It is important for all pregnant women to have the support they need in order to keep their baby safe. The baby’s health from birth can have a significant impact on their well-being throughout their lives. Learn more about what we are doing to improve the health of all Australians during pregnancy, birth, or after delivery.
This new Health website is
Some of these links will take to you back to the old website while we are updating our content.
Women are encouraged not to stop breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our advice on COVID-19, and breastfeeding is available.
Birth, pregnancy and baby care in Australia
Both her and her baby’s health, including their age, weight and if they smoked or drank alcohol during pregnancy, is a matter of concern.
More than 300,000 Australian women gave birth to in 2017.
- One in ten of these women had smoked during pregnancy
- 20% were classified obese, and 25.6% as overweight, but not obese
- After finding out they were pregnant , 1 in 4 continued to consume alcohol
The health of a baby at birth can have a significant impact on their wellbeing and health throughout their lives. Our focus on baby and maternal health is crucial.
Hotline for pregnancy, birth, and baby
For advice and guidance, you can call this hotline at (AEST/AEDT) 7 days a week. Hours are 7 am to midnight (AEST/AEDT), seven days a week (including holidays span>
What are we doing about pregnancy, birth, and baby
Our strategies, plans, and programs are the foundation of our efforts to improve every Australian’s pregnancy, birth, or baby health.
This is done in many ways.
- Developing the Maternity Care Guidelines for Service Providers
- developing the pregnancy physical activity guidelines
- coordinating newborn bloodspot screening programs
- 24 hour movement guidelines for children from birth to 5 years To encourage fun and active play
- Information on immunization for pregnancy
- funding of the baby, birth, and website , including the hotline
- Promoting, promoting and supporting Breastfeeding Throughout Australia
- Information on stillbirth, maternity services and our work on National Strategic Approach to Maternity Services
- providing advice on travel for pregnant women traveling to areas affected by the Zika virus
- provides guidance about policy and program development, and the implementation of services that meet the needs of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander persons and are culturally sensitive
- programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait mother and child health such as the Australian nurse-family partnership program
COVID-19, and breastfeeding
It is encouraged for women to continue breastfeeding in the COVID-19 epidemic.
Breastmilk does not carry COVID-19, but there is no evidence. The virus can be transmitted easily through close contact.
It is important to know if you think you may have COVID-19.
- Wash your hands after touching your baby
- Wear a face mask if you are within 1.5m of your baby
- Always clean and disinfect all surfaces that you touch
- Have your health checked if you feel unwell.
Breastmilk can be expressed by unwell mothers for their babies. You can express breastmilk by hand, a manual or electric pump. COVID-19 can be prevented by hand washing and sterilizing the pump. The Raising Children Network website provides additional guidance regarding how to express and store breastmilk.
It is possible to stop the virus spreading by having a competent adult help you care for your baby.
You may be advised by your doctor to take additional precautions. Women should avoid contact with unwell people and practice hand- and cough hygiene.
Breastfeeding is a good option. However, there are many benefits to breastfeeding that outweigh the risk of passing coronavirus on to your baby.
Breastfeeding is a way to protect and combat infection, and it also strengthens the bond between mothers and babies.
Experts recommend mothers.
- Breastfeed only for the first six months
- Continue breastfeeding after a baby begins solids
- Continue breastfeeding until your baby is one year old.
While exclusive breastfeeding is best for the first six months of life, it is not recommended.
Further information about COVID-19 breastfeeding can be found at the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). The National Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 Mum 2 Mom (800 686 268) is also available by the ABA. The free service is available to all mothers, with trained counselors available 24/7/365.