Antenatal Care

The first ‘booking-in’ visit

All women (including those who are having shared care with their GP’s) will have a first visit by a midwife at a hospital or community clinic, this is your the booking in visit. The midwife will ask you questions about your health and general well being, illnesses, medications that you are taking, operations you have had and any previous pregnancies. This is to determine ways we can provide you with appropriate care and support throughout your pregnancy and to ensure your pregnancy care meets your needs. you can expect this appointment to take about one and half hours. Please arrive at the clinic at least 10 minutes prior to your appointment time. This will allow time to complete your paperwork before you see the midwife.

Your partner or support person is always welcome at your visits, but due to the length and personal nature of your first visit, we ask that you attend this appointment alone where possible. 

All women will be given their own pregnancy record the hand held antenatal record. Your record is updated at each of your pregnancy visits and will provide a detailed record of your pregnancy care, including results of any tests. We strongly suggested that you carry this with you at all times. 

Your next appointment will be booked before you leave your first visit.

Across HNE Health we have a range of specialist services, including medical services for women who have broader issues that may affect their wellbeing during pregnancy; including women with physical/intellectual disability,  alcohol and drug problems or mental health. Some maternity units have specialist pregnancy clinics for women with complications such as diabetes, and other conditions which may impact on their baby or pregnancy.

Allied health services across the District are able to provide expertise in social support, mental wellbeing, counselling, diet, physiotherapy and peer support.

If you need support from specialist services it will be arranged by the midwife completing your booking visit or by the team providing your pregnancy care. 

Your allocated to a model of pregnancy care will be recorded on your hand held antenatal record, if this changes for any reason we will note the change on your record. 

Ultrasound and pathology results

Routine pregnancy care involves blood and urine tests as well as ultrasound examinations. The results of these tests will be available for you at your next antenatal visit. Your results will also be recorded on your hand held antenatal record.

You do not need to contact the hospital about any of your results. If any of your tests show any abnormalities or require follow-up you will receive a call from your maternity care provider. 

Please note that we often have trouble reaching patients and will leave a message if there is the option to do so. All calls made to you by the hospital will display on your phone as no number of private caller.

Overseas visitors or those who don’t have a Medicare Card​

HNE Health provides public health care. All patients must have a Medicare card. Patients not eligible for Medicare benefits will receive an invoice for payment from the finance department. If you are not eligible for Medicare please contact the hospitals admission department to discuss fees incurred for your maternity care.

Research participation

You may be invited to participate in research projects taking place across HNE Health. These projects are designed to increase our knowledge about pregnancy, birth and after birth care, so that we may improve our services for your care and for women in the future.  Participation in research is completely voluntary. The standard of care you receive will not be affected in any way if you choose not to take part. All research participants will be given the relevant information and asked to sign a consent form.

Antenatal admission to hospital

During pregnancy some women may need to spend time in hospital. Depending on the reasons for admission, this may require your transfer to one of the District’s larger hospitals; consideration will be given to keeping you and your baby in the most appropriate hospital as close to home as possible.  

Supportive midwifery care

Midwives will care for you throughout your stay in hospital.  Please refer your questions you have to the midwife looking after you. A doctor will visit you each day.

Long stays in hospital during pregnancy can be difficult especially if you have been transferred somewhere away from home. Being separated from your family and the circumstances that require you to be in hospital can be very stressful.  Please discuss these issues with your midwife as we may be able to provide you with additional support.  

Antenatal education available

Midwives and physiotherapists can provide one-to-one or group sessions, as well as information booklets for women in hospital to discuss a range of topics important to you.

Topics include reasons for and coping with being in hospital, strategies to minimise back ache, dealing with labour and birth, breastfeeding, caring for a baby in Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU), expressing and storing milk.  

We may also be able to offer you a range of information on DVDs relating to birth, breastfeeding and parenting which you and your partner can watch on the ward

Going home​

On the day you plan to leave hospital, please make arrangements for early transport.  Mothers are encouraged to plan to leave by 10am.  It is important to collect your discharge summary and hand held antenatal record and make any necessary hospital follow up appointments before you leave.