Across England and Wales, there was a small decline in the number of overall births during 2014.
Director for Midwives at the Royal College of Midwives, Louise Silverton, claimed that the birth rate in England and Wales is stabilising, providing midwives the opportunity to spend more time with women in their care.
“The numbers of births remains historically high, indeed one hundred thousand births higher than at the start of the century. However, now the birth rate is stabilising, it is a great opportunity to address the midwife shortage and provide more midwifery time for women,” she said.
The ONS also revealed that the average age of mothers giving birth in 2014 increased to 30.2 years old in comparison to 30.0 years old recorded in 2013.
Louise Silverton added: “Births are also becoming more complex for example as the average age of mothers increases, and as climbing levels of obesity mean many women need moral support and care.
“These figures should not be a reason to become complacent, but to increase efforts to get more midwives. I am calling on the Government to maintain the current level of student midwife numbers in training, and also ensure that there is funding for new midwives to be employed in the NHS.”
A full report on the national birth rate in England and Wales can be found on the ONS website here.