Pregnancy support services
Acute gynaecology service (incorporating the early pregnancy assessment service)
This service is available for women with early pregnancy abdominal pain, bleeding or severe vomiting (up to 18 weeks).
A referral by a medical practitioner (General Practice or Emergency Department) is required for this service. There is no capacity for self-referral.
Multicultural health services
The Multicultural Health Unit provides the following services to women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds:
- Health Care Interpreter Services
The Multicultural Health Unit provides professional health care interpreters for all women from CALD backgrounds. Health Care Interpreters assist women to communicate with their health professional during antenatal visits, classes, labour, postnatal period and other health-related occasions. If you need the assistance of a health care interpreter please let staff know and they will
book one for your appointment.
- MOMS (Mothers, Obstetrics, Multicultural
This program offers cultural support to women during pregnancy and up to six months after birth. This support includes linking women from the same backgrounds together to reduce isolation, share experiences, and discuss concerns and issues relating to pregnancy, birth, child care and parenting in a different cultural setting. This helps to identify potential cultural differences in those areas and the need for referrals to relevant health providers and/or community services and groups.
Please let your midwife know that you would like to receive this service, or you can contact the MOMS Service on phone (02) 4921 4497 or email:
Aboriginal liaison officers
The John Hunter Hospital Aboriginal Liaison Officer is available to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.
If you or your family require assistance in accessing hospital services, please ask one of our staff members to contact the Aboriginal Liaison Officer for you.
Family care midwifery service
The Family Care Midwives provide a caring and supportive outreach service to mothers with special needs who are attending the antenatal clinic or having Shared Care with their GP. The Family Care Midwife can see you in the antenatal clinic and/or visit you at home, providing individual care during your pregnancy and up to six weeks after the birth of your baby.
The Family Care Midwives can provide education about pregnancy, birth and early parenting. Your midwife can help bring together all the services you need in your pregnancy, and assist you with any problems that arise at this time.
After you have had your baby, the Family Care Midwives will help you make contact with Child and Family Health Services to provide continuing care when you and your family settle in at home.
Care and support for women with drug and alcohol problems
Some women may still be using alcohol or taking drugs during pregnancy. It is known that this can be very harmful to the unborn child. A number of skilled, non-judgmental and empathetic staff can provide a range of support. This will greatly improve the chances of having a healthy baby. Other services include the Drug and Alcohol Team and Social Work team.
Providing practical assistance and counselling – social work
Social workers are part of the health care team looking after you and your family while you are in hospital. In some situations, the social worker will routinely come to see you during your stay or at the time of your antenatal appointment. You may also wish to contact them yourself. This service is confidential and free.
Social Workers can offer counselling to individuals and families in all areas, including:
- Women or families experiencing difficulties during the pregnancy, such as family breakdown or financial difficulties
- Women or families considering adoption
- Information about community support services
If you wish to contact a social worker, you can contact the Social Work Department directly on (02) 4921 3700 or ask your midwife, doctor or other hospital staff involved in your care to contact a social worker for you.
Promoting healthy eating: dietitians
Both you and your baby need extra nutrients during all stages of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy promotes healthy growth and development for your baby, prepares you for breastfeeding and is important for your own
wellbeing. It is important to remember that even though you are eating for two, there is no need to eat twice as much.
A dietitian can assess your diet and suggest any changes that you may need to make. This is particularly important for women who are under- or over-weight, suffer from anaemia or a malabsorption illness such as Crohn’s or Coeliac disease, follow a vegetarian diet, or are diabetic.
You can arrange to see the dietitian at the Antenatal Clinic by phoning (02) 4921 3600 for an appointment, or by asking a midwife during your hospital stay.
Helping women to move well: physiotherapy
A physiotherapist is available to give you advice or treatment on the discomforts that may arise during your pregnancy or after your baby is born. These may include back pain, pelvic pain, pelvic floor weakness, incontinence or abdominal muscle weakness.
If you wish to see a physiotherapist, contact them directly by phoning (02) 4921 3700 or ask your caregiver to contact them for you.