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Mothers and babies

Birth–1 year

Pre-term birth

Gestational age is the duration of pregnancy in completed weeks. Pre-term births are those that occur before 37 completed weeks of gestation. At term births occur between 37–41 weeks, and post-term births occur at 42 or more weeks.

Of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies born in 2020:

  • 13% (2,383) were born pre-term.
  • 87% (15,774) were born at term.
  • Fewer than 0.4% (69) were born post-term (Figure MB 6).

Women who smoked tobacco during pregnancy were more likely to deliver pre-term babies than women who did not smoke. In 2019, 15% of Indigenous women who reported smoking during pregnancy delivered pre-term babies compared with 10% of Indigenous women who did not report smoking (Figure MB 7).