The NSW Mothers and Babies 2015 report released today shows mothers smoking less, fewer teenagers having babies and an increasing number of women having babies in Sydney’s south-west.
The report shows 96,391 babies were born across NSW in 2015 to 94,989 mothers. Western Sydney Local Health District had the largest number of babies for a fifth consecutive year, with 14,640 births. South Western Sydney is rapidly catching up, with the Local Health District recording the biggest increase in births, jumping from 12,831 in 2011 to 13,214 in 2015.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner said: “The NSW Government is committed to looking after the health of pregnant women and giving their babies the best start in life.”
“I’m encouraged by the decrease in the number of women smoking during their pregnancies. That’s now in single digits, having dropped from more than 11 per cent in 2011 to 8.9 per cent in 2015. Of those mothers who did smoke, more than a quarter quit the habit early on in their pregnancy.”
There was also a drop in the number of teenage mothers from 3.2 per cent in 2011 to 2.5 per cent in 2015. The percentage of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander teenage mothers dropped even further, from 19 per cent to 15.4 per cent.
When it came to how women chose to give birth, most opted for a hospital birth, 2.5 per cent chose a birth centre and just 0.2 per cent chose a home birth. There was a slight decrease in the rate of normal vaginal births, from 56.9 per cent in 2011 to 56 per cent in 2015.
NSW Mothers and Babies 2015 is the 18th annual report on births in NSW. The full report can be viewed at: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/hsnsw/Pages/mothers-and-babies-2015.aspx