Place of birth

Almost all births in Australia took place in hospitals (97%), in conventional labour wards. Of mothers who gave birth in hospital 3 in 4 (75%) did so in a public hospital. A small proportion of mothers gave birth elsewhere, including birth centres (2.3%), at home (0.3%), or in other settings (such as before arrival at hospital) (0.6%).

Home births are slightly more common mothers who have had 3 or more previous births (0.4%–0.5%), and are least common among first-time mothers (0.2%).

The figure shows a bar chart of the proportion of women who gave birth by place of birth and a range of topics for 2019 and a line graph of topic trends between 2019 and 2019. In 2019, 288,760 women, or 97%, gave birth in a hospital.

There was a trend toward shorter postnatal stays between 2009 and 2019: 22% of mothers were discharged less than 2 days after giving birth in 2019 (17% in 2009), and 13% of mothers stayed 5 or more days (20% in 2009).

Mothers were most likely to be discharged between 2 and 4 days after giving birth (63% in 2009 and 66% in 2019). Data are based on mothers who gave birth in hospitals and were discharged to home, and excludes data from Western Australia.

For more information on place of birth see National Perinatal Data Collection annual update data tables 2.22 and 2.23.