The Australian Government recognises the importance of providing national coordination and leadership for maternity services to improve outcomes for mothers, babies, and their families. In Australia, the planning and delivery of maternity and child health services is a state and territory responsibility. The role of the Australian Government involves guiding policy collaboration that supports action at the state and territory level.
This webpage provides information on the policy work that underpins Australia’s maternity services and information on Australian Government maternity services. This includes programs and services for pregnant women, those planning pregnancy, their partners, families and health care professionals.
For information on maternity services within your state or territory please refer to your state or territory health service.
National Strategic Approach to Maternity ServicesAt the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council meeting on 22 September 2017 it was agreed to start a new process to develop a National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services (NSAMS). Members agreed that the work would be led by the Commonwealth and include all jurisdictions in a time limited Project Reference Group (PRG). An Advisory Group (AG) has also been established to provide advice to the PRG.
The development of the National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services (NSAMS) will soon begin Round 2 of consultation.
The consultation will involve face to face workshops, an online survey and opportunity to submit online responses. In addition there will also be a series of webinars to enable greater access for those in rural and remote areas.
A paper outlining draft 1 of the National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services is being developed based on the first round of extensive consultation undertaken in Round 1.
Registrations are now open! Please register now as numbers for each consultation workshop are limited according to venue size.
Dates and locations for the second round of face to face consultations are listed below.
Project Reference Group - Communique 1 (PDF 308 KB)
Project Reference Group - Communique 1 (Word 17 KB)
Project Reference Group - Communique 2 (PDF 232 KB)
Project Reference Group - Communique 2 (Word 21 KB)
Advisory Group - Communique 1 (PDF 234 KB)
Advisory Group - Communique 1 (Word 22 KB)
Published ResponsesAs a part of the National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services (NSAMS) consultation process consumers, health professionals and organisations were asked to put forward submissions in response to a consultation paper seeking input on the development of a NSAMS. This consultation paper closed in June 2018.
The opinions expressed in the submissions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Project Reference Group, Advisory Group, the Department of Health or the Government.
Only answers from respondents who gave permission are published. However, all responses were included in the analysis of responses to this consultation.
National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services consultation submissions A to G (Zip 13442 KB)
National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services consultation submissions H to Q (Zip 22611 KB)
National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services consultation submissions R to Y (Zip 10377 KB)
Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Associations.
Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.
Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Australian Christian Lobby.
Australian College of Midwives Victorian Branch.
Australian College of Midwives
Australian College of Nursing.
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.
Australian Medical Association.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.
Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association.
Australian Psychological Society.
Better Births Illawarra.
Caroline Chisholm Society Pregnancy and Family Support Service.
Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.
Centre for Midwifery Child and Family Health University of Technology Sydney.
Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait.
Darwin Homebirth Group.
Dept Nursing and Midwifery Education and Research King Edward Memorial Hospital WA.
Edith Cowan University.
Family Planning NSW.
Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia.
Homebirth Consortium Australia.
Human Rights in Childbirth.
Hunter New England Local Health District.
La Trobe University School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Maternity Choices Australia.
Maternity care in Australia Web
MATERNITY CONSUMER NETWORK.
Melbourne Midwifery Society.
Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania.
National Mental Health Commission.
NSAMS Submission 1.
NSAMS Submission 2.
NSAMS Submission 3.
NSAMS Submission 4.
NSAMS Submission 5.
Nursing and Midwifery Council of NSW.
Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia.
Presented by Health Consumers Council WA.
Private Healthcare Australia.
Public Health Association of Australia.
Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
Rural Doctors Association of Australia.
Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania.
Safe Sleep Space.
School of Nursing and Midwifery La Trobe University.
Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia.
Soroptimist International Moreton North Inc.
St John of God Health Care Social Outreach.
Student Homebirth Midwife Collective.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
The Discipline of Midwifery Faculty of Health University of Canberra.
The Midwife Collective.PDF
The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of trauma Mothers Healthy Families Research Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institue.
Tumut Hospital Midwives.
University of Canberra.
University of South Australia Mothers Babies and Families research group.
University of the Sunshine Coast.
Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
Western Health Womens and Childrens Services Sunshine Hospital Victoria.
Wimmera Health Care Group.
Womens Centre for Health Matters.
Womens Healthcare Australasia.
National Maternity Services PlanThe National Maternity Services Plan provided a strategic framework to guide policy and program development over five years from 2010 to 2015, but was subsequently extended for a further year until 30 June 2016 to enable work to continue on uncompleted actions. It identified actions under four priority areas (Access, Service Delivery, Workforce and Infrastructure) to improve women’s access to maternity services and service delivery.
National Maternity Services Plan documentation, including the original National Maternity Services Plan 2010, the annual reports and other policy documents, can be found on the Maternity Services Publications page.
Pregnancy Care GuidelinesThe Clinical Practice Guidelines - Pregnancy Care Guidelines (Pregnancy Care Guidelines), formerly known as the Clinical Practice Guidelines – Antenatal Care (Antenatal Care Guidelines).
National Perinatal Data CollectionSince 2011, the Australian Government has funded the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to develop a nationally consistent and comprehensive maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity data collection in Australia. An overview of Australian national and jurisdictional data collections relevant to maternal and perinatal health can be found at the Maternity Information Matrix.
The AIHW reports key statistics and trends on pregnancy and childbirth of mothers, and the characteristics and outcomes of their babies. The AIHW is also responsible for the national reporting of maternal and perinatal mortality, and it is the designated Australian WHO focal point for maternal mortality. Maternal and perinatal data publications can be accessed from the AIHW website.
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website and helplineThe Australian Government funds Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, a free 24 hour, 7 days a week national helpline, video and website service providing access to information, support and counselling for women, partners and their families in relation to pregnancy, birth and the first 5 years of a baby’s life. Call 1800 882 4361 or visit their website.
Women and their families who are facing other challenges, such as emotional distress, perinatal issues, and questions about pregnancy options, can also call the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby helpline to be transferred to qualified counsellors. Counsellors are available from 7am to 12pm midnight daily, free of charge, to offer non-judgmental, confidential support.
The Pregnancy, Birth and Baby helpline is available to all Australians, including people living in rural and remote areas. People with a disability and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can access the helpline through the National Relay Service and the Translating and Interpreting Service.
Callers experiencing perinatal depression or grief following miscarriage or stillbirth or the loss of a baby may be referred to targeted telephone-based peer support services, including SIDS and Kids, Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA) and Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support (SANDS) Australia.
Medicare information for midwivesLink to Medicare information page for midwives and nurse practitioners
You can get to this page using the short URL