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About the maternity web tool
The Report on Maternity web tool enables you to explore trends over time using interactive graphs and tables. Filtered results, data dictionaries and the full data sets can be downloaded from within the web tool.
The web tool presents:
- the demographic profile of women giving birth (eg, age, ethnicity, deprivation) and selected antenatal factors (eg, BMI, smoking)
- events relating to labour and birth (eg, type of birth, interventions, place of birth)
- the demographic profile of live-born babies, their birthweight and gestation and care provided after birth.
Report on Maternity: further information (PDF, 366 KB)
Report on Maternity: further information (Word, 312 KB)
Report on maternity web tool
Key findings about births in 2020
- 58,670 women gave birth and 58,995 babies were live-born, a slight decrease from 2019.
- The birth rate in 2020 was 57.8 per 1,000 females of reproductive age; also a slight decrease from 2019 (60.1 per 1000 females of reproductive age).
- Most women giving birth (93.5%) received care from a community-based Lead Maternity Carer.
- Just over two-thirds (69.3%) of women giving birth registered with a Lead Maternity Carer in their first trimester of pregnancy; up from just over half (53.8%) in 2011.
- Most women gave birth at a secondary (40.3%) or tertiary maternity facility (45.4%), 9.7% of women gave birth in a primary facility or birthing unit. These rates have been stable over the last 10 years. 4.6% of women had home births, which is an increase from the past 9 years, where 3.1-3.5% of women had home births each year.
- Induction of labour, epidural analgesia, and episiotomy rates have continued an upward trend over the last 10 years. Rates of augmentation of established labour has continued a downward trend over this same period.
- Caesarean section rates have increased over the last eleven years to 29.8% of all births in 2020, the highest ever recorded. Emergency Caesarean section rates have generally increased over the same period, whereas Elective Caesarean rates have remained roughly the same. There has been a corresponding decrease in spontaneous vaginal birth (58.3%) and no significant change to rates of instrumental vaginal birth (9.6%).
- There have been no changes to average birthweight or distribution of gestational age at birth in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, 7.9% of babies were born preterm (before 37 weeks gestation).
- As in previous years, babies of small birthweight were more common among women under 20 years and aged 40 years and over, Indian women, and women residing in areas of high neighbourhood deprivation.
- Preterm births were more common among women under 20 years and aged 40 years and over, Māori women, Indian women, and women residing in areas of high neighbourhood deprivation.
Maternity data clinical coding changes
From 1 July 2019, diagnoses codes are assigned using the 11th Edition of ICD-10-AM (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification) and procedure codes are assigned using the 11th Edition of ACHI (Australian Classification of Health Interventions) (Source: The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority).
Some maternity events (women giving birth in hospital and live babies born in hospital) are impacted by changes in the 11th Edition clinical coding standards, particularly place of birth and type of birth data.
Therefore, this data may show variation due to the change in coding standards rather than a true increase. Further information about these coding changes can be found in the web tool and the Report on Maternity: further information document.
In this web tool, maternity data was extracted and recalculated for the years 2007–2020 to reflect ongoing updates to data in the National Maternity Collection and the revision of population estimates and projections following each census.
For this reason, there may be small changes to some numbers and rates from those presented in previous publications and tables.
We have quality checked the collection, extraction, and reporting of the data presented here.
However, errors can occur. Contact the Ministry of Health if you have any concerns regarding any of the data or analyses presented here, at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Date of publication:||
25 July 2022
Only soft copy available to download
Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.