About the National Perinatal Epidemiology & Statistics Unit (NPESU)

The director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit (NPESU) is Associate Professor Georgina Chambers. The NPESU was originally established in 1979 as the National Perinatal Statistics Unit and has been located at the University of New South Wales since 1997. The NPESU undertakes national reporting of  reproductive and perinatal health information and statistics in Australia. It conducts national epidemiological, health services, policy and health economic research in reproductive, perinatal and maternal health. The priority areas of research include: maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, assisted reproductive technologies (ART), Aboriginal Health, pyschosocial health, and mothers in custody. The NPESU carries out its functions by working with an extensive range of collaborators, including the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, State and Territory Health Departments, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Australian College of Midwives, the Society of Obstetric Medicine Australia and New Zealand, Fertility Society of Australia, Australia and New Zealand Neonatal Network, maternity hospitals and fertility clinics, and international organisations such as the New Zealand Perinatal and Maternal Morbidity Review Commitee and the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Oxford University. 

The NPESU is a national research unit that undertakes an annual workplan of national reproductive and perinatal statistical and epidemiological work in conjunction with the Australian Institutue of Health and Welfare. This includes preparation of the annual Australia's mothers and babies publication and other ad hoc reports such as Maternal deaths in Australia and Core Maternity Indicators Bulletin. NPESU also prepares annual reports on assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand and the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network report.

Data systems and information

NPESU manages a number of national and Australasian data collections including the AIHW National Perinatal Data Collection, AIHW Australian Congenital Anomalies Monitoring System, Australasian Maternity Outcomes Surveillance System, Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN) and Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproductive Database (ANZARD).

National surveillance

The NPESU produces reports based on all births in Australia, major congenital malformations, pregnancies after assisted conception, maternal morbidity and maternal mortality, and reproductive health. Key reports include Australia's Mothers and Babies, Maternal Deaths in Australia, Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network, and Assisted Reproductive Technology in Australia and New Zealand.


Research into reproductive, perinatal and maternal health is funded through NHMRC, ARC, contract and other grant funding bodies. NPESU welcomes students and currently has doctoral, masters and honours student undertaking research at the Unit in the areas of assisted reproductive technology, models of care, mothers in custody, rheumatic heart disease, substance use in pregnancy and birth centres.  Recent studies have included the first national linkage study of maternal mortality, Economic Impact & Policy Implications of Assisted Reproductive Technologies,  Social and Cultural Resilience and Emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal Mothers in prison (SCREAM), Family Mental Health and Pregnancy Outcomes, Australian Maternity Outcomes Surveillance System (AMOSS) studies including Rheumatic heart disease in pregnancy, Gestational breast cancer, Vasa praevia and massive obstetric haemorrhage.

Information Consultancy Service

The NPESU provides an Information Consultancy Service based on the databases it holds. The data are available to external clients for a range of purposes including research and can be provided in aggregated form from the database for a specified subset of variables and/or records.
Please contact the NPESU for further information. There is a charge for completing requests and a quote will be prepared upon the data being requested. The cost will vary depending on the requirements of the request and the complexity of the analysis to be undertaken.

Key Contacts

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