Midwives Notification System

The Midwives Notification System (MNS) contains notifications of births from 1980 and compiles information from notifications by midwives about births they attend in Western Australia (WA).

Notifications are for all births where pregnancy is at least 20 weeks gestation, or if gestation is unknown, the infant's birth weight is at least 400 grams.

Births are to be notified to the Chief Health Officer, whether infant is born alive or stillborn. The exception to this is abortions (termination of pregnancy), which are not to be notified to the Chief Health Officer via Form 2.

Data governance

The Maternal and child health (MCH) team manage the Midwives Notification System.

In line with the Information Management Governance Policy, the Chief Health Officer performs the role of Data Steward and the Principal Data Management Officer, MCH is the data custodian.

Section 335 of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911 (external site) requires that a registered midwife notify the Chief Health Officer of every birth they attend.

From 27 March 2024 a birth that is the result of the performance of an abortion is not to be notified to the Chief Health Officer using Form 2.

Information provided in the Notification of case attended is specified as Form 2. 

Most notifications are provided using clinical data systems in use at maternity services.

For births not occurring at maternity services, notifications can be made using e-form or paper (PDF 446KB) formats of Form 2.

Health (Notifications by Midwives) Regulations 1994 (external site) regulate Form 2.

Data sources

Midwives in Western Australia work in a variety of health care environments. These environments differ in clinical reporting systems available to midwives.

Notifications are received from registered midwives employed at: 

  • Public hospital maternity services
  • Private hospital maternity services
  • Publicly funded homebirth services

Notifications are also received from:

  • Registered midwives in private practice
  • Registered midwives, registered nurses, or medical practitioners employed at any service who was the first health professional to provide care to a woman who gave birth.
  • Registered midwives providing specialist support for care delivery at a remote site via telehealth
Maternity services provide one of three data systems used in Western Australia to enable notification to be submitted digitally (99 per cent of notifications).
registered midwives in private practice and other health professionals may notify using the e-form or PDF version of Form 2 (1 per cent of notifications).

Data elements

Information notified is outlined on e-form, listed on Form 2 (PDF 446 KB), and described in Guidelines (PDF 647 KB) for midwives' notifications.

Data coverage

For the person giving birth, describes the period from conception to 24 hours following the birth unless discharged or transferred from the birth site first. Includes previous pregnancy outcomes and medical conditions diagnosed before conception and present during this pregnancy.

For the infant, describes the period from time of birth to time of discharge or transfer from the birth site.

Information in each record enables Child Health Services to initiate appropriate and timely community care.


  • All preterm and full-term births from a pregnancy of at least 20 weeks gestation. If gestation is unable to be determined, then birth weight of at least 400 grams.
  • Stillborn and liveborn infants


  • Abortions
  • Births with no registered health professional in attendance and no care from a registered health professional was provided for some days after the birth.
Data quality

Cooperative processes between the MCH team, Data quality team, and notifying midwives provide validation, quality improvement, and quality measurement of data held in the Midwives Notification System (MNS).

Following data file submission or other notification, midwives receive a list of notification records that do not pass MNS validation rules. The process to access this list is different for midwives employed by WA Health (public) or private maternity services.

Validation manuals:

Data quality audits

Data requests

Data held in the Midwives Notification System (MNS) is available in aggregate or record level format. De-identification and other conditions will be applied prior to supply of data. Data requests can be discussed with the MNS Data Custodian to determine the most useful content and provision method for your project.

Unlinked data for reasons other than research

Request MNS data from the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) team by emailing Birth Data

Email Client services for advice and assistance on data requests that are complex or require data from multiple sources.

Data for any reason

MNS is a core health linked data collection and MNS data can be requested via the processes of the Data Linkage Service (external site) of the Department of Health in Western Australia.

MNS data requests can also be directed to PeopleWA (external site). PeopleWA is a whole of Government linked data resource managed in partnership with the Department of Health, by the Office of Digital Government, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, 

Research projects requiring MNS data will require approval from the Department of Health Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

Data collection changes

Modifications to Form 2 (PDF 341KB) often require changes to health service reporting processes and information systems they use.

Proposed modifications to Form 2 are reviewed at an annual forum of the MNS reference group comprised of managers and practitioners in midwifery and child health nursing who have legislated responsibilities associated with Form 2.

Changes to Form 2 must be recommended by the MNS reference group and the MNS data steward and be approved as an amendment to the Health (Notification by Midwives) Regulations 1994.

Requests for changes to Form 2 must be directed to the Principal Data Management Officer, MCH team by emailing Birth data.

Reference material


MNS data is used to report the Perinatal National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) and the Perinatal National Best Endeavours Data Set (NBEDS) to the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare. Metadata for these collections are available on the online metadata repository, MetEOR.

User Manuals/guides

The document, Guidelines for completing notification of case attended x (PDF 647KB), is provided to assist in accurate and complete notification and appropriate interpretation of the meaning and context of information held in the MNS. The document, Reportable values for OTHER conditions (Excel 42KB), is provided to assist in accurate reporting of conditions not specified for pregnancy complications, medical conditions or labour and birth complications.

Current forms and data file specifications

Use the e-form to notify of homebirth attended by private practice midwife.
  The E-form can also be used to notify of a birth at a location other than maternity service if not managed as born before arrival at maternity service.

Maternity services use the specifications provided in the following table to notify of births:

  • Birth Notification - data file of notifications of infants born within last 48 hours not yet notified, and
  • MNS File - data file of infants discharged (home, transfer, or died) from maternity service.
Birth date Form version Birth notification version MNS file version
From Jul 2023 Form 2 (PDF 341KB) BN7 (PDF 446KB) N3 (PDF 536KB)
From Jul 2021 Form 2 (PDF 545KB) BN6 (PDF 719KB) N2 (PDF 717KB)
From Jul 2019 Form 2 (PDF 545KB) BN5 (PDF 569KB) N1 (PDF 842KB)
From Jul 2017 Form 2 (PDF 546KB) BN4 (PDF 764KB) M9
From Jul 2016 Form 2 (PDF 524KB) BN3 (PDF 701KB)


From Jul 2014 Jul 2014 (PDF 607KB) BN2 specification Jul 2014 (PDF 603KB) M6
Jan 2013  Jun 2014 Jan 2013 (PDF 247KB)   M5
Jul 2012 Dec 2012 Jul 2012 (PDF 268KB)   M4
Jan 2012 Jun 2012 Jan 2012 (PDF 269KB)

Jan 2011  Dec 2011 Jan 2011 (PDF 353KB)

Dec 1998  Dec 2010 1997 (PDF 99KB)

1993  1997 1993 (PDF 132KB)

1990  1992 1990 (PDF 124KB)

1988  1989 1988 (PDF 105KB)

1985  1987 1985 (PDF 110KB)

1984 1984 (PDF 107KB)

1980  1983 1980 (PDF 90KB)

1974  1979 1974 (PDF 60KB)

Training and education

Email Birth data to request training regarding MNS data validation processes.

Contact information

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Principal Data Management Officer:

Ph:   (08) 6373 1882
Fax: (08) 9222 4408
Email: birthdata@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 26-03-2024
Produced by

Information and Performance Governance