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Mothers and babies

Birth–1 year

Birthweight

Increasing the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies with a healthy birthweight to 91% by 2031, is one of the targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

In 2018, among liveborn Indigenous babies:

  • 11% (1,917) were born with a low birthweight.
  • 88% (14,957) were born with a healthy birthweight.
  • 1% (216) were born with a high birthweight.

There were no substantial differences in birthweight outcomes between Indigenous babies (may have a non‑Indigenous mother) and babies born to Indigenous mothers (Figure MB 8a).

In 2018, among babies born with a healthy birthweight to Indigenous mothers:

  • 34% (4,677) weighed between 3,000 and 3,499 grams.
  • 25% (3,480) weighed between 3,500 and 3,999 grams.
  • 20% (2,790) weighed between 2,500 and 2,999 grams.
  • 8% (1,061) weighed between 4,000 and 4,499 grams (Figure MB 8b).
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The rate of low birthweight babies was higher for Indigenous women who reported smoking during pregnancy than for those who had not smoked. In 2017, 16% of babies born to Indigenous women who reported smoking were of low birthweight, compared with 7.5% among Indigenous women who did not smoke (Figure MB 9).

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