Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Australia's mothers and babies, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 27 November 2021
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Australia's mothers and babies. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Australia's mothers and babies. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 18 November 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia's mothers and babies [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2021 Nov. 27]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Australia's mothers and babies, viewed 27 November 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Get citations as an Endnote file:
PDF | 7.9Mb
Labour can occur spontaneously or may be induced by medical or surgical intervention. If there is no labour, a caesarean section is performed.
The figure shows a bar chart of the proportion of women who had spontaneous labour, induced labour or no labour by a range of topics for 2019 and a line graph of topic trends from 2009 to 2019. In 2019, 126,991 women, or 42%, had spontaneous labour.
In 2019, about 2 in 5 (42.5%) mothers who gave birth had a spontaneous labour, around 1 in 3 (35%) had induced labour and 1 in 5 had no labour (23%).
Labour onset varied by maternal age group. Teenage mothers (aged under 20) were the most likely to have spontaneous labour (55%), and mothers aged 40 or over were the most likely to have no labour onset (43%).
Onset of labour varied considerably by the number of babies born from a single pregnancy, with women who had a multiple pregnancy being more likely to have no labour (57%) than women with a singleton pregnancy (22%).
The rate of spontaneous labour has fallen (from 56% in 2009 to 42.5% in 2019) with corresponding increases in the rates of induced labour (from 25% to 35%) and no labour (from 18% to 23%).
For related information see National Core Maternity Indicator Induction of labour
For mothers whose labour was induced, a combination of medical and/or surgical types of induction were most commonly used. Data excludes Western Australia.
In 2019, the main reasons for inducing labour were diabetes (14%), pre-labour rupture of membranes (10%) and prolonged pregnancy (8%).
Once labour starts, it may be necessary to intervene to speed up or augment the labour. Labour was augmented for 17% of mothers in 2019 (30% of mothers with spontaneous onset of labour). The augmentation rate was higher among first-time mothers, at 42% of those with spontaneous labour onset, compared with 21% of mothers who had given birth previously. Data excludes Western Australia.
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.