Maternity Care Options for Women Set to Improve

Midwives and doctors at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service have embarked on a new project that will build and expand on existing services to provide consumers access to better care from both midwives and doctors.

Staff are currently working together towards being able to offer a more collaborative approach to care for women and families during pregnancy and birth. This improved service will see doctors and midwives working in partnership from a newly established clinic. This clinic will have medical staff from both MacLeod St and Bairnsdale Medical Group practices coming together with the BRHS midwifery team to provide a woman and family friendly clinic offering a range of care options and choice for women.

Ante-natal care will be offered using a small team of medical and midwifery staff. This will allow women to get to know their care providers before labour and birth and have access to regular support from caregivers they know during pregnancy, birth and the early days at home with their newborn.

The new approach is being proposed based on feedback from members of the public, BRHS staff and obstetric and midwifery experts. It is hoped that these changes will create opportunities for all women to have a midwife that they know and are comfortable with while still maintaining a strong relationship with a family GP.

This new model of care will also help share the load of the ‘round the clock’ care required for birthing women and prevent staff burnout so as to ensure a strong workforce into the future.

These newer models of care have also been shown to improve outcomes for women and babies with less intervention rates, lower caesarean section rates, higher breast feeding rates and earlier readiness for discharge home.

“We are excited to be embarking on this project to deliver improved maternity services for all community members.” Said Bernadette Hammond, Director of Nursing, Midwifery & Aged Care at BRHS, “we look forward to working collaboratively with the staff at MacLeod Street Medical Clinic, Bairnsdale Medical Group and midwives over the coming months to implement this initiative.”