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What are my pregnancy, birth and postnatal care options in Victoria?

I’m pregnant, what next?

You have just found out you are pregnant. Congratulations. You will probably have a mixture of feelings; fear, excitement, overwhelmed, or all of these! Many women who contact us feel daunted about what to do next, so we have put together some information to get you started.

Traditionally women will see their GP as the first point of contact, however MAMA midwives are also able to discuss your care options and order any tests or ultrasounds you may want or need throughout pregnancy. At this time we will be able to confirm you are pregnant, discuss your expected due date (based on a calculation using the first day of your last menstrual period, or the conception date, or from an early scan). We will also discuss your choices for pregnancy care including caregivers and hospitals and tests offered in pregnancy. We can also discuss how you are feeling at this time, and arrange any extra supports you may feel you need.

Who can provide care for me and my baby?

Your choices include a midwife, a general practitioner, an obstetrician, a paediatrician, a hospital team or a collaboration of any of the above.

Other people who can provide non-medical care for you include doulas, or other alternative health professionals that you usually use for your health care needs.

Which Health Professionals can provide care for me & my baby in Pregnancy, Birth and Postnatally?
A Paediatrician is a specialist in the care of a baby, a neaonatologist is a specialist in the care of a newborn (under six weeks). If you have chosen private maternity care with an obstetrician, your baby will most likely be seen by a paediatrician. If you have chosen public hospital care or care with the MAMA midwives, your baby will be seen by a paediatrician if necessary. It is best to choose WHO you would like to care for you throughout your pregnancy, as this might dictate where you can give birth.

Where can I choose to give birth?

Public hospital

In the public hospital system, pregnancy care usually takes place in the antenatal clinic with the hospital team. You are usually not guaranteed who you will see at each visit, unless you are in one of the small continuity of care models. Major public Hospitals are now ‘zoning’, which means you must attend your nearest public hospital as you will be in their ‘catchment area’. You can also choose shared care with a midwife or your GP, which means you see the midwife or GP for the majority of pregnancy appointments, and the hospital for a key 2-3 appointments.

Cost: hospital appointments are free in the public system, as well as any inpatient stays. Fees for appointments with the shared care provider are charged at the health professionals’ discretion. Ultrasounds are an out of pocket expense, unless there is seen to be a ‘medical need’, when you will have them done in the hospital.

MAMA Midwives are able to do shared care with most public hospitals, and provide labour & birth support at home and in hospital, no matter where you choose to birth! Book an appointment at the top of the screen to find out more!

Which public hospitals provide maternity services?

Angliss Hospital  
Albert St, Ferntree Gully, 3156 ph: 03 9764 6111

Box Hill Hospital 
Nelson Rd, Box Hill, 3128 ph: 03 9895 4640

Dandenong Hospital
 David St, Dandenong, 3175 ph: 03 9554 1000

Frankston Hospital 
Hastings Rd, Frankston, 3199 ph: 03 9784 7777

Healesville & District Hospital 
377 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville, 3777 ph: 03 5962 4300

Mercy Hospital for Women  
163 Studley Rd, Heidelberg, 3084 ph: 03 8458 4444

Monash Medical Centre Clayton 
246 Clayton Rd, Clayton, 3168 ph: 03 9594 6666

Rosebud Hospital 
1527 Point Nepean Rd, Rosebud, 3939 ph: 03 5986 0666

Sandringham & District Memorial Hospital 
193 Bluff Rd, Sandringham, 3191 ph: 03 9921 1000

Sunshine Hospital 
176 Furlong Rd, St Albans, 3021 ph: 03 8345 1333

The Northern Hospital 
185 Cooper St, Epping, 3076 ph: 03 9219 8000

The Royal Women’s Hospital 
Cnr Flemington Rd, Grattan St, Parkville, 3052 ph: 03 8345 2000

Werribee Mercy Hospital 
300 Princes Hwy, Werribee, 3030 ph: 03 9216 8888

Private hospital

You may choose a private obstetrician to care for you in a private hospital. During the labour and birth, you will be cared for by the hospital midwives. Your obstetrician will attend at crucial points during your labour and will plan to attend the birth. Midwives often work with private obstetricians and assist with appointments and education. Out of pocket expenses vary depending on your level of private health cover and the obstetrician’s fees. It is best to phone your individual health fund and ask them the level of cover you have, including things like anaesthetics and ceasareans.

MAMA Midwives are able to do shared care with some private obstetricians, and provide labour & birth support at home and in the private hospital, no matter where you choose to birth! Book an appointment at the top of the screen to find out more!

Knox Private Hospital 
262 Mountain Hwy, Wantirna, 3152 ph: 03 9210 7000

Masada Private Hospital 26 Balaclava Rd, East St Kilda, 3183 ph: (03) 9038 1300

Mercy Hospital for Women  
163 Studley Rd, Heidelberg, 3084 ph: 03 8458 4444

Mitcham Private Hospital 
27 Doncaster East Rd, Mitcham, 3032 ph: 03 9210 3222

Monash Medical Centre 
Centre Rd, East Bentleigh, 3165 ph: 03 9928 8780

Northpark Private Hospital 
Cnr Plenty, Greenhills Rd, Bundoora, 3083 ph: 03 9467 6022

Peninsula Private Hospital 
49 McClelland Dve, Frankston, 3199 ph: 03 9788 3466

Rosebud Hospital 
1527 Point Nepean Rd, Rosebud, 3939 ph: 03 5986 0666

Sandringham & District Memorial Hospital 
193 Bluff Rd, Sandringham, 3191 ph: 03 9921 1000

South Eastern Private Hospital 
Heatherton Rd & Princes Hwy, Noble Park, 3174 ph: 03 9549 6555

St John of God Heath Care Berwick 
1 Gibb St, Berwick, 3806 ph: 03 9707 1900

St Vincent’s & Mercy Private Hospital 
59-61 Victoria Pde, Fitzroy, 3065 ph: 03 9411 7111

Sunshine Hospital 
176 Furlong Rd, St Albans, 3021 ph: 03 8345 1333

The Bays Hospital 
Vale St, Mornington, 3931 ph: 03 5975 2009

The Northern Hospital 
185 Cooper St, Epping, 3076 ph: 03 9219 8000

The Royal Women’s Hospital 
Cnr Flemington Rd, Grattan St, Parkville, 3052 ph: 03 8345 2000

Waverley Private Hospital 
347 Blackburn Rd, Mt Waverley, 3149 ph: 03 9881 7700

Werribee Mercy Hospital 
300 Princes Hwy, Werribee, 3030 ph: 03 9216 8888

Home – Midwife/private care

A private midwife of your choice is able to care for you throughout your pregnancy, labour and post birth. Out of pocket expenses for a home birth are usually $5000-$7000. Some private insurance companies provide cover of up to $2500 for midwifery care. Medicare is now available for antenatal and postnatal appointments if you see ‘endorsed’ midwives (MAMA midwives are all endorsed). The Cochrane Review (Olsen & Jewell, 2001) states that all women who have a low risk pregnancy should be given the option to choose a home birth.

Book an appointment with a MAMA midwife at the top of the screen or by phoning 9376 7474 to find out more about how we can care for you!

Home – Public hospital care

Two public hospitals offer home birth services to low risk women; Sunshine hospital and Casey hospital ( a division of Monash Medical Centre). You must meet strict hospital criteria to be accepted in these programs. For more information contact the individual hospital.

Sunshine Hospital 
176 Furlong Rd, St Albans, 3021 ph: 03 8345 1333

Monash Medical Centre Clayton 
246 Clayton Rd, Clayton, 3168 ph: 03 9594 6666

How does a private midwife work?

A midwife can work as your primary carer or alongside other caregivers you have chosen to support you. The different combinations of caregivers are called ‘models of care.’ The World Health Organisation states that midwives are the most appropriate primary carer for women with a normal pregnancy and birth (WHO, 1996).

Furthermore, it is well documented in the literature that midwives improve the short and long term mental and physical health outcomes of the mother and baby both in normal pregnancy and birth, and in collaboration with medical assistance in situations where complications arise.

MAMA Midwives can offer care for you in accordance with the following models:

During pregnancy/antenatal care

  • Primary care by a midwife
  • Shared care by a midwife and a public hospital
  • Shared care by a midwife and a private obstetrician
  • Additional care by a midwife (whether you have chosen the public or private system)

Throughout labour and birth

  • Hospital support by a midwife in the public system
  • Hospital support by a midwife in the private system
  • Homebirth with a midwife as primary carer

In early parenting/postnatal care

  • Postnatal care by a midwife in your home
  • Postnatal care by a midwife in our centre
  • 6 week check up for you and your baby
  • Lactation consultation

 

What is a midwife and how could they help me?

The term midwife means ‘with woman’. Midwives act as partners to women throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the early postnatal period, providing individualised education, advice and support.

Midwives advocate measures throughout pregnancy and labour which promote natural birth, and are experienced in caring for mother and baby under normal birth conditions. They are also trained to recognise and assist with scenarios that are out of the norm. This includes detection of complications for the mother or baby, requesting medical opinions and carrying out emergency measures if necessary.

Midwives aim for only necessary intervention in the birth process. Midwives can work in a complementary relationship with obstetricians, who are specialists in complicated pregnancy and birth, and in surgery. Midwives can refer women to obstetricians or other appropriate medical practitioners when the client requires care that falls out of the midwives’ scope of practice.

Their role extends to caring for the newborn and assisting with breastfeeding. Research shows that continuity of midwifery care from early pregnancy to around 6 weeks after birth improves short and long term mental and physical health outcomes for mothers and babies.

You can read more about this in the below paper and article:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-02-19/continuity-of-midwifery-care-undervalued/302516

http://apps.who.int/rhl/reviews/CD004667.pdf.

Sometimes this continuity is achieved by working in small group practices; this is how the MAMA midwives work.

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