The Whole Nine Months is a joint collaboration between:

The Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance
The Women and Infants Research Foundation
The Australian Government Department of Health

In conjunction with:

The Statewide Obstetric Services Unit
Australian Medical Association
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Our purpose and aim:

The Whole Nine Months is a public health education and social media campaign aiming to safely lower the rate of preterm birth in Australia. It will do this by:

  • Engaging and informing mothers and mothers-to-be about the incidence and short and long-term consequences of preterm birth
  • Educating our community on the key interventions to prevent preterm birth
  • Provide educational tools and resources specific to preventing early birth for all health professionals involved in obstetric care
  • To facilitate ongoing discovery research in the field of preterm birth prevention.



Improved outcomes for pregnant women and their children

  • For women, many cases of early PTB complicate the pregnancy and birth resulting in increased need for obstetric intervention, including Caesarean section. Placement of babies in neonatal care necessitates removal from the new mother, influencing the onset of mothering, breastfeeding and nurturing.
  • For newborns, PTB often results in prolonged admission to neonatal intensive care with risks of death, cerebral haemorrhage, need for artificial ventilation, bowel necrosis and infections.
  • For children, the risks include cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, deafness, blindness, learning difficulties and behavioural problems.
  • For adults, there are potential problems relating to increased risk of chronic metabolic illnesses including diabetes/cardiovascular disease, loss of employment opportunities and socialisation issues.
  • For the community, there are increased numbers of people with learning difficulties, behavioural problems, disabilities and reduced productivity including unemployment.

Improved outcomes for health and education services

  • For hospitals, there will be reduced need for neonatal services and infant follow-up.
  • For health services, there will be fewer children with disabilities, including cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease.
  • For school education providers, there will be fewer children with learning and behavioural problems.