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Over 11,000 babies born in Irish hospitals since COVID-19 arrived - INMO
Press Release 05.05.20

Over 11,000 babies have been born in Ireland’s hospitals since the arrival of COVID-19 in late February, new analysis from the INMO shows.

 

The figures mark the International Day of the Midwife (May 5th), which celebrates and recognises the role of midwives in delivering expert care and supporting women and babies. 2020 is also the WHO’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

The INMO’s estimated projection is based on an analysis of the past ten years of birth statistics between February 27th and May 5th.

There are 1,479 staff midwives working in the public health service. This is below the scientifically recommended ratio of 1 midwife to every 29.5 births.

The INMO is calling on all parties to not only recognise the work done by midwives but to ensure that staffing levels are set scientifically.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:

 

“As COVID-19 puts pressure on our health service, midwives are there for mothers and babies, providing care, comfort, advocacy, and advice.

“While much has been put on hold during the pandemic, childbirth has continued as normal. Today alone, midwives in Ireland will welcome over 150 new people to the world.

“The skill and dedication of midwives not only deserves recognition but support. Consistent understaffing has put midwifery under pressure, leaving overworked staff to pick up the slack.

“The next government must ensure that the promise of safe staffing in the National Maternity Strategy is upheld, and staffing numbers set by scientific safe levels.”

 

-end-

 

Notes to Editors:

  • Based on 2018 figures, the busiest maternity services in Ireland are:

Hospital

Births in 2018 (full year)

Rotunda

8,513

Coombe

8,330

National Maternity Hospital

7,937

Cork UMH

7,577

UMH Limerick

4,446

OLOLH Drogheda

3,070

UH Galway

2,858

RMRH Mullingar

1,959

UH Waterford

1,801

Letterkenny

1,716

Waterford GH

1,684

Portiuncula

1,602

St Luke’s, Kilkenny

1,578

Cavan & Monaghan

1,512

Mayo

1,506

MRH Portlaoise

1,416

Sligo

1,356

UH Kerry

1,254

South Tipp General

969

 

  • The International Day of the Midwife has been celebrated each May 5th since 1991. It is led by the International Confederation of Midwives, of which the INMO is the Irish member.
  • The INMO estimated projection of 11,000+ births is based on an analysis of CSO birth figures from 2007 to 2017 (latest data), looking at the period of February 27th (when COVID-19 first arrived in Ireland) to May 5th in each year. Over those years, the figure has varied between 11,181 and 13,938.
  • Figures on numbers of staff midwives (Whole Time Equivalent) in the public health sector are based on the March 2020 HSE staff census (latest data), here (p39): https://www.hse.ie/eng/staff/resources/our-workforce/workforce-reporting/health-service-employment-report-mar-2020.pdf

 

 
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