Medical Birth Registry of Norway - purpose and responsibilities
The Medical Birth Registry (MBRN) is a national health registry containing information about all births in Norway. The registry will help to clarify the causes and consequences of health problems related to pregnancy and birth, as well as to monitor the incidence of congenital abnormalities.
The purpose of the Medical Birth Register is to detect new increases in congenital malformations as early as possible and to research health problems in connection with pregnancy and childbirth.
All maternity units in Norway must notify births to the MBRN. The notification form includes the name and personal identity number of the child and parents, as well as information about maternal health before and during pregnancy, and any complications during pregnancy or birth. This includes information about medicine use in pregnancy, labour interventions, birth complications, maternal complications after birth, whether the baby is born alive, any diagnoses in the child or evidence of congenital abnormalities.
Information about the mother's occupation, smoking and alcohol habits are only registered if the mother consents. This also applies to information about assisted conception.
All pregnancies ending after week 12 are notifiable to the MBRN, including terminations after week 12.
There is a right of reservation linked to the permanent storage of directly personally identifiable information about women who have had an abortion performed in accordance with the Abortion Act § 2 third paragraph letter c. Such abortions are granted if "there is a great risk that the child may develop a serious illness, as a result of hereditary predisposition, illness or harmful effects during pregnancy".
Electronic notification of births
The country's maternity units are responsible for notifying births to the MBRN. The Ministry of Health and Care Services, pursuant to the MBRN Regulations, requires health authorities to notify births electronically. The aim is to streamline and improve the reporting quality of birth notification.
All public and private institutions that are licensed to carry out assisted conception must notify the MBRN about treatments that result in pregnancy if the couple do not object. The purpose is to identify whether assisted conception represents an increased risk for health problems during pregnancy.
Surveillance and research
The information reported to the MBRN provides knowledge and information about maternal and child health problems during pregnancy and birth. The information is used for:
- research, with the aim of preventing health problems
- providing a scientific basis for advice and information to healthcare professionals, authorities and the general public
- management, planning and quality assurance of health services and health administration
- compilation of statistics
MBRNs research relates to "causal factors of significance for disease and disability in newborns and infants." It is essentially in two parts: partly to clarify the causes of birth defects and other health problems related to pregnancy and childbirth and partly to illustrate the consequences of such risk factors for later health and disability.
Links to other registers
To ensure data quality, the MBRN is routinely linked with the Central Population Register. For the production of statistics and in connection with research projects, the MBRN can be linked with the other central health registries (Cancer Registry of Norway, Cause of Death Registry, Norwegian Prescription Database, Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases, the Central Tuberculosis Registry and the Norwegian Immunisation Registry).
Access to research data and statistics
The MBRN will help to make data easily accessible and has a designated section that retrieves and prepares data from the birth registry for researchers and others. If you need additional data or statistics beyond those published on our website, please contact us.
Scientific Committee for the Medical Birth Registry
The committee consists of an equal distribution of midwives and obstetricians, representing all the health regions and the various maternity institution categories. The Norwegian Gynecological Association, the Norwegian Midwifery Association and the Midwifery Association are also represented. The committee gives advice and input on all matters that are important both for the Medical Birth Registry and the reporting institutions.