First Nations Pregnancy and Birthing
First Nations health and wellbeing involves the social, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of each individual and their whole community.
Pregnancy and birthing are predominantly considered Women’s Business in many First Nations cultures and can be upheld strictly depending on geographical location or how this cultural knowledge has been passed on through generations. There are separate Women’s and Men’s Business that are sacred to men and women individually.
Traditional practices continue to occur throughout various Nations, however, for many First Nations women, traditions can be difficult to implement into modern Midwifery practice depending on: hospital staff knowledge, geographical location, feeling culturally safe, and the cultural knowledge of the First Nations woman.
Grandmothers, Aunties, Elders and Sisters all play a role in nurturing mother and baby, such as physical comfort, social and emotional wellbeing support, guidance, cultural knowledge and practice, song, dance, smoking ceremony and placenta care.
Placenta care and burial holds different significance for different Nations. In some Nations, the placenta is planted in Mother Earth to mark the arrival of baby’s soul, connect them to their Ancestors guiding them throughout life.
Gidget Foundation Australia recognises that culturally safe antenatal and postnatal care for First Nations women and their community is crucial. Sadly, rates of preterm birth and low birth weight babies continue to rise. Appropriate safe care has been found to have a positive impact on the health outcomes of mother, baby and community. Gidget Foundation is here for you.
You and Your Jarjum (Bub)
This is your journey, and we are here to support you to make sure you, your supports and your community continue to thrive for years to come.
Bringing a little bub into the world can make you feel lots of different emotions and looking after your mind, spirit and body is important.
If you are starting to feel stressed, anxious or shame during your pregnancy or after bub is born. We are here to help you.
There is no shame is speaking up, in fact, this is for you, your bub, your community and your Ancestors. We want you to thrive during this journey of your life.
Go and have a yarn with your Aboriginal Health Nurses or Doctors or even your GP. Tell em’ you need help, get a mental health care plan and they will be able to refer you to Gidget Foundation Australia if you meet the criteria.
There are lots of things you and your family can benefit from. Have you tried Dadirri? Dadirri is a way of connecting to Country. Listen to the sounds of Country, can you hear the birds or the leaves rustling among the trees? Maybe it’s the water flowing down the waterways or your feet on Mother Earth. Really lean in and look, listen, smell and feel. This is connecting to Country.
If that’s not for you, put on some music, move your body and shake out some moves to get your blood flowing. Ring up some trusted family or friends and start some yarns about how you are feeling and what support you need.
Maybe you have some little bubs around already? Have you heard of ABC Kids ‘Little Yarns’? Little Yarns is a great way to connect with culture for the whole family.
This journey is about you and your bub. You’ve got this, Sis!
Nation Wide Resources
New South Wales
Date of Last Review: Aug 2023