With love in the air conception rates soar, NHS figures show

Valentine’s Day romance leads to a jump in pregnancies, new figures from NHS England show.

With love in the air, there was a 5 per cent rise in conceptions around the most romantic day of the year, according to the data gathered to help the NHS provide the best possible care for mums-to-be and their babies.

There were 16,263 babies conceived in the week of Valentine’s Day, up on an average of 15,427 each week, according to 2015 figures that have been analysed for the first time.

Another 16,344 were conceived the following week meaning that the Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas for the number of women becoming pregnant.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, who leads NHS England’s drive to improve maternity services, said that no matter what point in the year a baby is born there has never been a better time to give birth.

A record 88 per cent of new mothers said that they were treated with dignity and respect throughout labour, according to the latest CQC survey which was published last month.

Mums-to-be in England are also increasingly offered more personalised care and a midwife who they know available throughout their use of maternity service, care which they would not previously get on the NHS.

Better care and medical advances also mean that a baby born in 2018 – the NHS 70th anniversary year – can expect to live longer than at any time in the past, with one in three girls set to live past 100.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chair of the Maternity Transformation Programme at NHS England, said: “Love is most definitely in the air at this time of year and it is fantastic to learn that the NHS sees a mini-baby boom nine months later – bringing with it great joy to families across the nation.

“Those of us who work in maternity services are so proud that there has never been a better time to have a baby, with record numbers of new mums saying they have been treated with dignity and respect, with more personalised care on offer and life expectancy at an all-time high.  However we know we have more work to do to ensure personal and safe care are delivered every time – and we are totally committed to doing even better.”

Gill Walton, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “We have one of the best maternity services in the world and it is getting even better as the recent CQC maternity results show. There is always room for improvement though and England also has ambitious plans to transform its maternity services so women can look forward to more choice and even better care. Whenever a woman conceives, midwives, maternity support workers and other maternity staff will be doing all they can to ensure they have the best experience they can though the pregnancy, the birth and beyond.”

Visit the NHS Choices website for information on pregnancy, including the early signs to look out for and a due date calculator.