Options of care during your pregnancy
- It is important that we involve you in all aspects of your pregnancy care.
- Our services vary across Tasmania.
- Some may not be suitable for you for medical or other reasons.
When you find out you're pregnant
You will need to visit your GP to commence your referral pathway into the public health system. Your doctor will guide you on tests for early pregnancy. This includes:
- taking a comprehensive medical and obstetric history
- ordering pregnancy blood tests and an obstetric ultrasound
- referring you to your closest Tasmanian public hospital
- including information that outlines your preferred model of care.
- If you are pregnant, it is important to get antenatal care.
- Antenatal care is planned visits with a midwife or doctor.
- These visits help us assess and improve the wellbeing of you and your baby.
Other important labour, birth and parenting information
Antenatal visits don’t cover all information you need for labour, birth, and parenting. It is important to also attend:
- birth and parenting classes (if available)
- online and telehealth antenatal education
- any additional classes offered that may benefit your specific needs
- a tour of where you will give birth (including information about after-hours access, parking, what happens in hospital and length of stay).
Choosing your antenatal care
- Once we receive your referral letter from your doctor, we review the information to determine the model of care that best suits your needs.
- We may need further discussion with an obstetrician (specialist doctor for pregnancy) to further plan the appropriate model of care for you.
- We will send you a letter with information about your initial appointment date and time. This will be between 12 and 14 weeks of your pregnancy.
- Your initial appointment is attended by a midwife.
- Most of our midwives and many of our doctors are female.
- Sometimes it may not be possible for you to see a female doctor, nurse or midwife at appointments or upon hospital admission.
- All our staff will respect any concerns you may have about cultural and gender issues.
- Where possible, we will try and accommodate your needs.
- A midwife is a person trained to help women and babies during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Our midwives work in all models of care.
- If you have medical or other needs that require your care in a medical clinic, you will still see midwives during your antenatal visits.
- You may still require an appointment with one of our doctors at 36 weeks pending on different circumstances.
- If we think you may have a ’high-risk’ pregnancy, you may be referred to a medical model of care.
Midwifery Group Practice
- You will be cared for by a team of midwives in consultation with our doctors.
- Our team are available to care for you during birth and after your baby is born.
- You will be cared for by a primary (and back-up) midwife who you will get to know well.
- They will support you through all your pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal needs.
- If your care is to be provided through our Midwifery Group Practice, your midwife may phone you and arrange an appointment directly. Otherwise we will send you a letter.
- This appointment will be scheduled within 4-6 weeks after your first hospital clinic visit.
- This model of care offers the most continuity possible and includes a shorter hospital stay of 4-12 hours after the birth.
- You will also have one-on-one visits in your home for up to 10-14 days after birth.
Midwife community clinics
- Community midwives and midwife clinics will provide your pregnancy care at a clinic.
- Your pregnancy care will occur primarily in community clinics.
Midwife satellite clinics
- A satellite clinic is a facility owned by our hospitals but operated at another site.
- Our midwife satellite clinics may be available in your local community.
- The clinics provide antenatal care only for ‘normal-risk’ pregnancies.
- They are not available for your labour and birth.
- To find out if there is a clinic in your area, ask your doctor, midwife.
- You may be referred to our medical clinics for specific health needs.
- You will be cared for by a team of obstetric doctors and clinic midwives.
- There are different medical clinics. You will get the best care depending on your needs.
- If you are required care in one of our medical clinics, this may be discussed with your Midwife or doctor or at your first Women’s Health Clinic appointment.
GP shared care
- GP shared care means you will be cared for by your family doctor.
- They will consult with the hospital doctors and midwives.
- You will still need to book in at the hospital.
Eligibility for GP shared care
You may not be eligible for GP shared care if you:
- have a high BMI (you are not within a healthy weight range for your height)
- are having twins
- have certain medical conditions
- had previous pregnancy problems.
Pre-term birth prevention clinic
- If you are at risk of pre-term labour, you may be referred to this clinic.
- You will be supported by a midwife and doctor.
- They will help develop a pregnancy plan for your care.