Giving birth in 21st century Britain: nearly half of Mumsnetters polled didn't feel honestly prepared

In July 2014, we asked you what your views are on giving birth in the UK today. Ahead of the inaugural Bumpfest, over 1,600 Mumsnetters recalled their pre-birth expectations - and the impact of giving birth on everything from your sex lives to your willingness to go through it all again.

The survey shows that a startling 44% of Mumsnetters didn’t feel that anyone had honestly prepared them for giving birth. But in spite of this, 1 in 2 (47%) of you say they actually enjoyed the experience.

Bumpfest survey infographic final

The survey found that:

  • 44% would do it differently the next time or not give birth again
  • 64% say it was the most physically painful experience of their lives
  • 50% continued to have sex into their third trimester, with 13% continuing when they were overdue
  • A majority say that maternity pads are the most useful item they packed in their hospital bag
  • 3/4 (74.8%) say that they found the NHS caring when giving birth

Justine Roberts, CEO of Mumsnet, said: 

"It can be tricky to find the up-front truth about what giving birth is actually like. We're either presented with a soft-focus vision of loveliness with the mum-to-be barely breaking out in sweat, or we're scared half to death with tales of surgery, emergency and ruthless pain. One of the joys of Mumsnet is that you can come on at any time - day or night - and ask for advice from those who know when you suddenly find yourself expecting, and later confronted with, a small human.

'That’s why we've developed Bumpfest. A one-day event that combines the best experts with those that have been there and done that, and are still smiling!"

Bumpfest is taking place in London on 27 September 2014.
Find out more and buy tickets



Last updated: about 3 years ago