An Analysis of Antenatal Care Pathways to Mode of Birth in Ireland
Keywords:antenatal care, healthcare, Ireland
This paper explores the role of antenatal care in determining mode of birth in the Irish healthcare system using data from the Growing Up in Ireland study. Results indicate that midwifery-led antenatal care is independently associated with significantly higher rates of normal delivery and significantly lower rates of elective caesarean section relative to consultant-led care in both the public and private sectors. Given concerns over increasing rates of caesarean section, our results are consistent with calls nationally and internationally for further investment in midwifery-led antenatal care services, and for stricter regulation of the actors, both providers and patients, engaged in the private antenatal care pathway.