Abstract: The overwhelming conclusion from most studies and reports is that the pregnancy characteristics of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) women and the perinatal outcomes of their babies are poorer than the non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (non-Indigenous) population. These studies also highlight that a woman's pregnancy characteristics impact upon her baby's perinatal health, such as birthweight, preterm birth and stillbirths. The majority of studies look at the Indigenous population as one group and do not look within this group in terms of pregnancy and perinatal outcomes. Studies looking within the Indigenous population are needed to better understand what is occurring within this population with specific needs, and design programs that are more targeted. Many studies, not only focused on perinatal health but Indigenous health in general, have thus far only reinforced messages that have been well-known for a number of years, such as Indigenous babies have poorer perinatal outcomes than non-Indigenous babies in Australia. In this paper, government publications, peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed papers and reports were reviewed to examine pregnancy characteristics and perinatal outcomes of Indigenous compared to those of non-Indigenous women and babies. It focused on highlighting the limited number of studies looking within the Indigenous population of pregnant women and their babies in designing antenatal programs to address the current poorer outcomes of Indigenous babies in Australia.
To cite this article: Kelly, Paul M; Graham, Simon and Sullivan, Elizabeth A. Pregnancy and Perinatal Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Their Babies: A Literature Review [online]. Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2, Mar/Apr 2010: 15-16.
[cited 14 Oct 15].