Pregnancy policies and consumer brochures

SA Health has developed a series of South Australian pregnancy policies, standards, clinical guidelines and related patient information brochures to guide health professionals and assist women to make informed choices.

Babies born too small, too soon

Information for parents of babies born early.


First stage labour and Birth in water

The First Stage Labour and Birth in Water Policy Directive (PDF 738KB) gives guidance to qualified practitioners, working in the South Australian public health system when caring for women who make an informed choice to labour and/or give birth in water.

Planned birth at home

The Planned Birth at Home in South Australia Policy Directive (PDF 1MB) guides qualified practitioners (that is, registered midwives and/or medical practitioners), working in the South Australian public health system when caring for women who make an informed choice to birth at home.

Category 1 caesarean section

The Standards for the Management of Category 1 Caesarean Section in SA (PDF 634KB) were developed in accordance with contemporary professional, quality and safety standards and establish the minimum standards for the provision of health services for management of a Category 1 Caesarean Section in hospitals in South Australia.

Vaginal birth after caesarean section

Breastfeeding and breast milk


The Breastfeeding Policy (PDF 431KB) aims to increase the number of infants exclusively breastfed to around six months and to advise women to continue breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods until 12 months of age and beyond for as long as the mother and child desire (National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Infant Feeding Guidelines (2012).

Expressed breast milk

The Expressed Breast Milk Safe Management and Administration in SA Clinical Directive (PDF 386KB) guides SA Health employees in safe practice(s) when managing the handling and administration of expressed breast milk within SA Health services including hospitals, and community settings that may include the woman’s home.

Cord blood

The Collection of Cord Blood in South Australian Public Health Services for the Purposes of Private Cord Blood Banking Clinical Directive (PDF 213KB) guides SA Health employees on their limited role in the collection of autologous cord blood for the purposes of private cord blood banking.

Maternal and neonatal service standards

The Standards for Maternal and Neonatal Services in South Australia 2014 Policy Directive (PDF 1.2MB) outlines the minimum standards required for each of the six recognised levels of perinatal care. It includes standards for workforce, facilities and equipment requirements and presents a risk management framework to enable clinical service planning, resource and risk factor management and management of retrieval and transport services.

Perinatal emergency education strategy

The Perinatal Emergency Education Strategy 2021 Policy (PDF 1.3MB) provides SA Health sites with a clear perinatal education governance framework, determining the education requirements for the distinct perinatal health care professional groups including frequency, assessment and monitoring of compliance. It aims to reduce the number of critical incidents associated with electronic fetal surveillance, maternal and neonatal resuscitation and the management of the deteriorating perinatal woman and/or neonate.

Further information or assistance with accessing online components, booking skills sessions or study days, should be secured through the education service within your LHN.

Obese obstetric women

The Obese obstetric woman - management in SA Clinical Directive (PDF 1.4MB) assists maternity care providers and health policy makers in the appropriate management of women who are obese during pregnancy.


The Policy for the management of the release of a placenta for private use (PDF 244KB) aims to provide the pregnant woman and SA Health employees with information and clinical practices/procedures related to the safe release of placenta to the postpartum mother.


The Surrogacy Management Standards in Public Health Units in SA 2021 Clinical Directive (PDF 829KB) aims to provide the surrogate mother, the intended parents and SA Health employees with information and clinical practices/procedures

Termination of pregnancy

The Standards for the Management of Termination of Pregnancy in South Australia (PDF 591KB) assist health care staff employed in the public health service in their management of the woman requiring a termination of pregnancy.