emergency caesarean birth in labour 9.9% 15.0% 5.2%
% all emergency caesarean birth
% total caesarean birth 19.9% 22.1% 17.8%
Induction Details (% of women whose labour was induced)
% by prostaglandin (PG) only
% by artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) only
% by syntocinon only (if previous SROM)
% by combination: PG + ARM
% by combination: PG + ARM + syntocinon
% by combination: ARM + syntocinon
% by other method
Modes of birth following induction (% of women whose labour was induced)
% spontaneous vaginal birth 58.1% 41.5% 81.6%
% ventouse/vacuum birth 12.0% 16.9% 5.1%
% forceps birth 7.8% 12.1% 1.7%
% caesarean birth 22.1% 29.5% 11.6%
In spontaneous labour (% of women who went into labour spontaneously)
% artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) 52.4% 50.3% 54.1%
% syntocinon 24.5% 47.5% 4.9%
% spontaneous vaginal birth 78.7% 64.8% 90.5%
"Normal Birth"
Spontaneous onset of labour, no artificial rupture of membranes, no augmentation, no epidural, no episiotomy, spontaneous vaginal birth.
Normal birth as % of all women attending unit 9.8% 4.2% 15.1%
Normal birth % of women who went into labour spontaneously 15.3% 6.8% 22.6%
Breech Babies
% of breech babies born vaginally 6.2% 4.2% 11.4%
% of breech babies born by caesarean birth 93.8% 95.8% 88.6%
Twin births
% of twin babies born vaginally 42.1% 31.0% 55.9%
% of twin babies born by caesarean birth 57.9% 69.0% 44.1%
VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean)
VBAC as % of all mothers who gave birth in the unit 3.3%
% of mothers with one prior caesarean birth who opted to labour (spontaneous and induced) 60.4%
% of mothers with one prior caesarean birth who had a VBAC 39.6%
% VBAC rate of those who opted to labour 65.4%
Fetal Monitoring
Approx. 20 min admission trace
Intermittent auscultation during labour 68.3% 47.0% 88.0%
Continuous electronic fetal monitoring – external 22.6% 21.4% 23.7%
Continuous electronic fetal monitoring – internal (fetal scalp electrode) 18.9% 25.1% 13.3%
Both internal and external monitoring 20.2% 28.4% 12.7%
Fetal blood sampling 13.0% 22.2% 4.5%
Pharmacological Pain relief
% use of entonox (gas & air)
% use of epidural / spinal anaesthesia (induced/labouring women only – excluding pre-labour caesarean section) 48.8% 65.5% 33.3%
% use of pethidine / diamorphine 3.5% 4.2% 2.8%
Episiotomy / Tears
% intact perineum SVB 16.0% 5.7% 25.6%
% 1st degree tears with sutures SVB 8.0% 4.8% 11.0%
% 2nd degree tears with sutures SVB 13.7% 12.4% 15.0%
% 3rd degree tears SVB 1.0% 1.5% 0.5%
% 4th degree tears SVB 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
% episiotomy – spontaneous vaginal birth 14.7% 21.7% 8.2%
% episiotomy - instrumental birth 12.4% 21.8% 3.6%
% total episiotomy 27.1% 43.5% 11.8%
Tears - no sutures
3rd Stage
% physiological 3rd stage of labour 0.6% 0.5% 0.7%
% actively managed 3rd stage of labour
Breastfeeding
% initiated breastfeeding within 1 hr of birth 63.2% 68.4% 58.4%
% exclusively breastfeeding on discharge 49.9% 52.9% 47.2%
Babies born outside of the unit
% born before arrival (booked for hospital birth but born before reaching hospital) 0.4% 0.1% 0.7%
% births at home with hospital community midwives 0.4% 0.1% 0.6%
Gestational age at birth (from last menstrual period date or by ultrasound scan):
≤ 370 weeks 6.5% 7.9% 5.3%
371 – 380 weeks 5.6% 4.9% 6.3%
381 – 390 weeks 14.4% 12.0% 16.6%
391 – 400 weeks 24.2% 22.3% 26.0%
401 – 410 weeks 27.7% 26.7% 28.6%
411 – 420 weeks 19.2% 22.4% 16.3%
421 – 430 weeks 2.3% 3.8% 0.9%
431 – 440 weeks 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

All % data provided here has been calculated by 'bump2babe: The Consumer Guide to Maternity Services in Ireland'. Maternity units provided bump2babe with numbers of mothers for the various categories and we calculated the percentage rates based on the numbers of mothers who gave birth in the unit. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies in the figures given to bump2babe. The guide has highlighted and raised concerns about differences in data recording and reporting abilities in the 22 maternity units in Ireland.