Birth rate is falling and mothers are older
In 2020, the rate of women aged 15–44 giving birth was lower than a decade ago (56 per 1,000 women in 2020 compared with 64 per 1,000 in 2010). The average age of women who gave birth has increased from 30.0 years in 2010 to 30.9 in 2020.
Most mothers access antenatal care and fewer mothers are smoking
In 2020, 79% of women who gave birth accessed antenatal care in the first trimester of their pregnancy, and 95% had 5 or more antenatal care visits. The proportion of women who reported smoking at any time during pregnancy has fallen from 14% in 2010 to 9.2% in 2020.
Around 1 in 3 mothers gave birth by caesarean section
The rate of women giving birth by caesarean section has risen, from 32% in 2010 to 37% in 2020.
Fewer Indigenous mothers are smoking and more are accessing antenatal care
There were improvements over the past decade in antenatal care attendance in the first trimester (from 50% in 2012 to 71% in 2020) and smoking at any time during pregnancy (from 51% in 2010 to 43% in 2020).
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of maternal death
In 2020, the maternal mortality rate was 5.5 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth (16 deaths). In the decade from 2011 to 2020, cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death. During this decade there were 194 women reported to have died during pregnancy, or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy, with a maternal mortality rate of 6.4 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth.
Rates of pre-term birth and low birthweight are stable
There has been little change in the proportion of pre-term (ranged from 8.3% to 8.7% between 2010 and 2020), and low birthweight babies (ranged from 6.2% to 6.7% between 2010 and 2020).
Congenital anomaly is the most common cause of perinatal death
In 2020, 10.1 per 1,000 babies (3,004) died in the perinatal period, and congenital anomaly was the most common cause of perinatal death. Of these deaths, just over 75% were stillbirths (2,273) and just under 25% (731) were neonatal deaths.