Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services focus on good health for both mothers and their children and have respect for your culture and building relationships with your community.
Indigenous health services can be found in urban, regional and remote Australia. They range from large services with many functions including specialist doctors, to small services that rely on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and nurses working with doctors and specialists who visit on a rotating basis.
Indigenous health services work together with the local community to identify factors that affect the health and wellbeing of families. This means the health service is able to offer adult and child health checks.
There is help available for you before, during and after your pregnancy. You may be able to get help at your home, and you may be referred to a midwife, child and family nurse, family support worker or obstetrician.
Maternal health services provided may include:
Some women need to move near a hospital before they give birth. If so, help is usually available.
Having regular check-ups from the first trimester — the first 3 months — gives you the best chance to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. It reduces your risk of pregnancy stress or problems, and of having a baby born too small or too early.
With a baby
Some mothers feel overwhelmed by what it takes to care full time for small children. It’s a good idea to talk to a nurse, midwife or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker, especially if you have problems with breastfeeding or sleeping and want reassurance.
New mothers are well supported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers because they understand how important the family is in health and childcare. With regular contact, the health workers can monitor the health and wellbeing of both you and your child.
A health service can also provide referrals to other support services, such as:
- financial management advisers
- accommodation and education services
- mothers and family support groups
You might also be able to get support from storytelling and outings with elders groups, community events for families, and activities for mothers that can also provide child care.
With services, support and education for mothers from health services, babies will grow up with an ability to learn, and to manage the pressures of an adult world. Communities that focus on healthy mothers and babies are building strong communities for the future.
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Last reviewed: August 2019