Choices for your pregnancy and birth care
Options for pregnancy care
There are a number of different models of pregnancy (antenatal) care available. Some of these may also include birthing and postnatal care. Choosing the best option of care for you will depend on your preferences, and in some instances your medical history. Regardless of which model of antenatal care you choose we encourage you to attend a hospital booking in visit early in your pregnancy.
If you’re not sure what’s best for you, discuss these options with your GP or a midwife at the hospital booking appointment.
Regardless of what option of antenatal care you choose you will likely have between seven to ten antenatal visits through your pregnancy. The number of visits may vary depending on your individual needs, preferences and how your pregnancy is going.
Different models of care available in the MNCLHD area include:
This is where your care is provided by the hospital and you may be seen by a mixture of midwives and doctors. Care within this model is free for Medicare eligible women, and is available at:
Your care is provided by a midwife or a small team of midwives for your entire pregnancy journey from antenatal care, birth care and postnatal care after birth. Care within this model is free for Medicare eligible women, and is currently available at:
These are care options available to Aboriginal women, or women expecting Aboriginal babies.
Your pregnancy and community postnatal care will be provided by a midwife and Aboriginal Health Worker. You may also see a doctor within this model if there are any pre-existing health conditions or if any concerns develop throughout your pregnancy.
Birth and inpatient postnatal care for this service is led by the routine public care model. Care within this model is free for Medicare eligible women and is available at Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Valley/Macksville, Port Macquarie and Kempsey.
To access these services you can contact them directly or by referral at the hospital booking in appointment.
This is a model of care where some of your antenatal care is done through your GP and other milestone visits occur through the routine public hospital care model.
This model is free for Medicare eligible women, however there may be some gap payments associated with your chosen GP.
Please discuss these costs with your GP if you elect to have your care through this model. This model is available at all hospital sites.
Your care will be provided by an obstetrician who specialises in caring for women with complicated pregnancies or with special circumstances.
You will require a referral from your GP if you elect this model of care.
There are often out of pocket expenses associated with this model and we encourage you to discuss this with your chosen obstetrician and ensure they provide care through your chosen birthing hospital.
Your care will be provided by a private practicing midwife. You do not require a referral from your GP if you elect this model of care.
There are often out of pocket expenses associated with this model and we encourage you to discuss this with your chosen midwife.
Where can I have my baby?
In the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) there are four hospitals which provide maternity services including antenatal, birthing and postnatal care services.
MNCLHD Maternity Services have different service capability which means, depending on your personal health history, previous birth experiences and pregnancy health, you may be recommended to birth at a facility best suited to the level of care you require, and/or have shared antenatal care between sites.
The model of maternity care best suited to your individual needs will be discussed at the booking in appointment at your local maternity service.
To find out more about the maternity services offered at each hospital click on the hospital links below.
Coffs Maternity Unit provides care for pregnancy, labour and birth, special care nursery and post birth care including home maternity care.
The Pregnancy Care Service can be contacted on 02 6656 5300 during business hours for appointments and bookings. Women can self-refer to this service or may be referred by a GP for pregnancy care. We encourage women to book their first visit as early as possible, preferably between 10 to 12 weeks.
For women experiencing early pregnancy complications the Early Pregnancy Assessment Service (EPAS) is available to provide care for women up to 20 weeks’ gestation. For further information you can contact the Pregnancy Care Service on 02 6656 5300 during business hours.
Pregnancy Care is open Monday to Saturday with evening clinics till 7.00pm on Monday and Thursday.
Please phone 02 6656 5300 for an appointment.
Inpatient maternity services including antenatal, postnatal and delivery from 36 completed weeks including LUSCS and epidural.
Referral and booking in is preferred prior to 14 weeks gestation.
Booking in is now in person.
Antenatal classes run for 6 week blocks: Tuesdays 6:30pm to 8:30 pm, contact the Maternity Unit to book in.
Alternative contact numbers for the Maternity Unit
Macksville District Hospital Maternity Services
Macksville Midwifery Group Practice(MGP)
Midwives and obstetricians working in partnership with women offer the opportunity for a woman to experience care by a small team of staff during pregnancy, birth and in the early days following birth.
- Individualised care.
- Lactation consultant available by appointment only.
- Low risk pregnancy care with midwives and active labour and birth support.
- Complex pregnancy care with staff specialist obstetrician (and birth at Coffs Harbour Health Campus).
- Water immersion and water birth.
- Analgesia (excluding epidural).
- Birth and parenting education by appointment.
- Positions of Power- optimal fetal positions information.
- New born hearing screening.
- Outpatient face-to-face and phone consultations.
- Midwifery in the Home (MITH): All women (regardless of place of birth, i.e. Macksville or Coffs Harbour) are offered home visits by midwives for up to 2 weeks postpartum.
- Referral partnerships with Child and Family Health and AMIHS (Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service).
The following models of care are available:
- Midwifery Group Practice (low risk pregnancy care): Antenatal, labour, birth care with midwives and home visiting by Midwives for up to 6 weeks postpartum
- Maternity Antenatal and Postnatal Service (MAPS) (High-risk Pregnancy Care): Women with high-risk pregnancies are able to have expert obstetric care close to home ( at Macksville Health Campus) and will plan to birth at Coffs Harbour Health Campus (CHHC).
Service specific criteria
- Medicare cardholder
- Once referral is received from women or GP at Macksville, the woman is triaged into the most appropriate model of care. Women with more complex pregnancies will birth at CHHC.
Exclusions for MGP (however these services are provided at CHHC):
- Cervical ripening (previously called Induction of Labour)
- Premature births
- Vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)
- Caesarean sections.
Port Macquarie provides antenatal care to all pregnant women please contact the service for clinic times and bookings.
Early Pregnancy Assessment Service
No referral is required for this service. Opening hours: 8.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Friday.
Home Midwifery Service
Early Discharge Program and a Midwifery Extended Care Program service is offered six days a week for women that discharge before 48 hours or may need some extra care particularly breast feeding or babies that may have been admitted to the Special Care Nursery.
The Maternity Unit has 15 antenatal, postnatal and four gynaecological beds, three birthing rooms, assessment room and eight special care nursery beds.
Currently the Mid North Coast Local Health District doesn’t have a publicly funded model of care that supports homebirth. If you’re interested in homebirth we recommend you engage the services of a Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia eligible privately practicing midwife.
There are currently no private hospitals within the Mid North Coast Local Health District that offer birthing or maternity services.