Babies boom by a fifth in a decade

Babies boom by a fifth in a decade – ONS

More babies are being born

The choice of babies born in England and Wales has increased by greater than a fifth previously decade, figures show.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there have been 723,913 live births in 2011, up from 594,634 in 2001 – a 22% increase.

Twins, triplets and other multiple births also increased over the last decade, partly as a result of fertility treatments.

The figures also showed a drop inside the selection of babies born at home lately.

There were 352,939 girls and 370,974 boys born in England and Wales in 2011.

There has been year on year increases in births since 2001 with the exception of a small dip in 2009.

The sheer collection of births has raised concerns from midwives concerning the health service’s ability to manage.

The Royal College of Midwives warned last month that maternity units were “under intense strain” and were at a “crucial tipping point”.

However, the federal government says the collection of midwives is now increasing faster than the birth rate.

The boom is likewise putting pressure on school places with some projections estimating that 450,000 new primary places will be needed in England alone by 2015.

One factor behind the upward push is assumed to be immigration. Figures show 24% of births in 2011 were to foreign-born women.

Belinda Phipps, chief executive of parent charity NCT, said: “Whilst these rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever that there’s an adequate variety of midwifes and they’re organised to be there when women need them.

“The newest data from a Care Quality Commission survey means that 22% of ladies were left alone and worried at a while during labour.”

Twins

In 2011, 11,330 women gave birth to twins, 172 to triplets and three had quads or more.

This has become more common since 2001 with greater than 16 in every 1,000 deliveries now involving multiple births.

Fertility treatment is much prone to cause multiple births than natural conception.

The ONS report said: “With approximately 11,000 IVF babies being born once a year this contributes significantly to the multiple birth rate.”

The fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, aims to scale back the multiple birth rate.

Its latest figures showed 35% of IVF cycles now involved the transfer of only one embryo.