Low birth weight is an important determinant of infant and child health.
In 1997, the proportion of single births with low birth weight was 4.8 per 100 live births; this rate has been increasing in both Peel and Ontario.
Low birth weight was more common among teen mothers and mothers aged 40 years and over.
In 1997, stillbirth rates in Peel reached a high of 8.5 per 1,000 total births; Ontario rates remained consistent at an average of 6.5 per 1,000 total births.
Congenital anomaly rates, which were lower in the early 1990s than the late 1980s, have increased in both Peel and Ontario in recent years (1995 to 1997)
Rates of neural tube defects have declined in both Peel and Ontario.
Infant mortality (deaths under one year of age) declined, but perinatal mortality (stillbirths and deaths before seven days of age) increased in Peel between 1995 and 1997.
In 1999, 84% of new mothers in Peel reported breastfeeding their babies at birth; this declined to 43% of mothers with babies at six months of age. Older women and women with more education were more likely to breastfeed than other mothers.