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Expectant parents from First Nations communities

Parents-to-be from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities may be looking for pregnancy care that is culturally safe and sensitive.

An experience of cultural safety leads to better outcomes during pregnancy and childbirth. Some expectant parents may seek specialist health services, called Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), during pregnancy to help them receive this care (there are more than 300 clinics around Australia). To find a list of ACCHS clinics, go to www.naccho.org.au. 

Many women also access Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Services (AMIHS). https://nnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/about/aboriginal-pregnancy-support-services/maternity-care-options-services-aboriginal-families/aboriginal-maternal-infant-health-services-amihs/

During pregnancy it is important for expectant parents to:

  • Go early and meet with their chosen carer and develop a relationship
  • Have all the necessary tests required to make sure bub is growing well
  • Find the right service for their needs
  • Write down any questions you may have so you can have a yarn with your chosen carer

Some hospitals have Aboriginal maternal infant health services that have specialist experience in caring for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. These teams can support with pregnancy and baby checks, hospital bookings, doctors’ appointments, and give advice on any concerns. Midwives’ clinics and shared care options are also available. Expectant parents can meet with their local hospital to talk through their birthing and care options. There are also specific Aboriginal health services available.

Some hospitals have an Aboriginal Liaison Officer on site. Aboriginal Liaison Officer’s offer cultural advocacy and support when you visit the hospital. All you need to do is ask a staff member at the hospital to contact the Aboriginal Health Service or Aboriginal Liaison Officer. If you want some company having scans or tests done they are always up for a cuppa and a yarn.

 

Other Resources:

Department of Health

RACGP

NACCHO

NSW Health

Birthing on Country

Deadly Tots

Deadly Tots Flip Chart

A Guide for mothers and families 

Date of Last Review: October 2021

 

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