Background: Birthing on Country is an international movement to return maternity services to First Nations communities and community control for improved health and wellbeing. Question: How can we implement Birthing on Country services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families across Australia?
Methods: We have developed a framework from theoretical, policy and research literature on Birthing on Country; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices from across Australia; reviews exploring programs that have improved outcomes for Indigenous mothers and infants; and the retrospective synthesis of learnings from two empirical studies that have redesigned maternal infant health services and improved outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
Results: The RISE Framework has four pillars to drive important reform: (1) Redesign the health service; (2) Invest in the workforce; (3) Strengthen families; and, (4) Embed Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community governance and control. We present the evidence base for each pillar and practical examples of moving from the standard ‘western’ model of maternity care towards Birthing on Country services.
Conclusions: Application of the RISE framework to plan, develop and monitor Birthing on Country services is likely to result in short and long-term health gains for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.