This report is the third in a series of on-line publications reporting on hospital maternity data as recorded in the National Minimum Dataset. The publication includes maternal and newborn demographic information as well as some clinical and procedural data associated with the birth event.
Key findings include:
Mother and Pregnancy
- The NMDS recorded that 60,961 women gave birth in a New Zealand hospital and 62,045 babies were born or subsequently admitted to a New Zealand hospital.
- The largest age group of mothers (28.4 percent) was the 30 to 34 year age group.
- The largest maternal ethnic group was European (56.4 percent) followed by Māori (20.5 percent).
Labour and Birth
- Nearly two-thirds (65.4 percent) of procedures were coded as normal vaginal birth, and 24.2 percent as a caesarean section.
- Caesarean sections performed increased from between 1999 and 2007 (19.4 percent to 24.2 percent of all procedures). This follows an international trend observed in many developed countries (Anderson 2004).
- Mothers over 35 years of age were the only group more likely to have an elective caesarean section (53.5 percent) than an emergency caesarean section.
- Slightly more male babies were born than female babies (51.4 percent).
- As with mothers, the largest group of babies were identified as European ethnicity (54.7 percent). Twenty-two percent of babies were identified as Māori.
- The majority of live born babies were born at a gestational age of 37 or more weeks (88.0 percent) and the average birthweight was 3.43 kilograms.
- Thirteen maternal deaths were reported in 2007.
- Seven deaths were from direct causes and six were from indirect causes.
- The numbers of maternal deaths are derived from small numbers and caution is advised when drawing conclusions from this data
- The majority of women gave birth in either a tertiary (42.1 percent) or secondary facility (41.7 percent).