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Mothers and babies

Birth–1 year

Perinatal mortality

Perinatal deaths involve babies who have completed at least 20 weeks of gestation or had a birthweight of at least 400 grams. If the baby died before birth the death is recorded as a stillbirth. Deaths that happen in the first 28 days after birth are also considered perinatal deaths and are referred to as neonatal deaths.

The data presented in this section are from the National Perinatal Data Collection, and are preliminary data only. Neonatal deaths may not be included for babies transferred to another hospital, re-admitted to hospital after discharge or who died at home after discharge. The AIHW has established a separate National Perinatal Mortality Data Collection to obtain complete information on these deaths. The latest report from this collection is titled Stillbirths and neonatal deaths in Australia 2017 and 2018 (AIHW 2021).

For more information, refer to the Data and notes section.

Between 2012 and 2018, perinatal death rates have remained largely unchanged.

In 2018, among births of Indigenous babies there were:

  • 13.4 perinatal deaths per 1,000 births.
  • 3.8 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • 9.7 stillbirths per 1,000 births (Figure MB 11).