The average age of Italian mothers who arrive to give birth to their first child on average over 32 years increases in a context where the phenomenon of falling birth rates continues, evident if we compare the 535,428 children born in Italy in 2012 with the 393,997 born in 2022. While births with medically assisted procreation see a continuous growth, increasing by 73% over these ten years. This is what emerges from the Report on the birth event in Italy, produced by the Ministry of Health.
Specifically, for Italian women the average age at the first child went from 31.5 in 2012 to 32.2 in 2022 and also grew for foreign women, going from 27.7 years to 29.2 years. In 2022, about 20% of births are related to mothers of non-Italian citizenship, a percentage that in the Centre-North rises to 26%. Of the women who gave birth in 2022, 42.5% have a medium-high education, 22.7% medium-low and 34.8% have a university degree.
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The Report, based on data collected from the information flow of the Certificate of Assistance at Birth (CeDAP) of 2022, shows a percentage of caesarean sections in continuous reduction, as also recommended by the World Health Organization, going from 36% in 2012 to about 31% in 2022.
Six out of ten births (62.2%) occur in hospitals where at least 1,000 births occur annually, or in facilities considered to be able to better manage any complications. Nine out of 10 deliveries in 2022 took place in public health facilities, 10.8% in nursing homes and only 0.15% elsewhere, i.e. in other care facility or at home. The percentage of preterm births (under 37 weeks of gestation) from 2012 to 2022 increases from about 7 pre-term births per 100 deliveries to 6. Stillbirths are also falling: in 2022 there were 994, corresponding to a mortality rate of 2.40 per 1,000 births. This is also linked to the fact that the number of check-ups carried out in gestation increases considerably: in 91.9% of pregnancies the number of obstetric visits carried out is more than 4 while in 76.7% of cases more than 3 ultrasounds are carried out.
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