Now that you are pregnant
Your care begins with your General Practitioner (GP), by confirming your pregnancy, taking a comprehensive health and medical history, ordering your blood tests and an obstetric ultrasound.
Your GP will write and send a referral to the Armidale Hospital antenatal clinic to initiate your care, and is usually done at around 12 -14 weeks.
Once Armidale Maternity Unit have received your completed referral, including all blood test results and scan reports, our ward clerk will then process your details and notify you by phone with an appointment time to have a booking in visit. Alternatively, once your referral has been sent, you can contact the Maternity Unit to make your appointment. This visit will be attended by a midwife at the Maternity Unit and usually occurs around the 18th to 22nd week of your pregnancy. During this visit, the midwife will discuss with you the options of care available for your pregnancy.
Where you have your pregnancy care will depend on your general health, your preferences, where you live and your previous birth experience.
For Aboriginal women or those women with Aboriginal partners there is the option to book in with the Karrali (AMIHS service) should you wish to utilise this.
The midwife will also discuss the importance of healthy eating and physical activity during this visit. You will be offered a referral to the Get Healthy in Pregnancy service. The Service is open to anyone aged 16 years and over. You will be able to talk with a qualified dietitian or exercise physiologist over the phone in the privacy of your own home. For Aboriginal women or women carrying an Aboriginal baby you may be able to speak with the Get Healthy Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO), for your first phone call or one of your coaching calls. The ALO will talk to you about your needs and your access to services in the community before referring you to either a dietitian or an exercise physiologist for the remainder of your phone calls.
Click on the image below for more information or to refer yourself to the service.
Options of care during pregnancy
Midwifery led antenatal clinics make our services more convenient for women to access ongoing antenatal care in their local communities. These clinics are run by midwives and are for healthy pregnant women with normal risk for medical or obstetric conditions.
GP Obstetric care
This model of care is provided by General Practitioners with an Advanced Diploma in Obstetrics in consultation with Consultant Obstetricians according to your individual health and pregnancy needs. You will need to come to the maternity unit for a Booking-in visit. Your baby will be born at Armidale Hospital unless certain pregnancy complications arise. Your GP will be available and generally present for your birth. The care during labour will be provided by the midwives at the Hospital.
You may choose to remain with your regular GP for a period of time during your pregnancy. Many GPs provide early pregnancy care but do not attend your birth. This enables you to continue seeing your family doctor, who you already know and trust, during your pregnancy, and this may be more convenient for you. Your GP in consultation with the hospital doctors and midwives will determine the best model for your ongoing care. For hospital based models of care (ie Obstetric or midwife led) you will need to transfer your care by the 24th week of your pregnancy. You will also still need to come to the maternity unit for a Booking-in visit
Specialist Obstetric Care at Armidale Hospital Antenatal Clinic
Specialist Obstetricians are best able to care for women who have pregnancies complicated by:
- A previous pregnancy requiring specialist care and/or hospitalisation
- A pregnancy that is not progressing normally
- A multiple pregnancy, e.g. twins
- Diabetes and/or other conditions
- Women with BMI >35kg/m2
Care with a Private Obstetrician
A private Obstetrician is available for Women through the outpatient clinic at Armidale Hospital. Women choosing this option of care will see their obstetrician for all their antenatal care. When choosing this option of care you will still need to attend a booking in visit at the Armidale maternity unit. Should you choose to use your private health insurance, you will need to discuss your options and cover with the Armidale Maternity Unit ward clerk. This information will also be reassessed on your admission to hospital.
AMIHS (Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Service)
Armidale Community Health Service provides care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and/or women whose baby will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. The Karrali service aims to provide culturally appropriate support and education during pregnancy, after birth and for children up to early school years. This service includes antenatal care, child and family health care, immunisation, child health checks, support service referrals and health education. You may contact the staff at Karrali directly, or talk to your GP or the staff at the maternity unit to make a referral to our service.
Please contact Maxine or Lesleann: 0428541410 or Cathy : 0427469382
- If you think you are pregnant or have a positive pregnancy test
- If you have children between 0-5 years
Learn more about AMIHS
Pregnancy support services
Early Pregnancy Assessment Service
This service is available for women with early pregnancy abdominal pain, bleeding or severe vomiting (up to 18 weeks) through the Emergency Department.
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.
Aboriginal Liaison Officers
The Armidale 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.
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.
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, 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.
A midwife can arrange a referral to the dietitian at the Antenatal Clinic.
Get Healthy in Pregnancy
The Get Healthy in Pregnancy Service is a FREE telephone health coaching service available to anyone aged 16 years and over. You will be able to talk with a qualified dietitian or exercise physiologist over the phone in the privacy of your own home.
The service can help you to:
All women can also be referred to the NSW Health Get Healthy in Pregnancy program. The Service is open to anyone aged 16 years and over. You will get your own university qualified personal health coach to help you make healthy lifestyle changes.
Your health coach could help you to:
- Eat healthily
- Get active
- Gain or maintain a healthy amount of weight during your pregnancy
- Not drink alcohol during your pregnancy
- Return to your pre-pregnancy weight.
For Aboriginal women or women carrying an Aboriginal baby you may be able to speak with the Get Healthy Aboriginal Liaison Officer, for your first phone call or one of your coaching calls. The ALO will talk to you about your needs and your access to services in the community before referring you to either a dietitian or an exercise physiologist for the remainder of your phone calls.
Discuss referral to the service with your midwife at your booking-in visit or you can click the image below for more information and to refer yourself to the service.
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 private physiotherapist, you can contact them directly. A midwife can also arrange a referral to the hospital physiotherapist.