Boom in births
1 December 2011
The number of babies born across the state continues to be at record levels with the increase in births mainly in the Sydney metropolitan area.
The most recent NSW Mothers and Babies 2009 Report showed a 6.4 per cent increase in births, with 96,439 babies born in 2009, up from 90,610 in 2005.
The 'baby boom' that NSW is currently experiencing mainly occurred among women aged 35 years or over, up by 22.9 per cent from 18,441 in 2005 to 22,659 in 2009.
The largest increase was in Sydney's west, where births increased 12.8 per cent from 12,037 in 2005 to 13,573 in 2009. The number of babies born to teenage mothers continues to fall, from 3.9 per cent in 2005 to 3.5 per cent in 2009.
The rate of caesarean section births in NSW has also risen. The percentage of women overall having a caesarean has increased from 28.1 per cent in 2005 to 30.2 per cent in 2009, and caesarean sections are more common in private hospitals (40.6 per cent of all births) than public hospitals (26.9 per cent).
Other major findings of the report include:
- Families living in Sydney's south east and west reported 1,000 more births in 2009 than in 2005.
- Smoking in pregnancy fell from 14.3 per cent in 2005 to 12 per cent in 2009.
- The number of babies born to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers increased from 2,507 in 2005 to 2,931 in 2009 - representing 3 per cent of all babies born in NSW in the past 5 years.
- The percentage of mothers born in non-English speaking countries increased from 20.9 per cent to 24.2 per cent.
The report, which comprehensively analyses birthing trends in NSW each year, is extremely valuable in assisting health planners and clinicians develop strategies to improve and adapt services for mothers and babies.
The NSW Government is strongly committed to delivering high quality and comprehensive pregnancy and maternity services to all families in this state.
The NSW Mothers and Babies 2009 Report is the 13th annual report on the health of mothers and babies in NSW and is available at www.health.nsw.gov.au.