Maternity services and stillbirth prevention publications

List of maternity and stillbirth services publications.

Page last updated: 15 October 2019

Publications are listed under the following topics:
National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services and service planning information
Pregnancy Care Guidelines and other pregnancy related information
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander documentation
Stillbirth prevention

National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services and service planning information

National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services

Project Reference Group (PRG) and Advisory Group (AG) communiques

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 consultation responses

As a part of the NSAMS consultation process consumers, health professionals and organisations were invited to make submissions and complete an online survey in response to a draft paper Strategic Directions for Australian Maternity Services. This consultation paper closed in November 2018.

The opinions expressed in the survey and 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.

Report of the 2018 Online Survey on the Draft National Strategic Directions for Maternity Care (PDF 986 KB)
Report of the 2018 Online Survey on the Draft National Strategic Directions for Maternity Care (Word 419 KB)

Strategic Directions for Australian Maternity Services Submissions Round Two (Zip 9021 KB)

National Maternity Services Plan and Annual Reports (2010–2016)

The 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 2010

National Maternity Services Plan: Implementation plan for the middle years 2012-13

National Maternity Services Plan: 2014-15 annual report (PDF 890 KB)
National Maternity Services Plan: 2014-15 annual report (Word 144 KB)

National Maternity Services Plan: 2013-14 annual report (PDF 200 KB)
National Maternity Services Plan: 2013-14 annual report (Word 80 KB)

National Maternity Services Plan: 2012-13 annual report (PDF 455 KB)
National Maternity Services Plan: 2012-13 annual report (Word 108 KB)

National Maternity Services Plan: 2011-2012 annual report

National Maternity Services Plan: 2010-2011 annual report

Tools to inform future planning for Maternity Services

The aim of this report was to review the literature for tools to guide or inform heath service planning in rural and remote areas and to provide a snapshot of the extent of maternity services currently provided in the public sector in rural and remote communities of 1,000 to 25,000 people.

Tools to inform future planning for Maternity Services (PDF 1245 KB)
Tools to inform future planning for Maternity Services (Word 5.37 MB)

National Survey of Access to Public Antenatal Care Services

The National Survey of Access to Public Antenatal Care Services reports on the 2012 national survey to assess the level of public access to antenatal services across Australia and investigate factors that cause, or are associated with poor access. The findings suggest that the antenatal service sector is under stress, particularly with regard to workforce maintenance issues.

National Survey of Access to Public Antenatal Care Services 2012 (PDF 1245 KB)
National Survey of Access to Public Antenatal Care Services 2012 (Word 339 KB)

National Survey of the Availability of Access to a Midwifery Carer for Postnatal Care Outside of the Hospital Setting


The National Survey of the Availability of Access to a Midwifery Carer for Postnatal Care Outside of the Hospital Setting reports on the results of the 2014 national survey to determine:
  • availability of access to a midwifery carer for postnatal care outside the hospital setting for at least two weeks after birth; and
  • identify possible mechanisms for providing midwifery postnatal care outside the hospital setting for at least two weeks after birth.
The findings indicate that women giving birth through the public sector and those in non-metropolitan areas were more likely to access a midwife in the community setting, and women experiencing continuity of midwife care were most likely to have access to a midwife for postnatal care outside the hospital setting.

National Survey of the Availability of Access to a Midwifery Carer for Postnatal Care Outside of the Hospital Setting (PDF 1767 KB)
National Survey of the Availability of Access to a Midwifery Carer for Postnatal Care Outside of the Hospital Setting (Word 1197 KB)

National Maternity Services Capability Framework

The National Maternity Services Capability Framework was endorsed by AHMAC in 2010 and published in 2013. It provides a rigorous methodology to assist in woman-centred maternity service planning and to improve risk management in maternity care.

National Maternity Services Capability Framework 2012

Improving maternity services in Australia: the report of the Maternity Services Review

This report presents the findings of the 2008 national review of maternity services that was led by the Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer. The report canvassed a wide range of issues relevant to maternity services, including antenatal services, birthing options, post-natal services up to six weeks after birth, and peer and social support for women in the perinatal period.

Improving maternity services in Australia: the report of the Maternity Services Review (2009)

Pregnancy Care Guidelines and other pregnancy related information

Pregnancy Care Guidelines and accompanying documents
Breastfeeding
Smoking and tobacco and pregnancy
Alcohol during pregnancy and breast feeding
Bladder bowel control problems related to pregnancy and birth

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander documentation

Birthing on Country 2016

The report titled; Guiding Principles for Developing a Birthing on Country Service Model and Evaluation Framework Phase 1 provides guidance on issues and considerations for the development of a Birthing on Country Service. This work took place under the National Maternity Services Plan and was endorsed by the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Committee. The report can be accessed via the COAG website.

The characteristics of cultural competent maternity care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women


In 2013, AHMAC endorsed the Characteristics of Culturally Competent Maternity Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women report. The purpose of the framework is to assist health services to maximise their effectiveness in providing maternity services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families that are culturally sensitive and meet their needs, while ensuring safety and quality are maintained. A culturally competent workforce is recognised as a priority reform area in closing the gap in Indigenous life outcomes. The development of organisational, systemic and individual cultural competence is essential to ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people using a health service are treated in a respectful and safe manner that secures their trust in the capacity of the service to meet their needs.

The characteristics of culturally competent maternity care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (2012)

Stillbirth prevention

Senate Select Committee Report on Stillbirth Research and Education
Stillbirth Roundtable Summary, 12 February 2019