Birthing Statistics


When women meet me during an initial consultation, one of the questions they usually ask me is in regards to the birthing outcomes (statistics) for my practice.  They are interested to know my rate of normal birth, homebirth, epidurals and so on.  The statistics listed below are for the births I have attended at home, in birth centres and in hospitals.  They reflect the care that has been provided to the women in my care, so they may or may not represent your individual experience - however they will give you a good idea of what you can reasonably expect.

The number and type of interventions in a birth will depend on many factors:

  • Health and safety factors
  • The decisions that are made by a woman and her care provider
  • A woman's motivation and preparation in achieving the birth she desires


  • Normal birth (no forceps, vacuum or caesarean): 87%
  • Caesarean 8% (The World Health Organisation recommends a caesarean rate of no more than 10% - 15%)
  • Amongst low-risk women, the caesarean rate is 3%
  • Vacuum 2%
  • Forceps 3%
  • VBAC 86%
  • Episiotomy 2%
  • Intact perineum 64%
  • 5% women use an epidural for labour
  • 84% women use no medical forms of pain relief in labour
  • 15% women are induced
  • 54% women have a waterbirth
  • 35% women birth at home
  • 64% women have a physiological third stage
  • 96% babies are exclusively breastfed at 6 weeks discharge
  • Homebirth transfer rate 7%
  • Women considered to be "low risk": 39%
  • Women considered to be "high risk": 61%

Statistics for first babies:

  • Normal birth (no forceps, vacuum or caesarean): 88%
  • Caesarean 8%
  • Vacuum 2%
  • Forceps 2%

Melissa Maimann is an endorsed eligible midwife in private practice in Sydney.  One of the first eligible midwives in Australia, Melissa now offers a range of care options for women including private midwifery care, antenatal shared care and birth support.  Visit Melissa's website to learn more about her services.