Women 'realising pregnancy earlier'
04 March 2015 09:30
The number of women realising they are pregnant within six weeks has risen
More women are realising they are pregnant within six weeks, while a greater number are also seeing a healthcare practitioner within 12 weeks.
That is according to a survey conducted by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University.
It reveals that 94% of women now know they are pregnant within six weeks of conceiving, up from 80% nine years ago.
Plus, 96% of mothers-to-be visit a healthcare practitioner within 12 weeks, compared to 82% in 1995.
Better home pregnancy testing kits and greater awareness of their bodies could be behind the fact that more women are realising they are expecting within six weeks, claims lead author Dr Maggie Redshaw.
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Surge in midwife visits
The new survey, which was carried out across England in 2014, 2010, 2006 and 1995, also shows that women are increasingly likely to see a midwife rather than a doctor at the beginning of their pregnancy.
While 66% of mums-to-be still visited a GP first in 2014, this was 10% lower compared to 2010.
The number of women who saw midwives, on the other hand, jumped from 20% to 29% during the same period.
The findings also highlight how the amount of time women spend in hospital after giving birth has continued to drop, with 70% reporting hospital stays of two days or less, compared with 68% in 2010, 64% in 2006 and 53% in 1995.
In terms of care, high rates of satisfaction were reported during labour and birth, with 88% and 89% satisfied or very satisfied, respectively.
Yet a slightly lower rate was reported for postnatal care - with 77% satisfied or very satisfied.