Birthing on Country Project

The Birthing on Country (BoC) Project’s main focus is improving birth outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mother and babies, bringing together community members and health services with a goal to establish Aboriginal Birthing on Country models of maternity care whether it be Aboriginal Midwifery Group Practices, birthing in hospital with a known Midwife or stand-alone Aboriginal birth centres. This is in collaboration with Community members, support of health services, health professionals and State and National Government.

Currently we have funding to establish 3 demonstration sites in Australia – urban, remote, very remote. Part of the project is establishing a Birthing on Country Framework for Maternity Care and developing a Cultural Safety training package that supports the implementation and efficacy of BoC models of maternity care.

Birthing on Country "…should be understood as a metaphor for the best start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies and their families because it provides an integrated, holistic and culturally appropriate model of care; not only bio-physical outcomes … it’s much, much broader than just the labour and delivery … (it) deals with socio-cultural and spiritual risk that is not dealt with in the current systems.”

Birthing on Country Workshop Report 2013

In 2015, together with the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) and CRANAplus, ACM signed a joint position statement on “Birthing on Country” in support of establishing Birthing on Country models of care in Australia. The joint position statement took a heavy stance on providing continuity of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers, increasing access for women in rural and remote locations, additional provisions in training Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwives and development and implementation of widespread cultural safety training for health professionals engaging with Aboriginal people.

Joint Position Statement on Birthing on Country

The partners of the Birthing on Country Initiative have developed a brief outlining the recommendations for implementing Birthing on Country services:

Birthing on Country e-Learning Resource is now available here