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Updated AusHFG guidance for maternity units

The Australasian Health Facility Guidelines (AusHFG) for planning and designing maternity units, including standard components have been updated to reflect contemporary operational models, equipment and design requirements. 
Informed by extensive consultation with clinical, operational and technical experts from across Australia and New Zealand, key changes include: 
  • Inclusion of current Australian and New Zealand policies and guidelines relating to maternity services. 
  • Updated information relating to maternity models of care with a focus on woman-centred care. This includes revised information relating to virtual models of care, early pregnancy assessment services, maternity acute assessment units, maternity triage services, labour and birth including the use of birthing pools, and bereavement services. 
  • Revised operational practices relating to bathing newborns, newborn screening, milk preparation and storage, antenatal/postnatal education, neonatal resuscitation and newborn retrieval services. 
  • Updated terminology including removal of references to outdated terms including Labour, Delivery, Recovery (LDR) and LDR Postpartum (LDRP) and mothercraft/parentcraft, which refers to parent education.  
  • Considerations relating to the location of the birth suite and access to emergency operating theatres, as well as guidance on the types/size of services that may require dedicated obstetric theatres.  
  • Additional information relating to birthing pools including key safety considerations. 
  • Inclusion of planning and design information relating to bereavement services including location considerations. 
  • Emphasis on the importance of interior design strategies that are calming and offer positive distractions to reduce stress. 
  • Updates to the schedule of accommodation (SOA) to align with contemporary models of care and operational practices, benchmarking to recently delivery facilities, and relevant standard components.   
  • Inclusion of an indicative SOA for an Acute Assessment Unit, acknowledging these are typically only provided in Level 4 maternity units and above. 
Updated Maternity Standard Components include: 
  • Birthing room, with and without pool 
  • Birthing room ensuite  

For more information:  
Content Update: HPU 510 Maternity Unit | AusHFG ( 
Content Update: Standard Components for Maternity and Clinical Support | AusHFG (
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