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Central Coast Birth Choices

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There are many options for child birth on the Central Coast, below is a brief description of each of them.

Independent Private Midwifery Care
The concept of having your own midwife is to provide a woman with total continuity of care. The midwife does all of your pregnancy visits, is ‘on call’ to be with you throughout the entire labour and birth, as well as for a few hours after the birth. She also provides daily home visits and support in feeding and caring for your baby for up to 6 weeks after the birth.

With the insurance crisis as it is in Australia at the moment, independent midwives providing private services are presently uninsured. This has made their availability scarce and in many areas non-existent. Independent midwives have also temporarily lost their visiting rights to hospitals because of being uninsured, limiting their services to just home-birth (if they continue to practice). It is hoped that this situation will be resolved in the near future, to facilitate this choice for women and their families.
Independent private midwives.

Midwifery Group Practice at Gosford, Wyong and Belmont Hospitals
Sometimes known as ‘Caseload Midwifery’, Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) enables women to be cared for by the same midwife (primary midwife) and supported by a small group of midwives throughout their pregnancy, during childbirth and in the early weeks at home with a new baby.
Midwifery care focuses on women’s individual needs and is women centred.
This service provides you with continuity of care and enables you to develop a relationship with your midwife through out your pregnancy. This form of maternity care has shown to produce the best outcomes for low risk women, as is recommended by the World Health Organisation as the gold standard of care.
Where situations arise that indicate a need for medical involvement, midwives work collaboratively with medical colleagues to co-ordinate the best care for mother and baby. The Primary Midwife will continue to provide care regardless of the need for medical involvement.
Due to each midwife only taking on 4-5 women per month in this program, places are limited.

Team Midwifery Program (Wyong) & Community Midwives Program (Gosford)
Under this care instead of having one midwife you will be seen by a small team. You will have one primary midwife during your pregnancy, birth and after the birth of your baby – in hospital and/or at home. You can also be seen by anyone in the team.
The difference between the Wyong Team Midwifery Program and the Gosford Community Midwives Program (CMP) is that you will be case loaded for your antenatal appointments at Wyong. This means that you will have a chance to get to build a relationship with one midwife before you go into labour.

Midwives Clinic at Gosford Hospital
You will be seen by anyone of the midwives rostered on for you prenatal visits. Midwives will attend your labour and birth, as well as care for you after the baby is born. You don’t usually see the same midwife for your care and you will have a different midwife for the labour/birth and after the baby is born.

Shared Care – Gosford Hospital
Antenatal Shared Care with your General Practitioner is available at Gosford Hospital. After attending Gosford Hospital’s antenatal clinic to book-in , you return to your GP for your care. The midwife will advise you when to return to the hospital (usually at 36 weeks). If complications arise requiring specialist care, you will be advised to attend the antennal clinic sooner.

Private Obstetric care – Gosford and North Gosford Private
Pregnancy care by an obstetrician of your choice or referral . Labour / birth with a midwife, Obstetrician present for birth. Care after you baby is born by midwives. Choice of Gosford or North Gosford Private hospital for your birth. You will need a referral from a General Practitioner.

Currently you are able to hire a private midwife for a home-birth, this is currently only available until 2012 when the federal government plans on making it illegal to have a home-birth outside a hospital system.

Belmont Hospital is able to provide full midwifery care for planned home births to the women of Newcastle that live within 30mins of John Hunter Hospital. There are criteria around this involving your general health and obstetric history.
This is a service we hope Wyong hospital will be able to offer the women of the Central Coast in the future.

Breech Birth
If your baby is breech and you would like a vaginal breech birth in Australia, you really need to do your homework to find someone who will support you, as numbers of those choosing to attend breech birth are quite low. This is not to say that breech birth is dangerous – the skill and knowledge of vaginal breech birth is being lost, as a result of carers not choosing to attend breech births, opting for caesareans instead.

The women of the Central Coast and Hunter are very fortunate as there are a number of obstetricians at John Hunter including Dr Andrew Bisits that will assess your suitability for a vaginal breech birth.

Sadly no hospital or obstetrician on the Central Coast specialize in vaginal birth after caesarean and this is shown in the statistics. John Hunter Hospital located in Newcastle is running a VBAC midwifery program called Yemaya to support women choosing to have a VBAC, please contact John Hunter Hospital and ask for the Yemaya Team for details.

Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Strategy – Gosford Hospital
A midwifery-led primary health care model for aboriginal women and women of aboriginal partners. You will have a primary known midwife and health care worker who will provide the majority of care throughout the pregnancy and postnatal period.

For more information on what model of care might be right for you.

For information on Central Coast Hospital Statistics

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10 Comments on “Central Coast Birth Choices”

  1. sophie says:

    I have had two gorgeous girls at Gosford hospital. One in 2003 and one in 2007. Both times I used the Community Midwives Program at Gosford Hospital and I had nothing but a wonderful birthing experience. One labour was a very fast 3 hours from leaving home, the other 13 hours. Both times I had one dedicated midwife during labour that were wonderful support. I loved seeing the same midwives during my pregnancy, they were just fabulous support, advise and super middy’s. Gosford I would highly recommend.. they are awesome 🙂

  2. jannette says:

    I am having a vba2c at gosford hospital so not sure why they say gosford do not encourage vbac’s.

  3. Coast Kids says:

    Dear Jannette, that is wonderful that you are going to have a VBAC at Gosford. The reason that we said that no one seems to be supporting women having VBAC’s on the Coast is from the local VBAC statistics. They are very low for both Gosford and Gosford Private. We hear that their is a new Obstretrician on the Coast that says he supports Vbac but we haven’t received any feedback about him yet. When we do we well let you all know.

    Good luck with your birth, I hope that it is wonderful and goes how ever you have planned.

  4. jannette says:

    Hi love

    Now this is making more sense to me lol

    This morning I finally get a call from the midwife at gossy hospital to finally book me in. I am almost 24 weeks and they only ring now (shakes head). She asked me is this my first child I said no this is our 7th baby I am pregnant with. My first four were all natural births and last 2 c-sections which were not really needed. She then asked me how I would like to birth this baby/ I was shocked I said wow can I have a natural and she said absolutley infact we encourage it I was gob smacked. I know they allow a vbac but was not aware of a vba2c. So maybe its because there is a new OB now there??? So maybe better ties ahead for women wanting more choice after a c-section.

  5. jannette says:

    Well the hospital have changed there minds about me having a vba2c. To the point they said they would refuse me care if I even tried turning up there in labor. So the battle is on again and I only have 6 weeks left before my child is due, and they are ignoring me now, so I havent a clue how I am giving birth now.

  6. kathryne says:

    NO hospital can refuse you care…..
    i’m gathering it was a middie that said this to you?? honestly they can’t ‘force’ you to have a cesarean…and they very well can’t refuse you care

  7. Theresa says:

    Hi ladies,

    This mama needs help. We are 24 weeks pregnant with our first bub and after thinking we were having bub here in WA, all of a sudden we might be on our way to the Central Coast (to live) in about 5 to 8 weeks.

    I am freaking out slightly. No idea what hospital to go with. I’m not an Australian so I don’t think we can go public so thinking of going with Gosford Private? But no idea which OB etc….



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