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Overall the proportion of deliveries where an anaesthetic or analgesic was administered before or during delivery has decreased from 65 per cent in 2009-10 to 60 per cent of deliveries in 2019-20. Anaesthetic was administered in 56 per cent of deliveries for women aged under 20, compared to 65 per cent aged 40 years and over in 2019-20.
Method of delivery & age of mother
The final method of delivery may differ to that which occurs at the onset of labour.
The most common method of delivery is spontaneous for all age groups, with the exception of 40 years and over. Proportion of caesarean deliveries increase with age group and accounts for 47 per cent of deliveries to those women aged 40 and over.
Labour is usually a straightforward process but sometimes complications arise that may need attention.
In 2019-20 the most prevalent delivery complications were ‘Perineal laceration during delivery’ which occurred in 41 per cent of deliveries and ‘Labour and delivery complicated by fetal stress [distress]’ which occurred in 26 per cent of deliveries.
Method of delivery & postnatal stay
The duration that women spend in hospital following delivery varies by the method of delivery.
In 2019-20, 77 per cent of women who had a spontaneous method of delivery were discharged either the same day or the next day after delivery. This compares to 52 per cent for instrumental and 38 per cent for caesarean methods of delivery.