Choosing your care provider with consideration is one of the most important things you can do to affect your birth outcomes. But, a lot of people don’t know what their options are. For some, having private health insurance automatically leads them to believe that birthing with a private obstetrician in a private hospital is the best option for them. For those without private health cover, they might be led to believe that their local public hospital is their only option.

But this isn’t the case.

There are a number of different models of care that you can choose from, and from there you can decide on the health care provider that is right for you and for your circumstance.

Models of care

Midwifery led

This type of care involves seeing one, or a small group of midwives throughout your pregnancy, birth and labour. This is a continuity of care model, because you will see the same person or group of people throughout and in most cases will have the same midwife for your labour and birth as well as your postnatal visits.  

You can read more about the Cochrane review of midwifery led care here. Benefits of midwifery led care included less epidurals, less episiotomies and instrumental births, higher chance of spontaneous vaginal birth, less chance of preterm delivery and lower risk of losing baby.

 

There are a number of different midwifery led care options available in Perth:

Midwifery Group Practice (MGP): available at Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital and King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH). 

Community Midwifery Practice (CMP): available for home births or domino births at FBC, KEMH, Kalamunda birthing rooms, Fiona Stanley, Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital and Rockingham hospital. 

Family Birthing Centre (FBC): A home-like maternity care facility attached to KEMH. Water birth facilities available.

– Independent/Private Midwife: there are a number of currently practicing private midwives in Perth. Generally they are available for home births with some having admitting rights at various hospitals. Independent midwife blog is coming soon but please contact me in the meantime if you would like to know who is currently practicing in Perth.

What are the differences between the 4 options? MGP, CMP and FBC are publicly funded so there is no out of pocket cost. You will need to agree to certain ultrasounds and tests to be accepted into the programs and to birth with them. Depending on your back up hospital (if home-birthing with CMP) your midwife may not be able to come with you in the case of a transfer. Your midwife(s) may not be available when you are in labour so there is the possibility of being cared for by unfamiliar midwives in the case of a transfer.

With an independent midwife you are in control of what tests and ultrasounds you have. There is an out of pocket cost however some of the fee may be refunded by medicare – check with the midwife. It is extremely likely that you will have your midwife at your birth for a home birth.

GP shared care

This type of care depends on your GP and your local public hospital. If available, you will see your local GP up to 36 weeks for your appointments, provided there are no complications. At 36 weeks, care will be taken over by your local public hospital.

Public hospital

Your local public hospital will provide your care (intake based on postcode), with appointments usually taking place with the hospital midwives. 

HOSPITAL

POSTCODES

FACILITIES

Armadale Kelmscott

6108 – 6112

6121 – 6126

Blow up birth pool (waterbirth available if trained midwives are working), showers, birth balls, throne beds

Bentley

6100 – 6105

6107

6151 – 6152

Showers

King Edward Memorial

6000 – 6001

6003 – 6016

6050 – 6053

6062

6907

 

Baths available for labouring in only, birth balls, showers

Fiona Stanley

6147 – 6150

6153 – 6160

6162 – 6164

6166

Waterbirth facilities depending on available midwives, showers, birth balls

Osborne Park

6016 – 6019

6020 – 6022

6029

6050

6059 – 6052

6066 – 6067

6090

Bath available for labouring in only, showers, has snoezelen room

Joondalup

6020

6023 – 6028

6030 – 6038

6041 – 6044

6503

6507

6511

6516

6521

6064 – 6065

6077 – 6079

Baths for labouring in only, showers

Rockingham

6165

6167 – 6176

Showers

SJOG Midland

6054 – 6058

6068

6070 – 6074

6081 – 6085

6090

6500

6556

6558

Bath for labouring in only, showers, birth balls and CUBs (comfortable upright birth support)

 

Private obstetric care

Antenatal appointments are with an obstetrician in their private rooms or in private hospital antenatal clinic. Currently no private hospitals in Perth offer water births, however some have baths available to labour in only.

SJOG Mt Lawley – bath available to labour in only, showers available

SJOG Murdoch – bath available to labour in only, showers available

SJOG Subiaco – bath available to labour in only, showers available

Glengarry – showers available

Joondalup Private – baths available to labour in only, showers available

Peel health campus – showers available

 

Choosing your care provider with thought and consideration is the best way to make sure your birth is calm and positive. Know your options, explore them thoroughly and remember that you are the birthing person. You are hiring someone to work for you and it isn’t the other way around.

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or unsure where to start, please contact me to talk about your needs and which model might suit you best.

 “Women’s strongest feelings, positive and negative, focus on the way they were treated by their caregivers.”

Annie Kennedy & Penny Simkin