What we're doing to support healthy pregnancies

A healthy pregnancy helps your baby grow strong. We provide support before, during and after pregnancy. This includes support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, subsidised vaccination, clinical care and mental health support. We also help parents go alcohol- and smoke-free.

Support for a healthy pregnancy

Eating well, being active and having regular check-ups and scans – during and after pregnancy – are all essential for your and your baby’s health and wellbeing.  

We fund the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website, which supports parents to:  

Our work to support parents to have a healthy pregnancy also includes: 

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Culturally safe maternity and midwifery care is essential for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies.  

We fund programs that improve access to this care to help give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies the best start to life:  

Vaccination and pregnancy

Some infectious diseases can cause serious harm to pregnant women or their unborn babies. It’s important to be up to date with vaccinations before you get pregnant, if possible. You can get some vaccines during pregnancy, too.   

Read more about: 

COVID-19 and pregnancy

COVID-19 is more dangerous for women who are pregnant. The best way to reduce your risk is to get vaccinated.  

Read about: 

Preventing harm from drinking and smoking during pregnancy

The safest option when pregnant is to not drink alcohol and not smoke at all.  

Even a small amount of tobacco smoke and alcohol can harm an unborn baby's development and have lifelong negative impacts.  

Drinking alcohol can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which results in physical, mental, developmental and emotional impairments. 

To support expectant parents and health professionals, we fund:  

  • Pregnant Pause, which encourages Australians to go alcohol-free during their pregnancy or the pregnancy of loved ones 

  • NOFASD Australia, which provides a free national hotline (1800 860 613) for enquiries about FASD and connection to support services 

  • FASD Hub Australia, which provides evidence-based resources about FASD for parents and carers, researchers, health professionals and healthcare providers 

  • a national campaign to raise awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol while pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding. 

  • a 10-year national action plan to reduce the incidence and impact of FASD in Australia. 

Mental health during pregnancy

We fund programs to ensure expectant parents can get mental health support. This includes the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website, which supports parents to:  

Clinical care during pregnancy

An important part of having a healthy pregnancy is getting the health care you need when you need it.  

We support expectant parents to access health care through:  

  • the pregnancy care guidelines for maternity care providers, which cover physical examinations, screening tests and lifestyle advice  

  • Medicare-subsidised pregnancy care, including ultrasounds and blood tests 

  • Medicare-subsidised fertility and IVF treatments 

  • Medicare-subsidised pregnancy support counselling services, which can be about any concerns you have about your pregnancy.  

Read more about what Medicare covers during your pregnancy.  

Last updated:

Help us improve health.gov.au

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