The Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website is operated by Healthdirect Australia and deliver comprehensive content that is clinically trustworthy, relevant, current and accessible. Our goal is to make health information easy to understand, useful, engaging, and visually appealing.
Healthdirect Australia's Clinical Governance Framework offers the assurance that our health services, whether provided directly by us or by contracted service providers, are both reliable and of high quality.
Learn more about our Content Governance on this page.
On this page
- Content contributors
- Service finder
- Information partners
- Standards and accreditation
- Guidelines and process
- Sources and attribution
- Advertising policy
- Editorial team
We work with accredited health writers, clinical experts and production companies to produce our health information. Here is a list of some of our regular contributors:
Medical writing and reviews
Elsevier Health Sciences Australia
Elsevier provides information services for the science, health, and technology sectors, including publishing medical journals and textbooks. In addition to writing and reviewing new health content for our websites, Elsevier conducts scheduled reviews of existing content for clinical currency and quality assurance purposes.
Ragg & Co
Ragg & Co's panel of writers and editors comes from a range of backgrounds, including health, science and law. The firm’s director, Mark Ragg (MBBS BA), has worked as a doctor in emergency departments, and as a journalist with The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Deb has a Bachelor of Nursing degree and is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She has worked both in hospital and in community settings as a Registered Nurse, Midwife, Childbirth Educator, Child and Family Health Nurse and Lactation Consultant.
Karyn is a freelance medical writer with more than 15 years’ experience writing informative and engaging educational materials both for health professionals and patients. She holds a PhD in chemistry and a Graduate Certificate in journalism.
Broken Yellow specialises in high-quality video, animation and design for a range of productions. Healthdirect Australia commissioned a series of animations from Broken Yellow that guides consumers through the Australian healthcare system.
Information partner videos
Healthdirect Australia also includes on its websites video content produced by Australian health peak bodies and other organisations. Video provides easy access to high-quality healthcare information, presented by subject matter experts, and is beneficial to consumers at all levels of 'health literacy'. Learn more about our information partners below.
The NHSD data align with other national databases, such as AHPRA’s register of practitioners, ensuring consistency of data sets across the health sector. The NHSD also uses a best practice framework and consistent language to communicate across the health system by adhering to the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard and the SNOMED CT-AU taxonomy.
Healthdirect Australia works with a group almost 200 leading Australian health organisations that provide trusted content which can be accessed through our range of online services. They include peak bodies, government agencies, research institutes, educational institutes and not-for-profit organisations. An information partnership reflects a shared vision to provide relevant and reliable health and related information to Australian consumers.
Information partners are assessed for the quality, relevance and technical attributes of their online resources. Each organisation and their clinical governance and content development processes are evaluated against the HONcode principles. They adhere to our publishing standards, which underpin the criteria that Healthdirect Australia uses when assessing organisations for information partnership.
Standards and accreditation
Healthdirect Australia complies with relevant external standards for websites, including:
The HONcode, developed by the Health On the Net Foundation, is a code of ethics that guides website operators in setting up mechanisms to provide quality, objective and transparent medical information tailored to the needs of the audience. View our HONcode certificate here.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
The World Wide Web Consortium’s guidelines, WCAG, define how organisations can make online content more accessible to people with disabilities. These guidelines also make content more usable for older individuals, whose abilities are changing with age, and often improve usability in general.
World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes
These advisory notes are issued by the Australian Human Rights Commission. They are intended to assist organisations that develop web resources by clarifying the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA).
Guidelines and process
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby's editorial oversight occurs at 2 levels:
- Strategic development of new features and content is managed by Healthdirect Australia's Service and Content teams to ensure usability and overall quality of the website and its content.
- Content development and publishing is overseen by the Clinical Governance team to ensure all health and clinically related content is trustworthy, appropriate and current.
Content on the healthdirect and Pregnancy, Birth and Baby websites needs to adhere to Healthdirect Australia's Editorial Guidelines.
These guidelines have been produced to ensure Healthdirect Australia’s digital services, such as websites, tools, applications and widgets, follow best editorial practice, use consistent, correct and consumer-focused language and that all content is optimised for digital consumption and search engines.
Australians who use Healthdirect Australia’s online and other services come from a wide variety of backgrounds and demographics. They also vary in their ability to access health-related information, and to understand and make decisions about their own health – their overall ‘health literacy’.
Ensuring that content takes into account differing levels of ‘health literacy’ is a crucial objective.
Healthdirect Australia aims to provide consumers with accessible, understandable information that will allow them to make informed decisions about their own health. Where possible, content should outline specific actions readers can take to maintain or improve their health as well as deal with illness and even emergencies.
Content development process
Healthdirect Australia’s ‘Pathways Process’ applies to content that is manually planned, developed, produced, published and maintained by Healthdirect Australia within the digital properties and channels we operate. Processes outline workflows that cover both the creation of new content and its ongoing maintenance.
Healthdirect Australia’s content development process includes the following phases:
- Content planning and creation – gap analysis and evidence-based planning sessions take place regularly to inform content briefs; content is commissioned from accredited health writers, licensed from clinically approved sources or written in-house by Healthdirect Australia staff.
- Clinical and editorial reviews – clinical content is fact checked and peer reviewed by the appropriate health professionals; all information is editorially reviewed and sub-edited in line with Healthdirect Australia’s editorial guidelines.
- Classification and publishing – content is classified to ensure accurate clinical categorisation and metadata are optimised for search; publishing reviews are conducted prior to live release.
- Audit and evaluation – new content is audited quarterly by an independent reviewer and by Healthdirect Australia’s Clinical Governance team, ensuring both a user-centric approach and continuous process and content improvements.
Information and data management
Healthdirect Australia manages and maintains the Australian Health Thesaurus, a taxonomy of medical, health and human services-related concepts that reflect the current Australian environment. Concepts, including medicine terms, are mapped to standard terminologies, such as SNOMED, to enhance linked data opportunities.
Content maintenance and quality assurance
All content is reviewed on a regular basis to make sure it is complete, accurate and trustworthy. Our standard review frequency is every 2 years, with some topics reviewed more often due to the nature of the subject matter. ‘Last reviewed’ dates appear clearly on individual pages.
In addition to these regular reviews of specific health content, our associated processes are audited and assessed periodically to ensure best practice content governance.
Sources and attribution
Our health information is evidence-based, with content supported by reliable sources. Healthdirect Australia aims to use Australian, non-commercial sources, including:
- clinical practice guidelines and/or position statements
- Australian government department statements
- reviews in peer-reviewed literature
- Australian data and statistics
- assessed partner organisations
Original (‘first hand’) sources of the material are referenced on our web pages. All references cited provide a title to identify the source and a link to the source website where possible.
Healthdirect Australia’s websites do not receive funding from advertising the products or services of other organisations. We don’t promote the interests of any person or organisation who may financially benefit as a result of information placed on the website.
Healthdirect Australia ensures the company makes information available on its websites with the primary objective of providing an important health service to users of that information.
Content governance team
Our editorial leadership team ensures the content on the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website is developed in accordance with Healthdirect Australia's guidelines and governance processes. The team provides strategic direction and oversees the external contributors who write and review our content.
Dr Marie-Louise Stokes, Chief Medical OfficerMBBS, BA, MPH, FAFPHM
Marie-Louise is responsible for strategic clinical leadership to support the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of Healthdirect Australia’s digital and telehealth services. As Chief Medical Officer, she plays a key role in the clinical safety of all content developed for Australian healthcare consumers.
Dianne Zalitis, Clinical Lead, Pregnancy, Birth and BabyBHsc (Nursing), Registered Midwife and Nurse, Grad. Dip. (Business Admin)
Dianne is Healthdirect Australia’s clinical lead for the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby service. As a member of the Clinical Governance division, Dianne oversees the quality and clinical trustworthiness of the website and contact centre in line with our Clinical Governance Framework.
Francis Wilkins, Digital EditorBA Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology
Francis ensures content produced for Healthdirect Australia’s digital channels is fit for purpose, including being compliant with health literacy principles. He also consults and advises on media and communications issues throughout the business, drawing on over 20 years’ experience as a reporter, writer, editor and sub-editor.
Camilla Svensson, Senior Digital ProducerBA Communications
Camilla manages Healthdirect Australia’s Digital Content team, which is responsible for delivering the content strategies governing the online components of our services. Key activities include content planning, commissioning, production, publishing and continuing quality assurance and optimisation.
James Humffray, Information ManagerBA Library and Information Science
James oversees the design, delivery and management of the taxonomies, ontologies and vocabularies that support Healthdirect Australia’s online properties. He assists with information architecture development and management, including providing input to content modelling as channels are developed and evolve.
NOTE: While it is reviewed for clinical accuracy, the content on the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional healthcare. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult your doctor or a specialist.
Last reviewed: September 2020