More mums are having assisted births in Australia

Peter Terlato 19 July 2016

Hospital child birth

But the use of instruments during birth can result in complications.

New statistics pulled from stage 3 and 4 of the National Core Maternity Indicators report 2010-2013 reveal the proportion of first-time mums who had an assisted birth has risen from 22.8% in 2004 to 25.3% in 2013.

An assisted birth is one which utilises instruments, such as a vacuum or forceps, to assist mothers at the end of labour or if the child is showing signs of distress. The use of instruments during childbirth can be linked to both short-term and long-term complications.

Mother's in remote areas were less likely to have an assisted birth (19.4%) than those in major cities (26.1%) across Australia.

This can be attributed to the fact that larger hospitals, predominantly located in major cities, typically treat more complex cases and related transfers of women who develop complications during pregnancy and labour.

In 2013, the lowest proportion of assisted child births was recorded in the Northern Territory (19.4%). Nationwide, first-time indigenous mothers were less likely to have an assisted birth (18.4%) than non-Indigenous mothers (25.5%).

Assisted births were also more common at private hospitals and accommodations than public institutions.

An increasing maternal age and the prevalence of pre-existing medical conditions has led to a rise in first-time mums using induced labour, up 5% in almost 10 years, from 31.1% in 2004 to 36.1% in 2013.

27.5% of selected women giving birth for the first time in 2013 had a caesarean section (c-section). This figure represents a 2.2% increase between 2004 and 2013. However, the proportions of c-sections in Western Australia and South Australia decreased.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report says caesarean birth is now safer and serious complications are uncommon, particularly for healthy women.

If you're an expecting mother or parent, compare your options and find the best health insurance and travel insurance for your pregnancy.

If you've just given birth, you're likely thinking about the future. Opening a bank account for your baby is a great idea.

Picture: Shutterstock

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question