About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) reports on pregnancy, childbirth and the early care of babies born in Scotland. The health of a pregnant woman and her baby are closely linked and are influenced by a number of different factors during pregnancy, childbirth and the early period after birth.

Main points

In 2022/23:

  • Rates of maternal obesity and diabetes are increasing with over a quarter and nearly a tenth of maternities now affected by obesity and diabetes respectively.
Image caption Maternities with recorded obesity or diabetes
  • Maternal health outcomes vary by ethnicity. Some ethnic minority groups were more likely than women of white ethnicity to have a preterm birth. Obesity rates were highest in the African and lowest in the Asian ethnic group. However, rates of diabetes in pregnancy were highest for those of Asian ethnicity.
  • Ethnic minority women accounted for 11% of maternities with a known ethnicity. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian provided care for over two thirds of all ethnic minority maternities in Scotland.
  • Pregnant women are more likely to live in the most deprived areas than the general population. Deprivation impacts the health of pregnant women and babies across Scotland with women from more deprived areas being more likely to be overweight or obese, have diabetes, to give birth prematurely and to babies small for their gestation compared to those from less deprived areas.
  • The upward trend in maternal age continued with women aged 35 years and older accounting for around a quarter of all maternities.


The data presented are mainly obtained from the Scottish Morbidity Record 02 (SMR02). An SMR02 record is submitted by maternity hospitals to PHS whenever a woman is discharged from an episode of day case or inpatient maternity care. Comparison of SMR02 with the number of births registered by National Records of Scotland (NRS) confirms the high completeness of SMR02. This data source provides an additional richness of demographic and clinical information associated with the mother and baby which are not collected by NRS.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be November 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact Celina Davis at phs.maternitystats@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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