The Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank is held on a Microsoft SQL Server within the Directorate of Information Technology. Data analysis is performed using TSQL by the Data Management Team on behalf of the steering group - see Publications.

The database is accessed from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology over the University network via security passwords. It is updated using SIR/FORMS, on a weekly basis, from a separate continuously maintained database, which is functionally equivalent, but holds medical data as free text at the point of data entry. This text is automatically converted to ICD/GRO codes prior to update of the main research database. The database is updated by up to 5 concurrent users, with information relating to approximately 100 births every week.

Information on approximately 200,000 pregnancies/deliveries is held on the research database amounting to half a Gigabyte of storage across 45 record types, 4 of which are mandatory and contain data for the patient, pregnancy, delivery and baby and a further 40 optional record types used for clinical details, test results and grouping of complete reproductive histories for individual women and families spanning three generations. These records are detailed in the Contents section.


The Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank was initiated in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology by the late Professor Sir Dugald Baird, in 1950, in collaboration with the Medical Research Council (MRC) Medical Sociology Unit, as a resource for the study of physiology, pathology and sociology of pregnancy. From 1951 to 2017 this unique database links all the obstetric and fertility-related events occurring to women from a defined population.

Initially the data was held on punched cards, but by 1986 it was redeveloped onto a SIR database. This database now holds data for all Aberdeen City births from 1949 to 2017, with the MRC Medical Sociology Unit retaining responsibility for data relating to the period 1949 to1983 inclusive and the University of Aberdeen maintaining and controlling the data thereafter.