Maternal characteristics

The National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC) only collects information related to the mother, therefore we can only report on maternal and medical characteristics that have been commonly associated with stillbirth or neonatal death.

While these characteristics are more commonly found in women with pregnancies resulting in stillbirth and neonatal death, it is understood that they are often unavoidable and it is not implied that these characteristics are the cause of perinatal deaths.

In 2015 and 2016, perinatal mortality rates were higher among babies born to women who:

  • were aged under 20 years and over 40 years (18.0 and 12.3 per 1,000 births, respectively).
  • reported smoking during pregnancy, although rates for babies born to women who reported smoking only within the first 20 weeks were lower than for those who smoked throughout (10.3 and 13.3 per 1,000 births, respectively).
  • had a parity of 4 or more (16.8 deaths per 1,000 births).
  • had a previous stillbirth (25.8 per 1,000 births).
  • had pre-existing diabetes compared with babies born to mothers with no diabetes (16.9 and 8.9 per 1,000 births, respectively).
  • had a BMI of 30.0 or more (obese) (9.9 per 1,000 births).
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