The Birth

Find out what your options are when the time comes for the birth of the baby...

There are a number of options for women regarding where to give birth. These include:

  • Public or private hospital
  • Birth centre
  • Home birth

It is normal for women in Australia to give birth in a hospital, either private or public, depending on which option is preferred. Water births may also be available. Hospitals in Australia are well-equipped, with highly trained staff and high international standards.

Pain relief including epidurals are readily available in labour wards across Australia.

Doulas, or the use of birthing partners is a growing trend in Australia. These are qualified staff that support a woman completely through her labour and after the birth. A doula will typically visit the woman's home three to four times in the last months of pregnancy to get to know the woman and help plan the birth. When the mother-to-be goes into labour, the Doula will first go to the woman's house and take her to hospital. She will help set up the labour room and will remain throughout labour until the baby is born.

  • For further information or to locate a Doula: Click here

Home birthing options are limited in Australia as there are issues of public liability insurance, however, there are exceptions in remote areas such as Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. In these cases the mother-to-be will probably be followed by an independent midwife. However, home births are for low risk pregnancies, and if complications arise, the mother will have to go to a hospital.

  • For more information on homebirths in Australia: Click here

GPs and midwives may also refer the woman to a birth centre. These are generally situated within hospitals, but provide a more homely environment and the facility to give birth as naturally as possible.

Discuss all the options with the family doctor, midwife or obstetrician prior to the birth.

Registering a Birth

Under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995, all babies in Australia must be registered within 60 days of birth. Parents must provide the Registry with the full details of the child's birth for it to be registered and to obtain a Birth Certificate. There is no fee for registering a birth, although their is a fee for obtaining a birth certificate.

The hospital supplies a Birth Registration Statement after the birth, which needs to be completed and then mailed to the appropriate State Registry.

The act also stipulates that a baby born after 20 August 1986 requires one parent to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident for the child to be have Australian nationality.