Women's and Newborns Health Network

The Women’s and Newborns Health Network aims to improve the quality, safety, accessibility and continuity of maternity care and services for all women and babies in Western Australia.

The Network is working to finalise updates to the water birth guidelines and WA’s home birth policy, and update the Improving Maternity Services Framework.

It also developed the Baby Friendly Health Initiative - Hospital Breastfeeding Policy in 2009, and subsequent update in 2014, which outlines the consistent guidelines on breastfeeding for all maternity services in WA hospitals to follow. The Women’s and Newborn Health Networks Leads continue to work with the Statewide Obstetric Support Unit to support the implementation of the Baby Friendly Health Initiative (external site) across WA hospitals and gain accreditation in this area.

Network lead and membership

The Network is led by Professor Chris Griffin and Kate Reynolds. They are supported by an Executive Advisory Group consisting of representatives from country health services; child and youth health services; clinical services including midwifery, nursing, neonatology, gynaecology, obstetrics, mental health, and allied health; general practice; the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; disability services; and carers and consumers.

Register to join Health Networks (external site) to receive information on the Women's and Newborns Health Network and other Networks.

Improving services for disadvantaged women

The Women’s and Newborns Health Network has undertaken a number of projects aimed at improving the health services for disadvantaged women. It has worked with maternity service providers to improve the outcomes for refugee and migrant women, held a consumer workshops and focus groups, and sponsored a system-wide Clinical Senate on the issue.

Safe Infant Sleeping

The Safe Infant Sleeping Initiative aims to reduce the risk and raise awareness of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy in Western Australia through the support of evidence-based approaches to safe infant sleeping practices. A multi-agency approach, with representation from 21 government, non-government and community sector agencies, was used to develop number of policies and implementation plans.

Department of Health-funded projects at the Telethon Kids Institute

The Women’s and Newborns Health Network funded the Telethon Kids Institute to deliver three key research projects on their behalf. These projects focused on improving the quality, safety, and continuity of services for women and babies in WA, particularly at-risk groups such as:

Models of care and resources

Health Networks develops models of care, frameworks and toolkits to provide a cohesive and consistent plan for health care across WA. Implementation of these resources occurs in partnership with the Health Service Providers and other organisations involved in health care.

For consumer information for expecting and new parents, including every stage of maternity care and a guide to where to have your baby, visit HealthyWA’s Having a Baby page (external site).


Health Networks
Address: 189 Royal Street, East Perth
Phone: 9222 0200

Last reviewed: 12-07-2018
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Health Networks