Congratulations on your pregnancy!                          

Now that you are pregnant you will need to decide where you have your pregnancy care and where you have your baby. This will depend on your general health, your preferences, where you live and your previous birth experiences. 

There are 16 public hospitals within our District offer pregnancy,  birth and after birth care in hospital and/or at home. All of our maternity hospitals are part of a network. Not all of our hospitals have the same facilities and therefor some women during pregnancy may need to be transferred to another hospital as close to home as possible to be able to receive the necessary care for them and their babies. 

At your first visit to the hospital for your pregnancy, your booking in visit a midwife will discuss options for your pregnancy care, we often refer to these as ‘models of care’.

This can include:

Aboriginal Mothers and Babies Team (AMIHS) antenatal/postnatal service                    

  • Midwifery Group Practice

  • Public hospital clinic care

  • Specialist Medical Care​

  • Private obstetrician

  • GP obstetrician – antenatal and care in labour and at birth

What to bring to hospital when you are having your baby

For mother:

  • Antenatal record

  • Maternity (sanitary) pads

  • You are welcome to wear your own clothes during labour, birth and during your postnatal stay. Many women feel more comfortable in a tracksuit or casual wear than in pyjamas during the day.

  • A comfortable cotton nightie, long t-shirt or a sarong is suitable for labour

  • Sarongs or large scarves can be used for privacy in the shower or to hold heat packs in position.

  • Massage oil, barley sugar, glucose drinks and IPod (are all optional but may be helpful during labour)

  • Camera with fresh batteries and memory card

  • Nursing bras, nursing (breast) pads (disposable or cloth, not plastic lined)

  • Toiletries, tissues etc.

  • Cotton underpants

  • Comfortable shirts, shorts/trousers or tracksuit for day wear

  • Pyjamas, nightgowns, dressing gown, slippers

  • Telephone numbers of relatives and friends

  • Writing pad and biro

  • Leave all valuables at home

  • Change of clothes, including a jumper / jacket, for support person/s

  • Mobile phone charger clearly labelled

Suggestions for baby

(these items are generally not supplied, although some of our smaller rural maternity facilities do have baby clothes – please check with your maternity service):

  • At least three sets of clothing

  • At least three bunny rugs/baby wraps (brushed cotton if cold weather, fine cotton or muslin type if warm weather)

  • At least three bibs

  • A couple of large face washers for baby bathing​

  • Your choice of bath solution or baby soap

  • One packet of cotton buds (for ‘cord’ care)

  • Your choice of baby lotion or wipes

  • If you are formula feeding your baby, you need to bring a tin of your choice of infant formula to hospital, sterile bottles will be provided only while you are in hospital.

Please note:​

  • Most facilities provide disposable nappies during your hospital stay – please check with your hospital

  • Baby powder is NOT recommended

  • Please clearly mark your surname on your baby’s clothes and linen.

Remember, it is important to organise for the approved infant or baby restraint to be installed in your car and checked by an authorised RTA agent when you are about 34 to 36 weeks pregnant. 

When you should contact your midwife, doctor or the hospital

  • You are the best judge of how active your baby usually is. It is important to let your midwife or doctor know if there has been any change in your baby’s usual movements

  • If you have any vaginal bleeding or change in vaginal discharge

  • Your waters break or if you have a constant clear watery vaginal discharge

  • Feeling unwell with fever, chills or a temperature more than 37.8° C

  • Severe nausea and repeated vomiting persistent headaches that won’t go away

  • Headaches, blurred vision, or spots before your eyes or sudden swelling in the feet, hands and face

  • Sharp pains in the abdomen (with or without bleeding)

  • Pain or burning when you pass urine or you suspect you have a urinary tract infection

  • Irregular painful contractions at any time

  • Persistent itchy skin

  • Exposure to someone suffering from rubella (German measles) or chickenpox

  • Any trauma such as assault, a car accident or a significant fall.

An environment of learning and education

HNE Health plays a key role in preparing medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health staff for future service to the community.  This means there are usually medical, nursing and midwifery students assisting experienced doctors and midwives, and you will encounter them during your hospital stay.  

You may be invited to participate in a research project.  The person who seeks your participation will provide you with information and if you agree, obtain your written consent agreeing to participate in a research project.

Courtesy services from hospital volunteers

Most of our hospitals have volunteer courtesy services including a trolley service that brings magazines, newspapers, sweets and toiletries for sale to all ward areas.  

Most hospitals also have gift shops which are staffed by volunteers and sell a range of sweets, toiletries and gifts, souvenirs, clothing and baby goods.  All proceeds from the sale of items are donated back to the hospital.

Latex-free environment

With an increasing number of people being allergic to latex, please let your friends and relatives know that regular latex balloons are not accepted in any hospital wards.  Foil balloons are okay.

It may also be a good time to think about flowers in hospital.  While they beautifully mark a wonderful event, many people find the pollens and perfume overwhelming.  

Planning to care for baby in hospital and take baby home

Please clearly mark your surname on your baby’s clothes and linen.

It is important to organise for the approved infant or baby restraint to be installed in your car and checked by an authorised RTA agent when you are about 34 to 36 weeks pregnant.