Priority Area One

Improving understanding and decision-making for women with risk factors.

Priority Area One leads: Professor Vicki Flenady, Professor David Ellwood, Dr Adrienne Gordon


This priority area focuses on research to enable informed decision-making in the care of women during pregnancy to avoid stillbirth and other adverse newborn outcomes. The current lack of an individualised evidence-based approach to a woman’s risk status has resulted in concerning increases in early term and late preterm birth. Indigenous and other disadvantaged groups often have constellations of risk factors (e.g. obesity, smoking, substance use, inadequate nutrition) and poor antenatal care attendance. We will develop interventions to enhance culturally appropriate, accessible antenatal care to improve outcomes. In collaboration with the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) and the Stillbirth Foundation Australia, we have developed a suite of resources for women and clinicians across maternity hospitals to promote best practice in the care of women with Decreased Fetal Movements (DFM). We are also testing a mobile phone program for women to help raise awareness of DFM (the "My Baby’s Movements" trial - see study information below).

In collaboration with PSANZ, we will develop a clinical guideline with an educational program on best practice in antenatal detection and management of fetal growth restriction. Through our international collaborations, we will be pursuing the role of maternal sleep position practices to reduce the risk of stillbirth. We will also undertake research examining the performance of tests to predict stillbirth.

  • The My Baby's Movements (MBM) trial

    Leads: Professor Vicki Flenady, Dr Glenn Gardener

    mbm2My Baby’s Movements (MBM) is a mobile phone program delivered through an interactive app and SMS. The program is designed to help women understand their baby’s movements and encourages prompt contact with health care providers if any concerns arise. The study design is a stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial.

    >>Download MBM flyer