A popular and cost-effective model of care for mums-to-be is now available at Sutherland Hospital.
This week the hospital’s maternity unit launched the Midwifery Group Practice – an in-demand service that gives pregnant women the option of a ‘gold standard of care’.
Midwifery Group Practice means women are cared for by the same midwife, supported by a small group of midwives, throughout their pregnancy, during childbirth and in the early weeks at home with a new baby.
It is primarily designed to suit low risk pregnancies, and gives women continuity of care, where midwives work individually with women well into the early parenting stage.
Every maternity service in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, including at St George Hospital now offers this model of care.
The hospital has started recruiting women into the model, which has proven to increase maternal satisfaction and decrease adverse birth outcomes.
Four midwives have been involved in its planning phase in the past 12 months.
Midwifery and nursing manager of Women’s and Children’s Health and Outpatient Services, Rebecca Moore, says there is already a wait list.
“This is a first for the shire and the word has spread,” she said. “We already have women coming into the model, which is fantastic.
“Rather than the fragmented care you often see in other hospitals where a woman would see one or two different clinicians, this model means they see the same midwives through their pregnancy, and at home afterwards.
“Research show that women who go through this model have really good outcomes, in terms of satisfaction of care and birth. They are also less likely to use epidurals, have better breastfeeding rates, and babies have a decreased risk of being admitted into special care.”
About 16-20 women will be accepted into the model per month, with each midwife looking after a few patients each.
“We want it to be fair, especially for first-time mums who haven’t had babies before,” Ms Moore said. “But we will also hold spaces for more vulnerable mothers, those who may have drug or alcohol problems.”