Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Australia's mothers and babies, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 21 May 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Australia's mothers and babies. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Australia's mothers and babies. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 15 December 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia's mothers and babies [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2022 May. 21]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Australia's mothers and babies, viewed 21 May 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
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Anaesthesia is used to relieve pain during operative delivery, that is, a caesarean section or instrumental vaginal birth. All women who have a caesarean section receive anaesthesia, except in the rare case of post-mortem delivery. More than one type of anaesthetic can be administered.
The figure shows a bar chart of women who had an instrumental vaginal birth or caesarean section by anaesthesia administration status and a range of topics for 2019. The figure also shows a line graph of the trends of anaesthesia administration by topics between 2010 and 2019. In 2019, 140,174 women, or 96%, who had an operative delivery had anaesthesia.
In 2019, most mothers who had a caesarean section had a regional anaesthetic (69% spinal, 18% epidural or caudal) and 5.5% had a general anaesthetic (note that some mothers had both).
Most mothers who had an instrumental vaginal birth had an anaesthetic. A regional anaesthetic was most common (62% epidural or caudal and 3.6% spinal), followed by a local anaesthetic to the perineum (23%).
Women who had a vaginal instrumental birth using forceps (93%) were more likely to have anaesthesia administered than women who had a vacuum extraction (86%).
First-time mothers were slightly more likely to have anaesthesia administered than women who had given birth before (for example, 3.6% of first-time mothers had no anaesthesia, compared with 2.0% of mothers who had previously given birth 4 or more times).
For related information see National Core Maternity Indicator General anaesthetic for women giving birth by caesarean section
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