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Maternity and Births

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NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland


Latest Publications

Published: 29 November 2016
Births in Scottish Hospitals
Publication Summary Download pdf file [191kb]
Full Report Download pdf file [958kb]
Published: 24 November 2015
Births in Scottish Hospitals
Publication Summary Download pdf file [106kb]
Full Report Download pdf file [931kb]
Published: 26 August 2014
Births in Scottish Hospitals, year ending 31 March 2013
Publication Summary Download pdf file [113kb]
Full Report Download pdf file [408kb]


The health of a woman is an important factor in pregnancy, as we know from evidence that in general, healthy women have healthy babies. There are many lifestyle factors relating to the physical and emotional well-being of a woman during pregnancy. For example, maintaining a healthy diet and taking regular exercise are known to be beneficial to the health of the woman and the baby. Medical care is also important during pregnancy and through regular antenatal care and screening, the health of the woman and the baby can be monitored.

There are also factors associated with risk to the health of the mother and baby e.g. smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, age and deprivation. Maternal smoking can influence the health of a woman and can influence the risk of having a low birth weight baby. Another important factor is the rising proportion of births to older women. Older maternal age may be associated with pre-existing ill health, low fertility, complications of pregnancy and an increased risk of adverse outcomes, including stillbirths and congenital anomalies. Statistics on both maternal smoking and age can be found here on our Births in Scottish Hospitals webpages. Alcohol and drug misuse are also known risk behaviours and information on the health impact of drug misuse is available online.

This Maternity & Births section presents information on a variety of topics relevant to pregnancy in Scotland. These include

News and Updates


The Information Services Division is committed to producing information that best meets the needs of our customers. A number of changes have been proposed to our Births in Scottish Hospitals publication and these were outlined in our publication of 29 November 2016. No feedback was obtained as a result of publishing the proposals and we now plan to make a number of these changes in our next publication, due for release on 28 November 2017. More specifically these changes include:

  • No longer publishing data on miscarriages as these data are incomplete and are of low clinical value.
  • No longer publishing data on maternal smoking at health visitor's first visit as these data are published in the ISD publication 'Breastfeeding Statistics Scotland'.
  • Provision of data on maternal health and substance use (Body Mass Index, maternal smoking, alcohol and drug use during pregnancy) at Scotland level only as more detailed information at NHS Board level is available in Discovery for maternal smoking, alcohol and drug use during pregnancy. Information on Body Mass Index is proposed for inclusion in Discovery in the near future.
  • A condensed PDF report which will focus only on key findings from the data.
  • Technical information such as details of data sources, data quality, changes in methodology and metadata will be provided in a separate technical supporting document.
  • Reformatting of data tables to allow more flexible user and analysis of the data by users.

We welcome any comments on these proposals. Please email the ISD Maternity Team at by 14 July 2017.

New interactive visual content

For the first time in this publication we have included some new interactive visual content in the Births in Scottish Hospitals Dashboard. Information on live births is presented over time, by deprivation area, maternal age group and method of delivery. We are considering presenting more information in this format in future and would welcome any feedback.

Please click on the image below to go to the visualisation page


Click on the links above or in the left-hand margin to find more information about maternity and births in Scotland.

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