Canberra Mums: the fairest of them all says new report

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Canberra mums are among the healthiest in country when it comes to maternal and perinatal health, according to a new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, Australia’s mothers and babies 2013, found that despite a decrease in Australia’s birthing rates, there are increasing numbers of babies being born in the ACT, with 6,145 women giving birth to 6,223 babies in 2013.

Canberra mothers also fared better compared with the rest of the country when it came to pregnancy smoking rates. Around six per cent of women who gave birth in the ACT smoked during pregnancy, compared with the national rate of 12 per cent.

“It is wonderful to see Canberra mothers leading the way in maternal health, particularly as 45 per cent of women who gave birth in the ACT were first time mothers,” Elizabeth Chatham, Executive Director for Women, Youth and Children at ACT Health said.

“We are fortunate in Canberra to have the new Centenary Hospital for Women and Children which offers specialised services such as neonatology, maternity, paediatric and gynaecology services all in one dedicated and purpose-built space.”

Additional highlights from the report in relation to women who gave birth in the ACT include:

  • The ACT resident perinatal death rate was 7.8 per 1,000 births, slightly lower than the Australian rate of 9.6 per 1,000 births.
  • The ACT had the lowest percentage of teenage mothers (2%, Australia 3.3%) and the second highest percentage of mothers aged over 40 years (5%, Australia 4%). The average age of women who gave birth in the ACT was 30.9 years of age.
  • Caesarean section rates have reached 33 per 100 women who gave birth in 2013, which is the same as the Australian rate of 33 per 100 women.
  • ACT is among the jurisdictions with a low rate of low birthweight babies.

Published date: 

Monday, December 14, 2015