Report on Maternity 2014

This report describes

  • 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.

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Commissioning agencies
Date of last publication
7 Dec 2015

Key Results

  • 59,193 women gave birth and 59,494 babies were live-born.
  • The birth rate in 2014 was 65.0 per 1000 females of reproductive age; the lowest since 2005.
  • Birth rates for young women have decreased over the last decade while birth rates for older women have increased.
  • Women giving birth were predominantly European, aged 25–34 years, residing in more deprived neighbourhoods, and had had at least one previous birth.
  • Most women received primary maternity care from a midwife Lead Maternity Carer.
  • Two of every three women registered with a Lead Maternity Carer did so within their first trimester of pregnancy; an increase from 2008 where half registered within the first trimester.
  • Most women gave birth at a secondary or tertiary maternity facility.
  • Home births were more common among women in their 40s, Māori women, and European women.
  • Elective caesarean section rates have increased.
  • One in every three women giving birth had a spontaneous vaginal birth without having an induced or augmented labour, an epidural or an episiotomy.
  • More live-born babies were male than female.
  • There was little change in average birthweight.
  • Median gestation at birth was 39 weeks.
  • Most babies were exclusively or fully breastfed.

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