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Pregnancy Care at Armidale

Our focus for maternity care is to ensure that it is collaborative, where the woman and her family remain at the centre of the care experience and are actively involved in all decisions about the pregnancy, birth and after your baby is born. All decision making is based on relationships of mutual respect and trust.

To assist you to learn more about our services and the options of care available, please click the links below

Now that you are pregnant

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 11 -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

Options of care during pregnancy

Midwifery Care

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.

GP care

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

Summary of models of care available

Summary of models of care available

Option of care​SuitabilityWho will
provide your
antenatal care
Where you will
have your
antenatal care
Care with GP ObstetricianWomen with
uncomplicated pregnancy
​GP Obstetrician
 of your choice;
 Antenatal Clinic
midwife at Booking-in
GP practice;
Booking in visit
 at Armidale Maternity 
Midwifery Care​Women with uncomplicated pregnancy​Midwives from Armidale Maternity UnitArmidale Maternity Unit
Karrali/AMIHS Service​Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Island
women or women
having an Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Island baby
Karrali midwives
and Aboriginal
Health Care
Workers; GP or
 Midwives from Armidale Maternity Unit
Home /
Community /Armidale Maternity Unit
​Care with private Obstetrician​All women​Private obstetrician​Armidale Hospital outpatient clinic
​Specialist Care at Armidale Hospital​Women with
complicated by medical, obstetric conditions
Medical obstetric teams​Armidale Hospital outpatient clinic
​GP Care​Women with uncomplicated
​GP of your choice;
Antenatal Clinic
midwife at
Booking-in and
if hospital based
 care, Obstetrician or midwife from 24 weeks
​GP rooms; Armidale Maternity Unit or outpatient clinic

Pregnancy support services

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.

Armidale ​Birth Suite

Armidale ​Birth Suite

The Armidale Hospital Birth Suite is located within the maternity unit.

The Birth Suite is located on level 2.

When you arrive at Armidale, go straight to the Maternity Unit reception desk. You will be met by a midwife or receptionist and taken to an available room

Travelling to have your baby in hospital

  • Contact the midwife in the maternity unit for advice.
  • Wear a sanitary pad.
  • Have your support person drive safely, and use your seat belt with lap belt positioned below your baby.
  • Bring your antenatal record. Your antenatal record provides us with your history and plan of management for labour and birth. Please carry it at all times, and present it to the midwife on your arrival to the Birth Suite.

A plan for going home after birth

For most women, pregnancy and birth is a healthy experience.  Women can go home at any point, when they are feeling confident and well enough to do so. Most women who have had a vaginal birth go home after 2-3 days and those women who have had a caesarean section 3-4 days. Your time in hospital will depend upon your and your new baby’s needs. The timing of going home is also dependent on both mother and baby being well, baby having established feeding, and mother is confident going home with adequate family support. A physical examination of mother and baby will be done before you leave. All the necessary documents and supportive information will also be provided.

Husband/ partner/ support persons in labour and birth

We welcome people who will support and encourage you throughout labour and birth.


It is the woman’s choice who supports her during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period. A doula is a layperson, identified by the woman, who provides continuous support during the antenatal period, childbirth and the postnatal period. The doula attends as an employee of the woman. Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) is open to the use of doulas at birth, and maternity services will facilitate a productive, receptive environment for doulas to support women. However, HNELHD clearly states that it does not accept responsibility and is not accountable for any actions or advice given to labouring women by doulas.


If there are some visitors you would like to visit you soon after the birth of your baby in the Birth Suite, we request that your visitors check at the Maternity unit reception desk before proceeding to your room. This is to protect your privacy and the privacy of other women in the unit.

Enquiries while in Birth Suite

To protect your privacy and confidentiality, information is not given to people enquiring about you without your consent.  We will take messages for you to contact the enquirers at a convenient time.

Video recording and photography

We respect your wish to film labour and birth. However, all staff have the right to refuse to be identified on film or refuse filming during specific procedures. Please inform your midwife of your intention to film. If your baby is born in the Obstetric Operating Suite, only still photographs may be taken.


There are no childcare facilities available at Armidale Hospital. If you wish to have your children present for labour and birth, we request you have one adult, other than your main support person to care and supervise.

Mobile phones

We ask that all mobile phones are turned to silent mode in the Birth Suite, and ward environments.

Keeping baby with you following birth

Your baby will remain with you following birth. Skin-to-skin is encouraged for a minimum of 1 hour after the birth or until the first breastfeed. Skin to skin contact stimulates the mothers’ production of the oxytocin hormone, which decreases bleeding, promotes bonding and breastfeeding. It allows the baby to smell, touch and know mum as well as stay warm. When the baby shows signs of readiness, he/she will be able to breastfeed.

It is strongly suggested that during this important time the baby stays with mum, rather than being handed around to other family members. The father of the baby has an important role in protecting the new mother and baby.

After your baby has fed, he / she will be weighed and measured. With your consent, Vitamin K (Konakion) and Hepatitis B vaccine injections will be given at this time.

Two arm-bands with the baby’s correct identification details will be placed on the baby’s arm and leg – the midwife will ask you to check these details to ensure they are accurate. The armbands are routinely checked by the midwives. Should the armbands fall off, please tell the midwife as soon as you can so that new armbands can be provided.

If medical treatment is required for your baby, then he or she may be taken to the Special Care Nursery adjacent to the Birth Suite. As soon as possible, you will be able to visit and care for your baby.

What happens to the placenta (afterbirth)?

After the birth of your baby, the placenta will be disposed of in accordance with NSW Health Guidelines.

On some occasions the placenta may be sent to the Pathology Department, for extra information. This may happen if you gave birth to twins, or if you or your baby has a serious medical or obstetric condition. If you would like to take your placenta home please talk to your midwife.

Stem cell collection and storage

If you are interested in the collection of stem cells from your baby’s cord blood for possible future use, you need to organise this with one of the private companies several weeks before coming to hospital to birth your baby. You will need to organise the collection, equipment, courier service and storage with the private company.