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Publication, Part of

NHS Maternity Statistics, England - 2020-21

Official statistics

Booking appointments

This section reports on details captured at the booking appointment. This is classed as the first official antenatal appointment which NICE recommends should occur ideally by 10 weeks into pregnancy. The majority of HES maternity data relates to the delivery episode. The only data relating to contact with services earlier in pregnancy that is recorded as part of the delivery episode is the gestation at the first antenatal assessment date.

The MSDS has been designed to record activity throughout the maternity pathway, from the booking appointment to discharge from maternity services, so is able to report more information on women’s characteristics and circumstances prior to the delivery episode. Analysis in this report is of booking appointments for births in 2020-21 submitted to MSDS. This differs from the analysis of booking appointments in the Maternity Services Monthly Statistics, which analyses booking appointments that took place in the reporting period. For example, for a birth in April 2020 the booking appointment is likely to have been in late summer 2019.

Due to partial coverage of activity reported to the MSDS both geographically and over time during 2020-21 it is advised that the following figures should be described in terms of all submitters to the MSDS rather than England level figures.

Data on alcohol consumption, Body Mass Index (BMI), and Carbon Monoxide (CO) concentration have not been included in this publication due to the low volumes of data submitted for these measures. We expect their completeness to increase over time and will include these measures in future MSDS publications when data coverage improves.

Gestation period at first antenatal assessment

The NICE Quality Standard for antenatal care recommends maiden appointments for pregnancy assessment should ideally be completed by 10 weeks.

Out of all recorded deliveries reported within HES, 64.0 per cent of women had their first antenatal assessment between 8-11 weeks for that pregnancy.

Smoking status at booking appointment

Smoking during pregnancy can affect the baby’s health.

The proportion of deliveries in 2020-21 where the mother was recorded as a current smoker at the booking appointment was 28.1 per cent of women aged under 20. Among women aged 40 and over, only 8.7 per cent were smokers at their booking appointment.

Folic acid supplement

Women who may become pregnant can most easily reduce the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect by taking folic acid supplements.

Overall 85.9 per cent of women reported taking a folic acid supplement prior to, or on confirmation of, pregnancy. This was seen to vary with age with the lowest figure observed for those aged under 20 at 74.1 per cent.

Last edited: 15 September 2023 5:20 pm