New data by Stats NZ show live births are at six-year high

The latest figures by Stats NZ show live births is at a six-year high.
The latest figures by Stats NZ show live births is at a six-year high. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

The latest figures show New Zealand is at its highest rate of live births in six years.

The release from Stats NZ takes in the time period from September 2020 to September this year. 

They show that there were 59,382 live births in New Zealand, an increase from 57,753 last year.

The total fertility rate has seen a slight increase of 1.66 births per woman this year, up from 1.63. Meanwhile the infant mortality rate was 4.50 deaths per 1000 live births, compared to 4.26 last year.

The increase in live births comes even with some pregnant women facing anxiety over delivering in a hospital during a lockdown. 

The Delta outbreak means New Zealand's hospitals have had to change their rules about who is allowed to be present at birth.

One option women are taking is giving birth at home with 2020's lockdown showing the number of home births increased. 

One pregnant woman, Rosie Deans, said she was considering a home birth to avoid going to the hospital during a lockdown.

"I was initially worried about going into labour when the strikes were going to take place, but this [the outbreak] absolutely blindsided me," she told Newshub in August.

"I'm actually thinking about a home birth and just calling the ambulance if something happens as opposed to going into the hospital just to avoid sick people."

The New Zealand College of Midwives says they're an option for women with low-risk pregnancies.

"Women that have got risk factors, really hospital is often the best place for them," said Alison Eddy, the chief executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives.

She says hospitals do all they can to keep people safe.

Stats NZ estimated that New Zealand's resident population at September 30 was 5,126,300 - an increase of 0.5 percent (27,500) in the last year.