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New Report on Maternity finds drop in teenage pregnancies

The latest Report on Maternity has been released, showing the rate of teenage pregnancies has halved in the past decade.

Every year the data, produced by the Ministry of Health, provides health statistics about women giving birth around the country.

It shows that in 2017, 59,661 women gave birth – the lowest rate since 2008.

“While the number of women giving birth has reduced by just under 5,000 pregnancies since 2008, there are lots of really encouraging signs we can take from this new data,” says the Ministry's Clare Perry, Group Manager, Health System and Improvement.

“The new report shows most women are aged between 25 and 34 when they give birth. The number of teenage pregnancies has halved between 2008 and 2017.”

“In 2017, 2309 teenage women aged between 15 and 19 gave birth. The rate of teenage pregnancies has been steadily declining in the past decade.”

“It’s also incredibly encouraging to see fewer women are smoking during the initial stage of pregnancy and immediately after birth. In 2017, there were two thousand fewer women smoking when they first registered with a primary maternity care provider than there were in 2008,” says Clare Perry.

“According to the report, there was also a drop in the number of women smoking a fortnight after birth.”

In 2017, 1855 fewer women were recorded as smoking two weeks after giving birth than in 2008.

“It’s a positive sign that the smoke free message is having a real impact on New Zealanders – especially with expectant and new mothers.”

“Unfortunately more women identified as overweight and obese in 2017 – 31,000 women identified as overweight and obese. From 2008 to 2017, the proportion of women who had a healthy weight at first registration decreased significantly, while the proportion of women who were overweight and obese increased significantly.”

“We also know from this report that the large majority of mothers giving birth in 2017 (92%) registered with a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) and that’s why ensuring easy and ready access to LMCs for all New Zealanders is so important."

“We know how important it is to feel safe, confident and supported during pregnancy. I’m committed to ensuring women, babies and whânau continue to receive high quality maternity care from midwives, doctors, district health boards (DHBs) and other health and social service providers,” says Clare Perry.

For more on the Report on Maternity, visit https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/report-maternity-2017

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