Delivering a Healthy WA
Health Networks - Collaborative health care planning for the whole community

Womens and Newborns Health Network

Dr Janet Hornbuckle and Mr Graeme Boardley, Co-Leads

Baby Friendly Health Initiative – Hospital Breastfeeding Policy

In August 2014, the revised Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) – Hospital Breastfeeding Policy was published as a result of a review of the policy originally released in 2009.

The review was conducted by a small working group that included the Co-Leads of the Womens and Newborns Health Network and the Statewide Obstetric Support Unit.

A range of BFHI promotional tools exist to assist hospitals and health professionals to promote and raise awareness of BFHI and best practice breastfeeding standards to women and their families.

Posters promoting the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” can be found online.

Maternal Continuity of Care Working Group

The Maternal Continuity of Care Working Group is currently reviewing and updating the NSW Midwifery Continuity of Carer Model Toolkit (2012) for use across Western Australia.

This working group was initially established in 2011 to support the implementation of maternity continuity of care models in WA public hospitals. This method of practice aims to ensure women receive care by the same midwife or small group of midwives throughout their pregnancy and during labour and the postnatal period.

Workshops held for refugee and migrant women on continuity of care

The Refugee and Migrant Women Continuity of Care Models group has now facilitated three successful metropolitan workshops at King Edward Memorial Hospital, Armadale Health Service and Osborne Park Hospital.

The feedback from these workshops will be used to inform improvements in maternal care for refugee and migrant women and their families.

This sub-group of the Maternity Continuity of Care Working Group considers specific issues relating to refugee and migrant women in accessing maternity services across WA Health.

Having a Baby website upgrade

The Network is continuing to work with WA Health’s website development team to migrate the Having a Baby website to the new Healthy WA consumer website.

The new-look website will incorporate feedback on the content and look of the website from last year’s consumers’ survey. The purpose of the website is to be a source for clear, consistent, local and appropriate information to help expectant parents, families, and care givers make informed choices about maternity care and services in WA.

Two pieces of work have been undertaken to support the upgrade.The first piece of work that has been completed was to incorporate the ‘Having a Baby in WA’ information (previously on the King Edward Memorial Hospital website) onto the ‘Having a Baby’ website. Consumers had reported that having this information in two places created confusion as to the differences between the two websites. This information can now be found under the sub-section Where to have my baby on the Healthy WA website.

Secondly, the Network provided funding for a project in conjunction with the King Edward Memorial Hospital Library to provide resources in other languages on their library website.

The library is currently working on providing translated subject headings for their extensive list of non-English consumer resources. The next phase of this work will be translating the original headings of each brochure. These translations can be accessed from the King Edward Memorial Hospital website. For a sample, you can visit the Arabic web page.

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Model of Care and Service Delivery

The Womens and Newborns Health Network is supporting a working group led by North Metropolitan Health Service to develop a Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Model of Care and Service Delivery. The Model has been informed by a workshop held in July 2012.

The Model identifies key areas and priorities to improve access to quality services across the continuum of care. One aspect of this will be to ensure services are delivered within an integrated service model to meet the needs of parents, infants, children, significant others and families in the perinatal period.

The Development of a Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale

A team of clinicians from the Department of Psychological Medicine at King Edward Memorial Hospital developed the Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale (PASS).

While perinatal anxiety has been associated with detrimental outcomes for the woman and developing baby, existing measures for screening of anxiety tend to either confound physiological symptoms common in pregnancy and/or use narrow domains of anxiety.

If you are interested in accessing or finding out more about the PASS, you can email:

Reference: Somerville, S., Dedman, K., Hagan, R., Oxnam, E., Wettinger, M., Byrne, S., Coo, S., Doherty, D., Page, A.C. (2014). The Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale: development and preliminary validation. Archives of Women’s Mental Health,DOI: 10.1007/s00737-014-0425-8

Data development report for National Maternity Service Plan

The Foundations for enhanced maternity data collection and reporting in Australia: National maternity data development project - Stage 1 (external site) report is now available.

The report presents the findings of Stage 1 of the National Maternity Data Development Project which was established in response to the National Maternity Services Plan. The project aims to build a more comprehensive and consistent national data collection for maternal and perinatal health.

National information needs for maternity data were identified and data development commenced. A system for classifying maternity models of care was developed and improved coordination of national maternal mortality data collection was implemented.