AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure 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 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 COPD 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 Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services 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 Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR—metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards GovHack Privacy of data Accessing Australian Government health and welfare data
By subjectAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) Chronic disease indicators Data sources for monitoring health conditionsDeaths Disability
Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Height and weight data sources Hospitals Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) Medical indemnity
Mental health National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse National core maternity indicators (NCMI) National indicator catalogue Perinatal data Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee AODTS NMDS WG CKDMAC CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets Infographics 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 Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
The rate of women undergoing caesarean section has stabilised
for the first time in more than ten years according to a report
released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
'This is the first time in the last decade that the rate of
caesarean section has not markedly increased,' said Associate
Professor Elizabeth Sullivan of the AIHW's National Perinatal
Statistics Unit at the University of New South Wales.
According to the report, Australia's mothers and babies
2007, there was only a 0.1% rise from 30.8% in 2006 to 30.9%
New in this report is information on the rate of caesarean
section for all women giving birth by caesarean section for the
first time. In 2007, the primary caesarean section rate was
'This is an important measure to monitor as it is a risk factor
for subsequent caesarean births, with 83% of women who had
previously give birth by caesarean section giving birth by
caesarean section in 2007,' Associate Professor Sullivan said.
The rate of primary caesarean births was higher among first time
mothers at 32% compared with 10% for mothers who had previously
The report also shows more women are having babies and more are
delaying having children until later in life.
'The baby boom continued with over 12,000 more births in 2007
than in 2006 and 14% more than in 2004,' she said.
'The average age of women who gave birth in 2007 was 29.9 years,
a year older than in 1998 and more than 14% of first-time mothers
were 35 or older, compared with 9% in 1998,' she said.
About 3% of women who gave birth in 2007 received assisted
reproductive technology (ART) treatment and the average age of
women who gave birth after ART was 34 years.
Of women who gave birth, three quarters had some type of
analgesia administered. The most common type of analgesia was
nitrous oxide, followed by epidural or caudal analgesia.
The perinatal death rate was 10.3 per 1,000 births and fetal and
neonatal deaths were 7.4 per 1,000 births and 2.9 per 1,000 live
births respectively. Young maternal age, maternal Indigenous status
and multiple births were associated with higher rates of perinatal
The most common cause of perinatal death was congenital
abnormality (24%) and for term singleton babies, unexplained
antepartum death (25%), congenital abnormality (17%) and hypoxic
peripartum death (14%).
Thursday 10 December 2009
Further information: A/Prof Elizabeth Sullivan,
tel. 02 9382 1064, mob. 0439 994 820
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.
Australia's mothers and babies 2007