The overall direction of this review has been on antenatal care, along with preconception, labour, birth and postpartum care in terms of Australian Aboriginal women and the Australian health system. Literature from beyond these perspectives, primary health care and cultural context, has also been included where it has been of relevance and/or consequence.

Aboriginal women have been displaced from being the experts of their birthing experiences through tradition, culture and experience, to being passive recipients of medicalised and institutionalised pregnancy care.  Some Aboriginal health centres across Australia have more recently begun to question routinised processes of care and the possibility that this may not meet the needs or liking of Aboriginal women. They have found that physical and humanistic features matter greatly to Aboriginal women; sensitivity, cultural security, family friendly environments, transport, trust and respect for women’s business and the intricacies of shame, are very important.