Improving and Integrating Urban Indigenous Health Services

Birthing Services

Birthing In Our Community (BiOC)

IUIH’s BiOC Program is a Partnership between IUIH, ATSICHS Brisbane and the Mater Mothers’ Hospital. The BiOC Program is delivered out of our Mums and Bubs Hub at Salisbury in Brisbane’s southern suburbs. The program delivers clinical outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and babies participating in the program and continues to deliver outstanding results. 

The BiOC Model

BiOC integrates the midwifery services and expertise of the Mater Mothers’ Hospital with the cultural knowledge and clinical expertise of IUIH and ATSICHS Brisbane, enabling a unique approach to service delivery. The BiOC Model offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers with:

  • Midwifery group practice with 24/7 access to pregnancy, birthing and postnatal care provided by the same midwife, backed up when necessary by other midwives who are all part of the same BiOC team
  • Support from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Support Workers and student midwives as core members of the team, along with other health services as needed
  • Transport services to access care as well as home visits as needed
  • Intensive support for women to quit smoking (throughout their pregnancy and for up to 6 months after birth).

BiOC’s social and peer support strategy, including weekly community days, is also highly valued with women participating in arts and craft activities, receiving peer support and advice on food preparation where women co-produce a healthy lunch and take home the recipe to reproduce for their family.

A five-year National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded prospective cohort study of the BiOC program has shown dramatic improvements in many maternal and infant health outcomes. The improvements include more than halving the national preterm birth rate (6% compared to 14%), and almost closing the gap altogether in comparison with non-Indigenous pre-term birth rates. Also, low birth weights and admissions to neonatal units are half the national rates (6% compared to 11%, and 10% compared to 22%, respectively).

A strong interest in the BiOC model across Australia and internationally has seen these results published in the Lancet’s eClinicalMedicine Journal (June 2019).

For further information contact the Birthing in Our Community team at the Salisbury Mums and Bubs Hub on (07) 3274 5700.

The Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program (ANFPP)

The Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program is an intensive home visiting program supporting mothers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies from pregnancy through to the child’s second birthday.

This Commonwealth-funded program was established by IUIH on Brisbane’s north side in 2016/17 and extended into the south side from 2017/18.