Are you Ms Average?
Of course not! You are Ms (or Mr) Extraordinarily Fabulous.
I know this, because you are reading my blog.
However, I’ve been having a dig around at some statistics to see if I can create a profile for the ‘average’ woman giving birth in the UK.
Proper statisticians will probably faint at my analysis, but here goes anyway…(Watch this space for more in the ‘Ms Pregnant’ series later… as well as some thoughts on what to consider if you definitely don’t want to be ‘average’!)
Meet Ms Average.
She’s 30, having her second child, and earns £26,500.
Her baby will be born at 39 weeks and 6 days.
Labour will last seven and a half hours.
Ms Average’s first name is Elizabeth.
When she found out she was pregnant, she went to see her Doctor but all her care after that was with NHS Midwives.
Elizabeth had the standard scans and blood tests offered by the NHS to check the baby’s growth and screen for abnormalities.
She’s decided to give birth in hospital.
She won’t have met the Midwife who’s with her in labour before she has the baby.
Her labour will start naturally (although one of her four other pregnant friends will have been induced).
Elizabeth will use gas and air at some point in her labour for pain relief. She’ll also try breathing exercises.
She has around a one in three likelihood of having an epidural or using Pethidine (pain-relief injection).
She has a one in four chance of having a caesarean section.
Her partner will be with her during labour.
She’ll give birth vaginally, lying down in bed.
Her baby will weigh 7 1/2 lbs.
She’ll call him Harry.
Elizabeth wants to breastfeed Harry, and she’ll start off doing so.
However, by the time of her six-week check up, she’ll have switched to artificial milk (formula).
Overall, she’ll be quite pleased with her pregnancy and birth experience.
Her favourite chocolate bar is Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.
Were you surprised by anything on this list? What do you think of this depiction of an ‘average’ UK birth? Please let me know by leaving a comment in the box at the bottom of this post!
References and further geekery:
Most popular name for girls in UK (1983): It was definitely Elizabeth. I’ve read it in couple of books which I don’t have to hand. You’ll just have to believe me. (NB: Never trust anyone you’ve met off the internet…)
Midwife 4 Me / The Birth I Want video – knowing your Midwife before birth (This is a powerful video.)
Note: Not all of the links above are to beautifully referenced academic information. I have rounded/averaged some of the numbers a little to make the article easier to read. Ms Average’s birth is based on my understanding of what the majority of women did according to the research studies and online articles I read. It is unlikely to stand up to academic scrutiny. This is just a bit of fun…
Anyone who disagrees with the chocolate survey results is requested to forward rival samples to me for further in-depth analysis.