What Birth Looks Like In These 5 Countries

Image via Chaunie Brusie

It's easy to assume that birth is birth, right?

A twinge of a contraction here, maybe some water breaking there, and off to the hospital you go with a rattled partner and an over-packed overnight bag. You'll be huffing and puffing in a wheelchair up to the OB unit, where, upon your arrival, you will be screaming at strangers and demanding an epidural.

{ MORE: Birth Consultants: What Are They and Why Do You Need One }

The birth scene of every movie is pretty much the same, but IRL? Birth never quite follows the same script. And what's more, birth can look totally different across the country board.

united states
Image via Chaunie Brusie

Birth in the United States

  • The most common age for women to give birth is between the ages of 30-34.
  • Births for non-married women are more common.
  • Approximately 1/3 of all births are by c-section.
  • A little over 11% of births are premature.
  • Almost 99% of all births occur in a hospital setting.
  • 6 out of 10 women receive an epidural for pain relief during labor.

(Source: CDC)

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Birth in Canada

  • The average age for women to give birth is 29.6 years old.
  • The teenage birth rate is 30 births per 1,000.
  • On average, women have 1.61 children, an all-time low.
  • Less than 2% of births occur at home.
  • Almost a quarter of births in Canada occur via c-section.
  • Epidural rates vary between 30 and 60% across Canada.


Image via Chaunie Brusie

Birth in the Netherlands

  • The majority of births are attended by midwives, not doctors.
  • Only 10% of women choose an epidural for pain relief.
  • It's not uncommon to be out of the hospital or birth center only hours after giving birth.
  • Professional post-natal care is provided in-home for at least a week after birth.
  • Around 20% of all births in the Netherlands are planned home births.


Image via Chaunie Brusie

Birth in Mexico

  • 50% of births are attended by midwives.
  • The birth rate in Mexico is 18.61 per 1,000 women.
  • Fathers play an involved role in a woman's labor.
  • The c-section rate is unusually high in Mexico–as high as 70% in some private hospitals.


Image via Chaunie Brusie

Birth in the U.K.

  • Two-thirds of all births are the result of spontaneous labor.
  • A quarter of all births are via c-section.
  • Over a third of all deliveries require no anesthesia whatsoever.
  • The fertility rate is 1.85 children per woman.
  • The average age of a first-time mother is 30 years old.
  • The majority of births occur inside of a marriage or civil partnership.


{ MORE: New Mamas: How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Having a Baby? }

What are some interesting facts that you know about from births around the world?

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What Birth Looks Like In These 5 Countries

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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