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Mothers and babies

Birth–1 year


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).

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).