COVID-19 Wider Impacts - Gestation at Delivery

Care for women and babies around the time they are giving birth/being born is an essential, time critical service that cannot be deferred. As such, it has been provided throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and maternity and neonatal staff have not been redeployed to support other services. The way that some elements of this care are provided has changed in response to COVID-19 however, to minimise the risk of infection and to allow services to continue to provide safe care during times when a high number of staff may be off work, for example due to needing to isolate. Relevant guidance has been issued by the Scottish Government, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the British Association for Perinatal Medicine.

‘Gestation at delivery’ refers to the number of completed weeks pregnant a woman is when she delivers her baby. Babies are ‘due’ at 40 completed weeks gestation. Those born between 37 and 41 weeks inclusive are considered to be born ‘at term’. Babies born at under 37 weeks (more than three weeks before their due date) are considered preterm or premature, with those born at under 32 weeks considered very preterm and those born at 32 to 36 weeks inclusive considered moderately preterm. Babies born at or over 42 weeks (more than two weeks after their due date) are considered post-term or over-due. Babies born preterm are at increased risk of both short and long term health and developmental problems, with the risk increasing the earlier a baby is born. Babies are also at increased risk when pregnancies extend post-term, in particular the risk of stillbirth increases from 42 weeks gestation onwards.

This dataset presents information on gestation at delivery. Data is shown at Scotland and NHS Board level, as well as broken down by age group and deprivation.

This data is also available on the COVID-19 Wider Impact Dashboard. Additional data sources relating to this topic area are provided in the Links section of the Metadata below. Further information based on SMR02 data is also available from the annual Births in Scottish Hospitals report. Information on COVID-19, including stay at home advice for people who are self-isolating and their households, can be found on NHS Inform.

All publications and supporting material to this topic area can be found in the weekly COVID-19 Statistical Report. The date of the next release can be found on our list of forthcoming publications.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Source The data used for the gestation at delivery page comes from the Scottish Morbidity Record 02 (SMR02) database. An SMR02 record is submitted by maternity hospitals to Public Health Scotland (PHS) whenever a woman is discharged from an episode of day case or inpatient maternity care. From October 2019, maternity hospitals have also been asked to submit SMR02 records following attended homebirths.
Author PHS Maternity Team
Version 1.0
Last Updated October 5, 2023, 09:52 (BST)
Created March 16, 2021, 15:34 (GMT)
Contact Address Public Health Scotland, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9EB
Subject COVID-19 Impact, Maternity & Births
Frequency Monthly
Time frame of data and timeliness Data is shown for up to and including the most recent month for which SMR02 records are considered near complete. Data for the most recent months should be viewed as provisional.
Coverage Data is shown at all Scotland level, and for women living in each mainland NHS Board area.
Completeness Considered complete. There is generally a shortfall in the number of births when compared to NRS birth registrations.
Accuracy SMR02 data are subjected to validation on submission. The figures are compared to previous figures and expected trends.
Continuity of data Reports data from January 2018.
Concepts and definitions Please see description above. Additional information and commentary are available on the Wider Impacts Dashboard (see Links section).
Disclosure Disclosure control methods have been applied to the data in order to protect patient confidentiality.
Revision statement Figures contained within each publication may be subject to change in future releases as submissions may be updated to reflect a more accurate and complete set of data.
Official statistics designation Management Information Statistics
Relevance and key uses of the statistics The data are used to describe the current impact and the severity of COVID-19 in Scotland.
Format csv
Language English

PHS Weekly COVID-19 Report

COVID-19 Wider Impact Dashboard

Births in Scottish Hospitals report

Pregnancy Hub – Gestational Age

COVID-19 in Pregnancy research publications

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