AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Data integration Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources
Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
A new maternity indicators report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows mixed trends overall and differing results between population groups.
The report, National Core Maternity Indicators, includes data for 2004 through to 2009 across 10 clinical indicators, including rates of caesarean section, induction of labour and small babies born at or after term. Detailed trends by state and territory, health service and sociodemographic characteristics are presented.
The report will act as a baseline for measuring the effects of changes in the quality of maternity services across Australia following the introduction of the 2010-2015 National Maternity Services Plan in 2010.
'Some good news is that we have seen a higher proportion of women (80%) attending antenatal care during the first trimester, and a drop in the proportion of babies born weighing less than 2,750 grams at or after 40 weeks,' said Professor Elizabeth Sullivan from the AIHW's National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit.
'The proportion of babies born weighing less than 2,750 grams at or after 40 weeks fell from 2.1% to 1.8% between 2004 and 2009 and was recorded in most settings.
'This is important, as it indicates that very few exceptionally small babies are being missed during antenatal screening for poor fetal growth.'
Falls were also recorded in rates of episiotomy (a surgical cut into the woman's perineum) among women having their first baby and giving birth vaginally.
Between 2004 and 2009, rates of episiotomy dropped from 16.2% to 15.1% for women giving birth without instruments.
'Rates of smoking in pregnancy in Australia also dropped-from 16.7% to 14.5% between 2004 and 2009,' Professor Sullivan said.
'Although smoking rates dropped overall, significant differences among sociodemographic groups continue, with 36% of women living in Very remote areas reporting smoking in pregnancy compared with 13% in Major cities.'
Among Indigenous women, about 51% reported smoking during pregnancy in 2004-2009.
'While we have seen positive improvements in a number of indicators, there are some areas for possible further attention,' Professor Sullivan said.
'For example induction, caesarean section and instrumental vaginal birth rates increased over the period among most groups of women, while normal vaginal birth rates decreased proportionately.'
'The proportion of babies with a low Apgar score has increased. Apgar scores are a measure of a baby's adaptation to the environment immediately after birth. The proportion of births with scores of less than 7 at 5 minutes rose from 0.9% to 1.1% between 2004 and 2009.'
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 7 March 2013
Further information: Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, tel. (02) 9382 1064, mob. 0439 994 820