Shadow Health Secretary and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire AM, Angela Burns, today joined the Royal College of Midwives in launching the first Welsh edition of its annual State of Maternity Services Report 2018 recently.
Figures for Health Boards across Wales, show birth rates falling over the measured period 2009 and 2017.
However over the same period smoking and obesity rates across Wales have remained stubbornly high, one in four women in Wales were recorded as being obese while pregnant and one in five are recorded as smokers. Similar figures are seen in Hywel Dda University Health Board area.
The number of student midwives has seen an increase since the intervention of the Welsh Government to increase the number of training places and the average age of midwives has also increased.
Speaking following the launch, Angela said
“I was delighted to host the official launch of the report today only goes to highlight the challenges that medical staff, public health strategists and politicians have in trying to get people to live healthier life styles, especially at a time when they are bringing new life into the world.
“I will continue to work with the Royal College to help tackle the problems and challenges that have been identified, but encourage readers to think careful about how they look after themselves, especially at a time when they are bringing a new life into the world. It is a recognised fact that those who smoke or who are overweight experience more complications when pregnant, putting additional pressures on the NHS.
“I am sure that I speak for everyone when I say how proud and thankful for our midwives here in Wales and I am grateful to the RCM for the work they do in supporting, training and standing up for midwives the length and breadth of the country”.
Attached: L-R, Julie Richards, Helen Rogers (Both Royal College of Midwives) and Angela Burns AM.