Birth rate boomed over the past decade

BABIES are booming as the number of women giving birth continued to climb in the past decade.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Australia's Mothers and Babies 2013 report released today shows 305,000 women gave birth to more than 309,000 babies in 2013.

About 97% of the infants were delivered in hospitals, while the number of cesarean sections rose from 28% in 2003 to 33% in 2013.

Mothers older than 40 years were about three times more likely to deliver by cesarean section as teenage mothers.

Institute spokeswoman Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman said the number of women aged 15-44 giving birth was higher than a decade ago, but had slowed since its 2007 peak.

The proportion of mothers older than 35 years who gave birth in 2013 was 22%, compared with 19% in 2003.

The report also shows 62% of women who gave birth in 2013 accessed antenatal care during the first trimester of their pregnancy and 87% had seven or more visits.

Fewer women are smoking during pregnancy, but lighting up is more common with teenage mothers, mums living in remote areas and indigenous mothers.

- APN NEWSDESK



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