Wednesday 25 October 2017

What was #YourBirthPlan?

When I was pregnant with both my girls and got to the stage of writing my birth plan, I will be honest I was quite laid back and didn't physically write one either time. To be honest, I didn't see the point.. I knew you could choose the details such as what pain relief you wanted or whether you'd like to try a water birth but I was unaware you could choose your place of birth such as a hospital, birth centre or even at home.

I assumed you had to have your baby at your most local hospital.. I have since learnt this is wrong so I am working with Care Quality Commission to help make woman more aware as had I known, I may have made a different choice.

Apparently, 40% of women either weren’t aware or didn’t feel they had a choice about their birth hospital and I was included in that. This is new research commissioned by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and they are now encouraging women to be more aware of their right to choose where they give birth, whether in a hospital, midwife led unit or at home obviously depending on if your pregnancy is high risk or not, which I totally support.

The CQC is encouraging all expectant parents to understand their right to choose where to
give birth and to use CQC inspection reports and ratings in order to help make a fully informed, considered decision.

As part of the campaign the CQC wants new parents to share their experiences of

maternity services. Heidi Smoult, Deputy Chief Inspector for Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission says “We really want to hear about women’s real-life experiences as this information supports our monitoring, inspecting and rating of services and helps us provide up-to-date and comprehensive picture of the current quality of maternity care being provided at a local level across England. We encourage new parents to help other parents by sharing their experiences with us.” Please visit the CQC website to find out how to share your experiences: ( are some more stats from their research*...

-90% of woman agreed it was important to choose the type of birth they wanted & make a birth plan,
-57% spent less than a hour choosing where they wanted to give birth,
-67% of women spent 5 hours or less to decide what type of birth to have and make their birthing plan of women spent less than an hour choosing which hospital to give birth in 6

Women told the CCQ the most important factors when choosing where to give birth are:
Cleanliness and safety 55%
A good reputation 39% and
Caring staff 36%

*This research surveyed over 1,000 women who had given birth in England in the last three years.

I wish I had known this before hand and will definitely keep this in mind for if there is ever a next time I give birth ;)

Were you aware? Did you choose your birthing place?

*In collaboration with The CQC who is responsible for inspecting all hospitals, including private hospitals, GP practice, dentists, care homes and home care in England. Its maternity service inspections include all services for women that relate to pregnancy, including ante and post-natal services, labour wards, birth centres or units and theatres providing obstetric related surgery.


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