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Posted on 21 Jun 2021
Clinical/acute care
Maternity and newborn

Safer Care Victoria has released two key guidelines to support the labour and birthing choices of Victorian women and families.

The evidence on the benefits and safety of homebirths and using water for labour and birth is growing. And every year, more Victorian women are requesting to use water as pain relief or to birth in water.

Developed by a team of experts and informed by public feedback, both guidelines provide practical advice for Victorian maternity and neonatal care providers to support, sustain and expand safe maternity services. 


Health services and private maternity providers are encouraged to consider homebirth services for women who are suitable.
This guidance will help services develop or expand a safe homebirth program, which may result in less intervention such as caesarean sections and complications such as post-partum haemorrhage or severe perineal trauma.

Download the Homebirth guidance

Water for labour and birth

Health services and practitioners are encouraged to ensure that women have the option of water use during labour and if appropriate, water birth is available to them.

This guidance will help you support women use water in the early and later stages of labour, including water birth if appropriate for them.

Download the Water use for labour and birth guidance