This report presents information on pregnancy outcomes, together with descriptive social and biological characteristics of mothers giving birth and babies born in Ireland in 2001. In 2001, 58,261 births were notified to the National Perinatal Reporting System. The birth rate for 2001 is estimated at 15.1 per 1,000 population which represents a increase of 4.7 per cent since 1992. Over the decade 1992-2001, the Perinatal Mortality Rate has decreased by 10.4 per cent, the Early Neonatal Death Rate has fallen by 26.3 per cent, and the Stillbirth Rate has been reduced by 1.7 per cent. Delivery by Caesarean Section now accounts for 22 per cent of all births, which represents an 80.8 per cent increase on all births delivered by caesarean section in 1992. The average birthweight of babies born in 2001 is estimated at 3,477g. The Twinning Rate for 2001 is estimated at 15.3 per 1,000 maternities, as there were 878 twin births, 23 triplet births, 1 quadruplet birth and 1 quintuplet birth. In 2001, single mothers accounted for just over 30 per cent of all women giving birth. This represents a 82.7 per cent increase in the estimated rate of 16.5 per cent in 1992. The average age of single mothers in 2001 is 25 years. The trend in the breastfeeding rate continues to be upward at 39.1 per cent in 2001 compared to 33.9 per cent in 1992. There were 245 home births attended by independent domiciliary midwives in 2001 compared with 201 such births in 1992
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