11 April 2019
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.
Download the report and its accompanying data tables:
- Report on Maternity 2017 (Word, 11 MB), (PDF, 3.8 MB)
- Report on Maternity 2017 - tables (XLSX, 347 KB)
Key findings about births in 2017
- 59,661 women gave birth and 60,026 babies were live-born.
- The birth rate in 2017 was 61.7 per 1,000 females of reproductive age; the lowest in the last 10 years.
- 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 given birth at least once before.
- Most women received primary maternity care from a midwife Lead Maternity Carer.
- Over two-thirds of women who registered with a Lead Maternity Carer did so within their first trimester of pregnancy; an increase from 2008 when half registered within the first trimester.
- Most women gave birth at a secondary or tertiary maternity facility.
- Home births were more common among Māori and European women.
- Elective caesarean section rates have increased.
- One in every three women giving birth had a normal birth.
- More babies were male than female.
- Compared to previous years, there was little change in average birthweight.
- Median gestation at birth was 39 weeks.
- Most babies were exclusively or fully breastfed.