What are my care options in Australia?

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GP shared care 

Some GP’s that have an interest in maternity care have completed further training that allows them to provide shared care as an option for pregnant women. 

In this model the majority of your care will be provided by your GP doctor with two appointments being made with the midwives in hospital, one early on in pregnancy, and the next at 36 weeks. 

*Consider a doula or student midwife if this becomes your care option and I highly recommend some quality birth classes (I’ve heard peace with birth does some really great ones) 

Midwifery care in the hospital 

In this model, you will see midwives who work in your local hospital for all appointments. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the same midwife as most of them work rotating shifts including in the birth suite and postnatal wards.

If any complications arise during your pregnancy this model will become shared care with obstetric doctors so your pregnancy is managed safely. 

Midwifery Group Practice (MGP)

I’ll say it once: You’ve got to get in early
This is the gold standard for pregnancy care and all women should have access to it. However, this just isn’t the case currently in Aus. 

In this care model, you will receive your care by a caseload of midwives that you will get to know and trust. 

You will have one midwife who does your appointments either at home or in the clinic, they are then on call for your birth and will provide postnatal visits while you settle in.

There is the chance that your designated midwife will be off call when you go into labour and that’s why you will meet the cover midwife at least 1-2 times during your pregnancy. 

Most MGP’s are an all-risk model and liaise closely with the obstetric team if necessary.

If you’re interested in this model let the midwife know at your first appointment in the hospital. 

If you’re thinking of a home birth please call your local MGP to see if they can support you as it differs state by state.

Private Midwives

Similar to MGP your care will be provided by a caseload of midwives that you know and trust. 

You are more likely to have “your” midwife at the birth, as generally the caseload of midwives are smaller depending on your chosen practice. These midwives are highly qualified and equipped to manage your pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Once again they will liaise with obstetricians when appropriate. 

Private midwives do incur an out-of-pocket expense and it’s best to call your local practice to get more info. 

With this chosen care model you can birth in the hospital setting or at home. 

Private Obstetrician 

In this model, you will have a known obstetric doctor care for your pregnancy. They will provide antenatal appointments in clinic/hospital, be on call for your birth, and provide postnatal appointments. 

There are some legend obstetricians out there that support pregnancy and birth as a normal physiology event but there are also obstetricians that work from a technocratic model meaning they see the mind and body as being separate and not interrelated. In comparison to midwifery care where we work from a holistic framework (everything is connected). 

This is something to consider in relation to your values and expectations. It is always best to do your own research on the particular obstetrician and see if your values align and that you feel heard and respected. 

Once again private incur out of pocket expenses, best to contact your health insurance or local private obstetrician for accurate quotes.

 

 

How your body is made to birth!

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