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MothersBabies is a registered Australian charity

Our focus is raising awareness and educating women (and men, for that matter…) about the emerging science of gut bug health. Through this new knowledge we can dramatically improve health and reduce common, potentially avoidable, complications and diseases for pregnant women and their babies.

Watch this short video to find out more about who we are.

Our mission

To optimise the future health of humanity by empowering mothers-to-be to transform their health pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and at birth so that their health and the health of their babies is optimised for life. In so doing promote the prevention and the control of disease in human beings.

Our vision

Our vision is for women to have the resources and evidence based knowledge to enable them to give birth to babies whose health is optimised for life. In so doing prevent or control diseases that their babies could otherwise experience throughout their lives.

Our goal

To increase awareness and knowledge for all mothers. Investing fundraising dollars into science based research studies. To create and maintain a Board made up of Professors, Scientists, Microbiologists and a dedicated team of contributors.

Healthy Gut, Healthier Babies.

Understanding how gut bug imbalances contribute to common diseases is at the forefront of global science and is changing the face of modern medicine. We are grateful and excited to have you come on this journey with us to create healthier babies.

What we do

Empowering Mothers-to-be

A grand statement and a big idea. It has to be. The stakes are too high.

There is so much information available today that fatigue has set in. Everyone’s an expert, or a best-selling author with a guaranteed 4-step plan for helping you achieve whatever you want in life.


But we want more than that for you. We want you to be aware and awake, not only to the importance of the journey you are on, but also to the opportunities for you to create radical change in your life and the lives of your children. Change that will set them up for the best chance they have for excellent physical and mental health throughout their lives.

It may sound far-fetched, but that is what is so extraordinary about the gut and this revolutionary new frontier of science and medicine. The research and evidence is telling us that the microbiome (that’s the term for the world of healthy bacteria that lives in your gut) is the source where you can set the direction for everything from the ability of your immune system to fight disease, to your emotional headspace and mental wellbeing. You get to choose.


So in order to make good choices, you need to be able to access the full range of knowledge available, and you’ll need to trust that information, knowing that the sources are credible, tested and evidence-based. And you will need it presented to you in ways that are easy to understand, resonate with your heart, and represents an achievable and commonsense approach.

Groundbreaking research on the microbiome in mothers and their babies.

Imagine, if by better understanding the way your body works, you could avoid many diseases that are becoming increasingly common in women and newborn babies. Diseases such as:

The most common serious medical disorder of human pregnancy. Particularly in their first pregnancy, pregnant women can suffer from high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction leading to leakage of protein into the urine, swelling of hands, feet and face, and, in severe cases, dizziness, headaches and difficulties with vision.

Source: The Royal Women’s Hospital

Gestational diabetes is characterised by glucose intolerance of varying severity that develops or is first recognised during pregnancy, mostly in the second or third trimester. It usually resolves after the baby is born, but can recur in later pregnancies and significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life, both for the mother and the baby.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

A baby born before the 37th week is known as a premature or pre-term baby. Medical advances have meant that more than 9 out of 10 premature babies survive, and most go on to develop normally. In Australia, almost 1 in every 10 babies is born prematurely. Most Australian premature babies are born between 32 and 36 weeks and don’t have any serious long-term problems.

Source: Pregnancy, Birth & Baby

Asthma is a long-term lung condition of the airways (the passage that transports air into our lungs).  At the moment, there is no cure, but it can be managed. About half of Australian women with asthma find their asthma gets a bit worse during pregnancy, often between 17 and 36 weeks gestation.

Source: Asthma Australia

Research suggests links between autism and factors in pregnancy such as:

• The Mother’s diet.

• The medicines she takes.

• Mental health.

• Immunity.

• Metabolic conditions, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.

Source: Spectrum News

An irritation of the skin, causing redness, itching, and sometimes infections. Research suggests that inherited factors increase the likelihood of eczema. Up to 30% of infants with eczema, or with a family history of allergy, will develop food allergy, and up to 40% develop asthma and/or hay fever.

Source: Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

Understanding relationship between the microbiome and the health of mothers and their babies

Science and medicine is becoming increasingly aware of the crucial and inextricable relationship between the microbiome (the complex and dynamic ecosystem of gut microorganisms and its genetic material) and the health of mothers and their babies. However, the nuances and specifics of how this relationship works remain largely unknown.

We are committed to helping the experts learn more, and sharing this new knowledge with you. So we are working with the Microbiome Research Centre to raise funds for The MothersBabies Study.

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An Introduction to Mothers Babies

MothersBabies empowers mothers-to-be to transform their health and the health of their child through education and knowledge solutions that improve gut health.

Evidence-based Science

Everything we present to you that deals with your health and the health of your baby has to come from a scientific source that is credible, reputed, that has been tested and verified by experts. That way you can trust the authority of the information. This includes curated articles, published and commissioned research.

Empowering Mothers-to-be means:

  • Facilitating opportunities for women to transform their health pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and at birth so that theirs and the health of their babies is optimised for life. 


  • Providing women with the resources and evidence-based knowledge to enable them to give birth to babies whose health is optimised for life.


  • Increasing awareness and knowledge for all mothers.

The MotherBabies Study

The MothersBabies study is an important project that is harnessing the emerging science of gut bug health to create a safe, personalised and proven therapy to reduce common, potentially avoidable, complications and diseases for pregnant women and their babies.

This therapy holds the potential to change the future health of mothers, babies and children in Australia and will be at the forefront of preventative medicine worldwide.

Many mothers and babies are suffering needlessly, sometimes for the whole of their lives, from illnesses and diseases that may be preventable with appropriate therapies during the precious months before conception, through pregnancy and during the early months of life.

The study’s goal is to demonstrate that the biology of a mother’s gut bugs (microbiota) either before or during pregnancy, or both, contains critical pre-conditions for both the mother and her baby’s health. If the microbiota is out of balance, this leads to illnesses associated with pregnancy that can become illness in the child, including some common life-long, chronic and debilitating illnesses in mothers, babies and children.

Some simple statistics demonstrate the magnitude of the problem:

0 %

In 2016 it was 8.6%,
up from an average of 7%

0 %
Food allergies

Food allergies
1:20 in children

0 %

Asthma affects 1:9 Australians, totalling 2.5million

0 %

7.8% diagnosed in 2003, 9.5% in 2007, 11% in 2011

0 %

(Spectrum Disorders)
2.46% of children aged 10-14

0 %
Food allergies

1:4 children and 2:3
adults and increasing

0 %

Anxiety 1:4. Depression
1:7 adults

We are raising funds to help us continue our work empowering Mothers-To-Be with evidence based science.

MothersBabies will fund the communication of ground-breaking, evidence-based research in microbiome science that will change pre-pregnancy and pregnancy health, and will help millions of mothers, their babies and their families have healthier lives.

Who We Are

Catherine Oates Smith / Founder

For Co-Founder Catherine Oates Smith, it had to be MothersBabies. In 2013 her daughter became life-threateningly ill with a dangerous auto-immune disease… that no-one could explain.  A young woman, who had grown up in perfect health was now critically ill and no-one seemed to be able to identify the source or cause of her illness. 


What ensued was a journey of discovery for Catherine as she researched, spoke with experts across a range of medical and health fields to find the underlying reasons that caused auto-immune illness.

Her quest brought her to many experts in women and children’s health, including Professors and Doctors working at the Royal Hospital for Women and University of NSW. She also met her co-founder, biotech expert, Alan Liddle.


Catherine realised through the emerging science of the microbiome that the lifelong health of a baby is impacted by the baby’s mother’s pre pregnancy and pregnancy health and that the baby’s immune system is the key determinant of the baby’s health for life.


MothersBabies was born.

An Introduction to Mothers Babies

MothersBabies empowers mothers-to-be to transform their health and the health of their child through education and knowledge solutions that improve gut health.

Our Board

Leaders in business, science and strategy who are using their expertise to support the MothersBabies vision to Create Healthier Babies.

Catherine Oates Smith

Co Founder, Director & CEO

Alan Liddle

Co Founder & Director

Keith Rovers


Catherine Rex


Catherine Charlton


Our Science Committee

Experts in their field who provide scientific rigour and understand our essential goal: to transform the health of mothers and their babies.

Alan Liddle

Co Founder & Director

Dr Amanda Henry

Obstetrician and Associate Professor,
UNSW Sydney

Dr Daniella Susic

Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Microbiome Researcher

Leah Hechtman

Naturopath and Natural Fertility Expert

Professor Kei Lui

Professor, UNSW

Dr Steven Leach


Fathalla Ali

and PhD student UNSW

Dr Kirsten Palmer

Dip Obstetrics and Gynecology

Our Ambassadors & Patrons

Passionately committed leaders and accomplished professionals with whom we are privileged to work.

Kathy Lette

& MothersBabies Patron
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Hon. Jillian Skinner

NSW Minister for Health
3 April 2011 – 23 January 2017

Brittany Darling

Accredited Nutritionist & Herbalist
& MothersBabies Ambassador

Jacqueline Alwill

Accredited Nutritionist
& MothersBabies Ambassador