Many women want a different kind of pregnancy and birth the next time around. Many want to see the same one or two midwives throughout and want to choose where they give birth. And when the time comes, they want a vaginal birth, with less intervention.
This is what thousands of Australian women told us when we asked if they would do anything differently if they had another baby.
We publish our findings today in British Medical Journal Open.
What we did.
In 2021, we undertook Australia's largest national study of birth experiences. As part of that, we asked women, "Would you do anything different if you were to have another baby?"
A total of 6,101 women left comments. More than 85% of comments were from women who said they'd do things differently the next time around.
Several themes emerged.
Watch: The questions about childbirth answered by mums and non-mums. Post continues after video.
"Next time, I'll be ready."
The largest group of comments (39.2%) were from women who wanted to avoid a repeat of their previous pregnancy and birth experience. They wanted to better advocate for themselves, get more informed about their choices, and avoid certain birth interventions.