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Timing of singleton births by onset of labour and mode of birth in NHS maternity units in England, 2005-2014: A study of linked birth registration, birth notification, and hospital episode data

Martin, P., Cortina-Borja, M., Newburn, M., Harper, G., Gibson, R., Dodwell, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-7398-3093, Dattani, N. and Macfarlane, A. J. ORCID: 0000-0003-0977-7214 (2018). Timing of singleton births by onset of labour and mode of birth in NHS maternity units in England, 2005-2014: A study of linked birth registration, birth notification, and hospital episode data. PLoS One, 13(6), e0198183. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198183

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Maternity care has to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is known that obstetric intervention can influence the time of birth, but no previous analysis at a national level in England has yet investigated in detail the ways in which the day and time of birth varies by onset of labour and mode of giving birth.

METHOD: We linked data from birth registration, birth notification, and Maternity Hospital Episode Statistics and analysed 5,093,615 singleton births in NHS maternity units in England from 2005 to 2014. We used descriptive statistics and negative binomial regression models with harmonic terms to establish how patterns of timing of birth vary by onset of labour, mode of giving birth and gestational age.

RESULTS: The timing of birth by time of day and day of the week varies considerably by onset of labour and mode of birth. Spontaneous births after spontaneous onset are more likely to occur between midnight and 6am than at other times of day, and are also slightly more likely on weekdays than at weekends and on public holidays. Elective caesarean births are concentrated onto weekday mornings. Births after induced labours are more likely to occur at hours around midnight on Tuesdays to Saturdays and on days before a public holiday period, than on Sundays, Mondays and during or just after a public holiday.

CONCLUSION: The timing of births varies by onset of labour and mode of birth and these patterns have implications for midwifery and medical staffing. Further research is needed to understand the processes behind these findings.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19995
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