Australia’s mothers and babies 2016
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This data summarised below is provided to help you as a clinician or researcher understand the current trends in reproductive medicine within Australia. The current 2018 report covers the 2016 data period, and these reports or "in brief" are released towards the end of each year.
The information shown below is based upon data from the publication "Australia's mothers and babies 2016 - in brief"
|Australia’s mothers and babies: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | National Perinatal Statistics Unit | AIHW | Australian Statistics | birth|
More women are giving birth
- In 2016, 310,247 women gave birth in Australia — an increase of 12% since 2006 (277,440 women).
- The rate of women giving birth has fluctuated between 2006 and 2016, with a rate of 62 per 1,000 women of reproductive age (15–44 years) in 2016, down from a peak of 66 per 1,000 women in 2007.
Women are giving birth later in life
- The average age of all women who gave birth continues to rise. It was 30.5 in 2016, compared with 29.8 in 2006. The median age was slightly higher, at 31 years in 2016.
The rate of multiple pregnancies has fallen
- In 2016, multiple pregnancies represented 1.4% of all pregnancies. Almost all multiple pregnancies (98.3%) were twins, while a small proportion (1.7%) were other multiples (triplets, quadruplets or higher).
Most mothers live in Major cities and were born in Australia
- Most mothers lived in Major cities (73%) and most were themselves born in Australia
- (65%)—similar to the proportions of all women of reproductive age in the population.
Rates of smoking during pregnancy continue to fall
- One in 10 mothers (30,104 or 9.9%) who gave birth in 2016 smoked at some time during their pregnancy, a decrease from 14.6% in 2009.
- Almost 1 in 4 smokers quit during pregnancy
Almost half of mothers are overweight or obese at their first antenatal visit
- Obesity in pregnancy contributes to increased risks of illness and death for both mother and baby.
Diabetes and hypertension
- 8.2 per 1,000 mothers had pre‐existing (chronic) hypertension
- 37.4 per 1,000 had gestational hypertension
- 7.3 per 1,000 had pre‐existing diabetes.
Two-thirds of mothers have vaginal births, one-third have caesareans
- In 2016, 66% of mothers (205,364) had a vaginal birth and 34% (104,839) had a caesarean section.
- Caesareans sections are more common among older mothers
- Caesarean sections have increased over time - Since 2006, vaginal non‐instrumental delivery has fallen 5 percentage points (decreasing from 58% in 2006 to 53% in 2016) whereas the caesarean section rate has increased by
3 percentage points (from 31% in 2006 to 34% in 2016).
Maternal death most frequent causes were non-obstetric haemorrhage
- mostly haemorrhage within the brain and haemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm of the splenic artery
- complications of pre-existing cardiovascular disease.
More babies are being born
- There were 314,814 babies born in 2016—an increase of 12% since 2006.
- In all, 312,683 were live births and 2,107 (less than 1%) were stillbirths (a baby born without signs of life, see Glossary). Birth status was not recorded for a small number of births.
- The stillbirth rate of 6.7 deaths per 1,000 births has decreased slightly but consistently following a recent peak of 7.8 per 1,000 births in 2009.
Baby boys slightly outnumber baby girls
- Slightly more babies were male (51%) than female (49%).
1 in 19 babies were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
- Around 1 in 19 babies (5.2% or 16,479) were Indigenous in 2016 (based on Indigenous status of the baby).
3 in 4 babies were born to mothers living in New South Wales, Victoria or Queensland
- The proportion of babies born in each state and territory closely reflects the distribution of the total population in 2016.
1 in 12 babies are born pre-term
- In 2016, the average gestational age for all babies was 38.6 weeks, with the vast majority (91%) born at term (37–41 weeks).
- Overall, 8.5% of babies were born pre‐term (before 37 completed weeks’ gestation) in 2016. Most of these births (81.1%) occurred between 32 and 36 completed weeks. The average gestational age for all pre‐term births was 33.4 weeks.
The majority of liveborn babies are in the normal birthweight range
- In 2016, the average birthweight of all babies was 3,322 grams. The average was slightly higher for liveborn babies (3,336 grams), with the vast majority of these born in the normal birthweight range (92% or 288,176); 6.5% (20,430) were low birthweight, and a small proportion were high birthweight (1.3% or 3,965).
- 1 in 16 liveborn babies are low birthweight.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. Australia’s mothers and babies 2016—in brief. Perinatal statistics series no. 34. Cat. no. PER 97. Canberra: AIHW.
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, August 22) Embryology Australia’s mothers and babies 2016. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Australia%E2%80%99s_mothers_and_babies_2016
- © Dr Mark Hill 2019, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G