National Women's Health Policy

Maternal health

Page last updated: 07 February 2011

Maternal health figured prominently in the submissions and consultations, whether as part of sexual and reproductive health or as an issue in its own right. Women emphasised the importance of access and choice of services with support to the woman and her family before, during and after birth. They wanted maternity care to be part of the women’s health policy, rather than being dealt with solely under the Maternity Services Review. They argued maternity care should encompass pre-pregnancy, antenatal, childbirth and after birth information and support. Other issues of concern raised were breastfeeding rates and an increase in postnatal depression.

It is crucial to see adequate attention paid in the proposed policy to intra-partum and postnatal care, as well as ante-natal care.
(National Foundation for Australian Women submission p. 7)