Shared maternity careLocations:
Shared maternity care is for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy (sometimes referred to as ‘normal risk’) who prefer to see their GP or community midwife for most of their pregnancy care.
With shared maternity care, the care is divided between GPs or community health centre midwives and our outpatient clinic at Mercy Hospital for Women (MHW).
This type of care is for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy (sometimes referred to as ‘normal risk’) who prefer to see their GP or community midwife for most of their pregnancy care. Our outpatient clinic doctors and midwives will see you for key check-ups.
GPs or community health centre midwives must be registered with Mercy Hospital for Women (MHW) as an accredited antenatal care provider. View our list of Mercy Hospital for Women shared care affiliates to find a GP in your area.
What to do before
Before your appointment please:
- review information on the different pregnancy models of care we offer
- send back any information requested via post, ten days before your appointment. Alternatively, you can bring this information to your first appointment.
What to bring
- your Medicare card (or your passport and private healthcare fund if you do not have a Medicare card)
- your appointment letter
- any pathology or ultrasound results. (If you don’t have a copy, please provide contact details for where the test was completed so we can get a copy of the result.)
What to expect on the day
Your first visit may take up to two hours. You will need to confirm your details with reception staff. You will then see a midwife and an obstetrician if required.
Please allow about one hour for regular visits.
Throughout your pregnancy, you may be supported by:
- community health centre midwives
- Mercy Hospital for Women obstetrics midwives.
What questions should you ask
Please bring a list of any questions you may have.
Opportunities to be involved in research
We participate in research projects and there are opportunities for you to be involved. You can find more information on these projects in our waiting rooms, including how they could benefit other babies, mothers and families. Your midwife may also talk to you about participating in any projects.
For health professionals
Shared maternity care between accredited GPs or community health centre midwives is for normal (uncomplicated) pregnancies. Some key reviews are conducted at our outpatient clinic.
Our referral instructions and templates page explains how to refer to Mercy Health and provides you with the latest referral forms.
Please provide the following information:
- a full referral, including chosen model of care
- any relevant pregnancy and related medical information
- any tests, scans, results or patient information
- social supports and any external agencies involved in your patient’s care.
How to prepare the patient
Please prepare your patient by:
- explaining alternative models of maternity care
- encouraging your patient to ask questions
- suggesting your patient books into a childbirth and parenting education class if she is a first-time mother.
What/when you should refer to us
Refer your patient if their pregnancy is low risk and they want to be cared for in a shared care model.
Mercy Hospital for Women (MHW) is a public hospital. Patients must live in our catchment area. Alternatively, our services can also be accessed as a private patient.
What/when you should not refer to us
Women with high-risk or very high-risk pregnancies.
Shared maternity care aims to provide a high quality community based, holistic, safe and culturally appropriate model of care for women which offers continuity and convenience. This model of care is popular with women who are healthy and have a normal pregnancy.
Download the Guidelines For Shared Maternity Care Affiliates 2015 (next update due for release 2020)
Shared Care Midwife, Mercy Hospital for Women
For health professionals
163 Studley Road
Heidelberg Victoria 3084
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