Need to talk? Call 1800 882 436.
It's a free call with a maternal child health nurse. *call charges may apply from your mobile

Is it an emergency? Dial 000
If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately.

beginning of content

Family health services for you and your baby

2-minute read

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.

While pregnant

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:

  • dietitians
  • counsellors
  • 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.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2019


Back To Top

Need more information?

Support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families deal with a complex set of reasons for why extra support is needed for raising happy, healthy children.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Indigenous Australians and the health system - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

To evaluate whether the health system is meeting adequately the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is important to understand the use of and access to quality care, including...

Read more on AIHW – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website

Mental health resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Social and emotional wellbeing support and resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Read more on Black Dog Institute website

Keeping kids strong and healthy

Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents on how to raise strong and healthy kids.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Working with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander parents | Raising Children Network

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Aboriginal + Torres Strait Islander Community | 1800 My Options

If you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, we can help you find culturally appropriate health services.

Read more on 1800 My Options website

Remote and rural health services | Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples | Queensland Government

Learn about health services for remote and rural Indigenous communities in Queensland.

Read more on Queensland Health website

Eye Health - Health Topics - Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children often have better eyesight than non-Indigenous children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are three times more likely to experience vision loss or blindness than non-Indigenous adults. Uncorrected refractive error, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy are the main causes of vision loss and blindness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Around 90% of vision loss and blindness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is preventable or treatable, and there are positive signs that eye health initiatives are closing the vision gap.

Read more on Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website

We are strong and proud! Strengths for us and our mob

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander = strong and proud! As Indigenous people we can heal the effects of the past. We can heal some of the past trauma that we’ve experienced and get through the tough times we face now. We can use our culture to help us heal.

Read more on Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network (ACATLGN) website

What's New | Family Planning NSW

Aboriginal Contraception kit The Aboriginal contraception is a teaching resource designed for Aboriginal Health Workers. The artwork was created by an Aboriginal artist to incorporate images that reflect Aboriginal culture. The kit contains samples of the variety of contraceptives available, information about contraception and resources that Aboriginal Health Workers can use

Read more on Family Planning Australia website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.