Family Birth Centre moves to new model of care

Mercy Hospital for Women is introducing a new evidence based model of care into the existing Family Birth Centre.

Based on the Centre�s low intervention philosophy, it will retain its nurturing environment within the current space, incorporating improvements based on best practice research.

This follows an extensive review of our birthing models and is in response to the large number of women who need to be transferred out of the existing Family Birth Centre to receive safe medical care as their needs change. On average, one in three women needs to be relocated to a new birthing area with an unfamiliar team and this increases to two in three women for those having their first baby. This relocation, which can occur during labour, can be distressing for some mothers.

The new model, called Midwifery Group Practice, will incorporate the following improvements:

  • The same midwife throughout: Instead of engaging with several midwives throughout a pregnancy, the same midwife will generally provide a mother with pregnancy care and be on call to attend their labour and birth. The same midwife will also provide follow up care to the mother and baby when they return home.

  • Better access to medical care when required: Most women who need medical care will no longer need to be physically transferred to a different care team in the main birth suites.

  • Access for more women: Only around five per cent of births at the hospital in the last year have been within the Family Birth Centre and in its current form only accepts a select group of low risk women. With the changes, more women will be able to access a more homely environment as the hospital will be able to expand the number of women who can be cared for in the new model.

  • More personalised care: Giving birth is a very special time for mothers and families and the new model will provide an opportunity for a lead care provider to facilitate personalised care for each woman.

�We believe in a woman�s individual right to choose a safe birthing option that best suits their needs,� said Dr Linda Mellors, Executive Director Mercy Public Hospitals Inc. �Birthing options at Mercy Hospital for Women will include the new Maternity Group Practice, Standard Care which is provided by obstetricians and midwives or Shared Care with a GP or a team of midwives.�

The date for moving to the new model has not yet been set. Mercy Hospital for Women will inform patients and the general public in due course.


Date Published:  28 June 2013 

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