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Pregnancy: Options of Care

The Cairns Maternity Unit offers a variety of models of care for pregnancy and birth. Our models of care are provided by caring and dedicated health practitioners in partnership with you and your support network. Your Midwife will discuss these options at your first appointment. Options of care available to you are based on your personal preference and the overall health and wellbeing of you and your baby.What option suits you best?

GP share care

This option is available for women who prefer to have the majority of their visits with their GP. It is recommended you attend visits at the hospital for booking-in at 12 - 14 weeks & again at 36 weeks for a midwife visit. Subsequent appointments are dependent on your categorisation of risk.At these appointments you may be with a midwife or a medical officer.

Midwifery Group Practice - Continuity of Care

In this model women are cared for by the same group of midwives throughout the pregnancy, labour, birth and afterwards at home. This gives you and the midwives the opportunity to get to know each other and develop a partnership throughout your care. Appointments may be in the hospital, at home or in the community.

You will be allocated a 'Named Midwife' who will oversee your care and consult with the obstetrician as needed. You will usually be able to return home within 6 to 24 hours after birth with home visits up to 4 weeks.

Even if you have pregnancy complications, you may still be able to be cared for in this model. Numbers in this model are limited

Obstetric Team care

This type of Antenatal care is only required by women who:

  • Have a complicated medical history
  • Have had a previous difficult pregnancy requiring specialist care and/or hospitalisation
  • Have a pregnancy that is not progressing normally
  • Have a multiple pregnancy e.g. Twins

The Clinic is staffed by a number of Doctors which include hospital staff specialists, visiting specialists, trainee Doctors and GP’s – these staff members have varying commitments within the hospital and may not be in attendance for the same clinics each week. This may mean that you may see a different staff member at each visit.

We will endeavour to meet preferences e.g. female doctor/midwife but are unable to guarantee such requests.

Cairns Hospital is also a training hospital and the Maternity Unit has various students attached to the service e.g. Midwifery, Medical and other health professions; these students may be involved and present for some of your care during your pregnancy, labour and postnatal period.

Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC)

If you have had a previous caesarean section (C/S), you may plan to birth your baby either via a VBAC or a repeat elective C/S, depending on the initial reason you had your first one. A VBAC is when a woman has a vaginal birth after having one or more previous C/S. A repeat elective C/S is where a woman plans another C/S to birth her baby. Both VBAC and repeat elective C/S have risks and benefits to be considered when deciding the best option for you and your baby. These risks are largely dependent on your individual situation including the reason why you had the first C/S.

Last updated: 19 May 2017