Maternity care options in Queensland
There are five main options for maternity care in Queensland. Please note that accesses to these maternity models depend on the services provided in your local area.
The five main options
- Midwifery led continuity of care: Your care is provided by a midwife or group of midwives and is provided in most public hospitals. Access to a hospital-based midwife care usually requires a GP referral. This model also enable midwives to provide care for women with complicated pregnancies by working collaboratively with doctors and other healthcare providers.
- Private midwife care: Your care is provided by a midwife or group of midwives from a private group practice for your pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. In this model you have the option of choosing whether to have your baby in hospital or at home.
- GP share care: Your care is shared between your GP and the local hospital doctors and midwives. Not all GPs provide maternity shared care so please check with your local GP whether this service is available.
- Private obstetric care: Your care is provided by an obstetrician who is a medical doctor specialised in caring for women with complicated pregnancies or special circumstances. If you choose to be cared for by a private obstetrician and birth in a private hospital a GP referral is required.
- Public hospital maternity care: Antenatal care is provided in hospital outpatient clinics (either onsite or outreach) by hospital-employed midwives and/or doctors. Care could also be provided by a multidisciplinary team dependent on the complexity of care needed. Collaborative intrapartum and postnatal care is provided in the hospital by midwives and doctors. Postnatal care may continue in the home or community by hospital midwives.
Models of Care
The Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (OCNMO) commits to strengthening sustainable primary midwifery models of care that are responsive to women’s and community needs through optimising professional midwifery resourcing.
The Office of the Chief Nurse and Midwife values and supports women being afforded the fundamental right to choice in their option of maternity care. We support midwives working in all models of care across public and private health care sectors and settings.
Private midwives looking for access to admit their private clients to public hospitals can contact us.
Benefits from continuity of midwifery models
Midwifery continuity of carer models provide benefits for women, babies and midwives. It is also cost effective for health services.
The philosophy of midwifery continuity of carer models is continuity of care by a known midwife, with emphasis on normality and drawing on the inherent and natural (physiological) ability of the woman to experience pregnancy, labour and birth, and adapt to parenting with no or limited intervention required. However, where women need medical assistance or care from other professionals, the midwife remains with the woman as her primary carer.