Pregnancy, births and maternity: definitions

 

  • Fertility rate: the general fertility rate is the number of live births per 1,000 women of child-bearing age (15-44 years). Age specific fertility rates are similar but constrained to certain age groups.

  • Low birth weight: birth weight less than 2,500g.

  • Maternity: a pregnancy resulting in one or more live or stillbirths.

  • Miscarriage: the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks' gestation. May sometimes be referred to as a 'spontaneous abortion'.

  • Singleton pregnancy: a pregnancy with only one baby.

  • Multiple pregnancy: a pregnancy involving twins, triplets or higher order multiples.

  • Preterm: less than 37 weeks of gestation, i.e. less than 259 days (measured from the first day of the last normal menstrual period).

  • Termination: The deliberate ending of a pregnancy, normally carried out before the embryo or foetus is capable of independent life. Sometimes referred to as a 'termination of pregnancy'.

  • Live birth: a child which at birth, having been completely expelled, shows signs of life or breathes.

  • Stillbirth: a baby delivered at or after the 24th week of pregnancy which did not breathe or show any other sign of life.

  • Neonatal death: a live born baby who died before 28 completed days after birth.

      • Early neonatal death: live born baby who died before 7 completed days after birth

      • Late neonatal death: live born baby who died from 7 completed days but before 28 completed days after birth

  • Perinatal death: stillbirth or early neonatal death.

  • Extended perinatal death: stillbirth or neonatal death.

  • Post-neonatal death: a live born baby who died from 28 completed days of life but before 1 year after birth.

  • Infant death: death in the first year of life.

  • Maternal death: death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy (including birth, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or termination) from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management. Accidental or incidental causes are not included.

      • Direct cause: deaths from obstetric complications of the pregnancy, labour or in the 6 weeks following birth, caused by interventions, omissions, incorrect treatment or from a chain of events resulting from these.

      • Indirect cause: deaths resulting from previously existing disease, or disease that developed during pregnancy and which was not the result of direct obstetric causes, but which was aggravated by the physiological effects of pregnancy.