The number of unbooked births has doubled in 17 years according to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing and the Perinatal Data Collection Unit. Unplanned or unbooked births before arrival (BBA) are births that occur before women are in the care of a midwife, both at home and in hospital.
According to the studies, unplanned births carried poorer health outcomes for the mother and baby compared with planned home or hospital births. There is also a higher probability of babies born prematurely and further complications for both the mother and the baby.
Skilled care before, during and after the birth was important and the study recommended that health care practitioners develop approaches which could identify and manage women who were at risk of unplanned births.