Now that you are pregnant
Your care begins with your General Practitioner (GPOB), by confirming your pregnancy, taking a comprehensive health and medical history, ordering your blood tests and an obstetric ultrasound.
If your GP is not also an Obstetrician, you will be required to transfer your care to a GPOB at around 20 week’s gestation.
You will be required to book into the Singleton Hospital for your pregnancy and birth. You do not require a referral from your GP to make an appointment to book into the Maternity unit.
Ideally your booking in appointment will occur between 16-18 weeks. 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.
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
Shared Care with your GP
Shared care means that you are cared for by your GPOB in consultation with the hospital midwives. You will need to come to Singleton Hospital Antenatal Clinic for a Booking-in visit, and three subsequent visits usually around 28 weeks and 34 weeks and 38 weeks. Your baby will be born at Singleton Maternity Unit. Shared Care 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/Obs may be present at your birth
Care with GP/Obstetrician
Women choosing their GP/OB for their pregnancy care may birth at Singleton Hospital. Women choosing this option of care will see their GP/OB for all their antenatal care in their surgery. It is important if you choose this care option that you attend an administrative booking visit at Singleton Hospital Admissions Office and have an Midwife Booking In appointment at around 24 weeks pregnant. Your GP/Obs may be present at your birth.
For women requiring Specialist Obstetric care will be referred to either the Maitland Hospital or to John Hunter Hospital.
AMHIS (Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Service)
Hunter Valley Sector AMIHS is a service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pregnant women and babies and non-Aboriginal women who are pregnant and having an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander baby. We aim to provide individualised culturally appropriate support and education during pregnancy, after birth for up to 8 weeks.
Our services include pregnancy and post birth care, cultural support, breastfeeding support, referrals to other services and health education.
Most importantly, you can see us at a venue that suits you, including at your local hospital or your house.
Our team includes:
- Aboriginal Health Worker
- Registered Midwife
- Student Midwives
Services We Offer
- Cultural support
- Pregnancy and post birth care
- Smoking cessation support
- Breastfeeding support
- Whooping Cough Vaccine
Areas that we Cover
We provide care to women located within Muswellbrook, Singleton, and Scone and from Branxton to Murrurundi, Merriwa and Denman.
Please contact us:
- If you think you are pregnant or as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test
How can you access us?
- Ask your local doctor to refer you
- Ask the staff at Ungooroo Aboriginal Medical Service to refer you
- Talk to staff at the antenatal clinic about referring you
- You can contact us directly on the number below
Hunter Valley Sector Aboriginal Maternal & Infant Health Service
Cara or Therese
PH: 02 65422023
|Options of care||Suitability||Who will provide your antenatal car||Where you will have your antenatal care||Who will provide care during labour|
|Shared care with GP||Women with |
|GP of your choice; Antenatal Clinic midwife at Booking-in and 28 and 38 weeks|
GP practice;All visits at Singleton Maternity Unit
|Midwife from Maternity Unit|
|Care with GP Obstetrician||All women||Private Obstetrician||Singleton Birth Suite||Midwife from Birth Suite and your GPOB|
Women requiring specialist or higher level care will be referred to the High Risk Clinic at either the Maitland Hospital or the John Hunter Hospital.
Pregnancy support services
A referral by a medical practitioner (General Practice or Emergency Department) is required for this service.
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, 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 Singleton Hospital Aboriginal Liaison Officer is available to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and is available each Tuesday.
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, you can contact the Social Worker through the Singleton Community Health Centre (02) 65179248 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.
Our staff can refer to this service as required or requested.
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.
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.
This service can be accessed online or discuss referral with the midwife at your booking in visit.
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, ask your caregiver to contact them for you.
Singleton - Birth Suite and Birth Centre
The Singleton Birth Suite is located on the ground floor of Singleton Hospital.
When you arrive at The hospital, go straight to the Maternity Unit Nurses Station. You will be met by a midwife or another staff member and taken to Birth Suite if you are in labour. If you are not in labour you will be taken to another room for assessment.
Travelling to have your baby in hospital
- Contact the midwife in the Birthing Service (or your own midwife as arranged) for advice.
- Wear a sanitary pad (or more!).
- Have your support person drive safely, and use your seat belt with lap belt positioned below your baby. Have old towels available to catch leaks if they occur, and an old ice-cream bucket in case of nausea or vomiting.
- 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.
A plan for going home after birth
For most women, pregnancy and birth is a healthy experience. Many women choose to go home from the hospital soon after the baby is born. This is dependent on both mother and baby being well, baby has had the first feed, and mother is confident going home with adequate family support. You can go home straight from Birth Suite. A physical examination of mother and baby will be done before you leave. All the necessary documents and supportive information will also be provided. Singleton Hospital does not have a Home Midwifery Service, we ask you to return to the hospital between 48-72 hours after the birth of you baby for a postnatal check, baby check Newborn Screen Test and Baby weigh. We schedule these visits between 1:30pm and 3pm seven days per week.
Husband/ partner/ support persons in labour and birth
We welcome people who will support and encourage you throughout labour and birth. There is room for a maximum of two support people at any one time in the Birth Suite.
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. Under normal circumstances each woman is able to have two support people with her in delivery suite. A doula is to be considered one of the two support people.
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 Maternity unit, we request that your visitors check at the Maternity Unit 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.
There are no childcare facilities available in the maternity unit. 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. However, the limit of two additional people at a time will also need to be considered.
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 identifying number on the mother’s armbands are the same as the baby’s, so it is important that you make sure the identifying numbers correspond.
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.
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. 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.