Introducing Maternity Group Practice at the Mercy Family Birth Centre

The Family Birth Centre is transitioning to a new type of care called Maternity Group Practice. Maternity Group Practice shares the same low intervention, nurturing philosophy the Family Birth Centre is known for and offers continuity of care for mothers and babies.

Why is the type of care changing? 
We are changing the way we care based on feedback from women, families and midwives. It is in line with best practice, low intervention care in place around the country. Research suggests that having the same trusted carer throughout pregnancy and birth will lead to higher satisfaction and better outcomes for women and their babies.

What will change? 
Continuity of care is a key feature of Maternity Group Practice. It allows women to have the same carer throughout their pregnancy, labour and after the birth of their baby instead of engaging with several midwives and clinicians. There will also be arrangements in place so women can meet other midwives in the same small team.

What will stay the same? 
The Family Birth Centre�s low intervention birth philosophy will remain the same, as will the homelike, non-clinical environment the centre is valued for.

What will happen to my existing booking for 2013?
We reassure all women that no changes will be made to current bookings for this year. We look forward to caring for you as planned and hope your stay will be remembered for the care, respect and compassion provided to you, your family and friends.

What will happen to my existing booking for 2014? 
Please be assured you are still booked in to birth your baby at the Family Birth Centre and we look forward to caring for you and your baby with the respect, hospitality and compassion the centre is known for. The start date of Maternity Group Practice is February 10. 

What if my baby is due prior to February 10? 

�     Care will be provided by midwives transitioning into Maternity Group Practice, some of whom currently work in the Family Birth Centre
�  The Maternity Group Practice midwives are committed to upholding the philosophy of the Family Birth Centre

You will continue to receive pregnancy, labour and birth care as planned within the Family Birth Centre environment 

What if my baby is due after February 10? 
You will be allocated a Maternity Group Practice primary midwife who will contact you to discuss your needs further and arrange a time for your next antenatal appointment.

Will doctors be involved in my care? 
Maternity Group Practice means that a primary midwife will be coordinating your care. There will be a broader team that includes obstetricians who are available for consultation and review as required.

Consistent with current Family Birth Centre practice, Maternity Group Practice midwives will communicate with the rest of the clinical team once you are admitted in labour. This is to ensure that a collaborative and professional approach is taken to ongoing care.

Obstetricians will continue to be part of the clinical team at the Family Birth Centre as they always have and will continue to be available at the request of patients and midwives.

The care we provide at Mercy Hospital for Women is based on trust, respect and collaboration between clinicians to provide the best possible care to women and their babies. We have a range of skilled clinical specialists on staff who are aligned with the Family Birth Centre�s philosophies. Mercy Hospital for Women also promotes patient-centred care which means that you are closely involved in decision making about your own care.

How long will I stay? 
As we change to this new type of care we anticipate that women who have a normal birth, have a well baby and are well themselves will not need to stay in hospital for as long as has traditionally been the case. We anticipate women birthing through Maternity Group Practice will have a shorter length of stay assisted by their known midwife who will provide home domiciliary support and advice. In Maternity Group Practice you will have the opportunity to work with your midwife during your pregnancy to plan for your care needs when taking your baby home.

Taking your baby home can be both exciting and sometimes a little daunting. Your Maternity Group Practice midwife will remain on call to support you and will visit you at home as needed for up to two weeks.

The time you stay at Mercy Hospital for Women will depend on your individual clinical need. If you require a longer stay, you will be cared for on the postnatal floor of the main hospital. If you are well, a partner package room will be offered if available. This is the same process currently used for women who require postnatal transfer from the Family Birth Centre.

What if I want to change my allocated midwife?
The relationship between a woman and her midwife is based on trust, respect and shared philosophies. We recognise that everybody is different and in the event that you do not feel comfortable with your allocated midwife, please call Kym Harrison, Clinical Midwife Consultant during business hours on 03 8458 4940 to discuss your options and transfer of care if necessary.

Further information 
If you have any further questions about your booking, please contact Kym Harrison, Clinical Midwife Consultant on 03 8458 4940.

Date Published:  20 November 2013 

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