Pregnancy, birth and baby
It’s important that all pregnant women can find the support they need to keep themselves and their babies safe. The health of a baby at birth can affect their wellbeing throughout the rest of their lives. Find out what we’re doing to improve pregnancy, birth and baby health for all Australians.
This is our new health website
While we are updating our content, some of the links will take you back to our old website.
Pregnancy, birth and baby care in Australia
A mother’s health — including her age, weight and whether she smoked or drank alcohol during pregnancy — affects both the mother and her baby.
In 2017, more than 300,000 women in Australia gave birth:
- 1 in 10 of these women smoked during their pregnancy
- 20% were classified as obese and 25.6% as overweight but not obese
- 1 in 4 continued to drink alcohol after they found out they were pregnant
How healthy a baby is at birth can affect their health and wellbeing throughout life. This is why our work on pregnancy, birth and baby health is so important.
Pregnancy, birth and baby hotline
You can call this hotline to speak to a maternal child health nurse for advice and guidance. Hours are from 7am to midnight (AEST/EADT), 7 days a week (including public holidays).
What we’re doing about pregnancy, birth and baby
Our plans, strategies and programs guide our work to improve pregnancy, birth and baby health for all Australians.
We do this in many ways, including:
- developing the pregnancy care guidelines for maternity service providers
- writing 24 hour movement guidelines for birth to 5 years to encourage fun activity and play
- providing information on immunisation for pregnancy
- funding the pregnancy, birth and baby website, including the hotline
- protecting, promoting, supporting and monitoring breastfeeding throughout Australia
- providing information on stillbirth and maternity services including our work on the National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services
- providing travel advice for pregnant women going to areas affected by Zika virus
- providing guidance on policy and program development and implementation of services that meets the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and is culturally safe
- programs designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait maternal and child health, such as the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program