Notes on the data: Mothers and babies
Low birth weight babies, 2012 to 2014
Policy context: A baby’s birth weight is a key indicator of health status. Low birth weight babies are those weighing less than 2500 grams at birth. An infant may be small when it is born for two reasons: it may be born early (premature), or it may be small for its gestational age (intra-uterine growth restriction). Risk factors include socioeconomic disadvantage; maternal size, age and nutritional status; the number of babies previously born; illness, and alcohol, tobacco and drug use during pregnancy; and duration of the pregnancy. Low birth weight increases the risk of death and disability in infancy and of serious health problems in childhood and possibly later in life. Babies born to Aboriginal women in South Australia in 2005 were more than twice as likely to be of low birth weight (19.3%) than were those born to non-Aboriginal women (7.2%) .
- Maternal, Perinatal and Infant Mortality Committee. Maternal, perinatal and infant mortality in South Australia 2005. Adelaide: South Australian Department of Health; 2006.
Numerator: Babies (live born) weighing less than 2500 grams at birth (data over 3 years)
Denominator: All live births (data over 3 years)
Detail of analysis: Per cent
Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on data from: the NSW Department of Health; Victorian Perinatal Data Collection; Perinatal Data Collection, Department of Health, Queensland; SA Health; WA Department of Health; the Tasmanian Perinatal Database; NT Department of Health and Families and Health Directorate, ACT Government.