Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shared antenatal care at the Women's

Changes that are being implemented in midwives' practices, with the availablity of Medicare funding (I am still being patient - I have not yet received notation as eligible for Medicare), have led me and some colleagues to apply to be recognised as Shared Care affiliates at public hospitals. I have recently received my certificate from the Women's. Click here for more detail on Shared Maternity Care.

General practice doctors who have qualifications in obstetrics (GP-Obs) are usually the providers of Shared Care at public hospitals. The Shared Care Affiliate provides regular check-ups, and orders blood tests and other investigations for women who are planning to give birth at the hospital. The Shared Care Affiliate does not usually have any involvement in the acute care, from onset of labour to discharge of mother and baby.

Shared Care with a midwife at the Women's is available for women who live in the catchment area. It is possible that, with Medicare rebates for antenatal and post natal care, some women will choose to have their antenatal and postnatal visits with a midwife, without having the expectation that the midwife will also attend them in labour. However, midwives who provide primary care are, by definition, committed to working with a woman through the continuum or pre, intra, and postnatal care. When a midwife is a Shared Care affiliate at a hospital, she is also able to provide midwifery care during labour at home, to attend hospital and be 'with woman' through the birth, and support the amazing transitions that a mother and her baby go through in the early days and weeks after birth.

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