What we're doing about birth and maternity services

Good maternity services aim for a safe and healthy pregnancy and birthing experience for mothers and babies. They also consider the woman’s needs and preferences. Find out how we’re supporting maternity services in Australia.

We fund the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website to support pregnant women and new parents, including information on what to expect in the first 24 hours after birth

Support for maternity services

The state and territory governments are responsible for providing publicly funded birthing and maternity services, which are free of charge. 

We provide national guidance to support a high-quality maternity care system under the Women-centred care: Strategic directions for Australian maternity services strategy. It aims to ensure that Australian maternity services are equitable, safe and focused on the needs of women.  

Read more about how you can access maternity care in Australia

Support and training for midwives

We develop and update policies and run programs to support the nursing and midwifery workforce.  

This includes the: 

Learn more about what we’re doing for nurses and midwives.  

Birth complications and support for those affected

Australia is a very safe country to give birth in, but complications can still occur, including birth injuries to babies and mothers

You can take steps to reduce the risk of birth injury. This includes doing pregnancy safe exercises and pelvic floor exercises. But you can’t control some risk factors, such as the size or your baby or labour complications. 

Some women find childbirth emotionally traumatic. This is more likely if you experience a difficult labour, your baby needed medical intervention or you felt unheard or uncared for during labour.   

If you feel shocked, guilty, numb, anxious, distressed or depressed after childbirth, resources and support are available. 

Stillbirth prevention and support for those affected

Stillbirth is the birth of a baby who has died any time from 20 weeks into the pregnancy or weighing over 400 g. It is one of the most devastating events a family can experience.  

Read about what we’re doing to help prevent stillbirth in Australia, including through the National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan

Find support for those affected by stillbirth

Cord blood banking

You can choose to bank the blood left in your baby’s umbilical cord after birth, either for your own family or as a public donation. This process is completely safe and can help someone who has a chronic or terminal disease. 

Date last updated:

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.