More mums are having assisted births in Australia
But the use of instruments during birth can result in complications.
New statistics pulled from stage 3 and 4 of the National Core Maternity Indicators report 2010-2013 reveal the proportion of first-time mums who had an assisted birth has risen from 22.8% in 2004 to 25.3% in 2013.
An assisted birth is one which utilises instruments, such as a vacuum or forceps, to assist mothers at the end of labour or if the child is showing signs of distress. The use of instruments during childbirth can be linked to both short-term and long-term complications.
Mother's in remote areas were less likely to have an assisted birth (19.4%) than those in major cities (26.1%) across Australia.
This can be attributed to the fact that larger hospitals, predominantly located in major cities, typically treat more complex cases and related transfers of women who develop complications during pregnancy and labour.
In 2013, the lowest proportion of assisted child births was recorded in the Northern Territory (19.4%). Nationwide, first-time indigenous mothers were less likely to have an assisted birth (18.4%) than non-Indigenous mothers (25.5%).
Assisted births were also more common at private hospitals and accommodations than public institutions.
An increasing maternal age and the prevalence of pre-existing medical conditions has led to a rise in first-time mums using induced labour, up 5% in almost 10 years, from 31.1% in 2004 to 36.1% in 2013.
27.5% of selected women giving birth for the first time in 2013 had a caesarean section (c-section). This figure represents a 2.2% increase between 2004 and 2013. However, the proportions of c-sections in Western Australia and South Australia decreased.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report says caesarean birth is now safer and serious complications are uncommon, particularly for healthy women.
If you've just given birth, you're likely thinking about the future. Opening a bank account for your baby is a great idea.