Summary

The health of both mothers and babies can have important ongoing implications. In 2020, there were 295,976 babies born to 291,712 mothers in Australia. 

Mothers key facts:

Babies key facts:

 

Other insights:

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 one 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 the most common cause of maternal death

In 2019, the maternal mortality rate was 6.4 deaths per 100,000 women (17) giving birth. In the decade from 2010 to 2019, cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death. During this decade there were 200 women reported to have died during pregnancy, or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy, with a maternal mortality rate of 6.7 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth.   

Maternal mortality data for 2020 will be available in late 2022.

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 the most common cause of perinatal death

In 2019, 9.6 per 1,000 babies (2,897) died in the perinatal period, and congenital anomaly was the most common cause of perinatal death. Of these deaths, just over 75% were stillbirths (2,183) and just under 25% (714) were neonatal deaths.

Cause of perinatal death data for 2020 will be available in late 2022.

In this report

This web article provides information related to stillbirths and neonatal deaths.
This web article provides information related to maternal deaths.