Obstetric care the second time around


If you used to read my old blog, you may know that while pregnant with E, I saw a wonderful Obstetrician privately for my pregnancy care but birthed at the local public hospital. This option worked well because initially I didn't have the time to wait around for appointments at the public clinic, I loved having the personal care given it was my first pregnancy and then as my pre-eclampsia took hold, it became reassuring to have focus and attention of one of the Queensland's leading Obstetricians.

To recap, in my first pregnancy, I saw an Ob and my GP (as he keeps Sat/Sun hours) in addition to undertaking Calmbirth classes with a practising hospital MW, accupuncture with another practising hospital MW and many monitoring appointments with MWs.

This time around, I am much more aware of what is going on with my body and what to expect so don't necessarily crave the care of an Obstetrician and to be quite honest, would prefer to avoid the expense if at all possible. I am once again having bub at the Gold Coast Hospital after a wonderful experience there last time but I am lucky in that our world class University hospital has opened so I will deliver there instead of the old Southport facility. The new hospital is pretty spectacular and comes complete with private rooms for maternity and state of the art birthing suites complete with pools in each - FYI I'm not planning a water birth.

Unfortunately due to the pre-eclampsia, induction, post partum hemorrhage and my LETZ procedure for cervical cancer (at 12 weeks pp) last time around, this pregnancy is classed as high risk whether I like it or not. I have an excellent and very attentive GP who also watched over my first pregnancy and who I am still seeing but recognise that I do need a more specific care this time around given the heightened risks. I will obviously need to see the hospital Obs but that then means lengthy wait times etc. With this in mind, I figured I'd just see my Ob once again and the hospital ones minimally but I wanted to investigate one other option I had recently heard of.

On the Gold Coast, there have been several midwifery practices open in recent years and I became aware of this at a Children's Health & Wellbeing expo I attended earlier in the year. I have been interested in investigating this further so a couple of weeks ago I googled and found Midwifery Services Gold Coast - http://www.midwiferyservices.com.au/. One name and face stood out as familiar - I was sure the lead midwife was the same MW who induced me, monitored my labour and all but delivered Ethan (things went pear shaped towards the end and we had a few Obs & Paeds etc with us at delivery so one of them ended up catching him). She supported us throughout a long and distressing 12 hours and even stayed past her shift till the very end and as a result, I have wonderful memories of her and how her support helped us. I called my mum as she was in delivery with us to ask her if she recalled the midwife and she confirmed my suspicions so I called the practice.

'My' MW actually answered the phone and after I introduced myself, gave some background and explained my reason for calling, she was able to remember me. She still works one day a week at the GC Hospital it turns out. We discussed the care and services offered by the practice including that I was still eligible despite my high risk category and the options available to me. There is a Shared Care option that is eligible for Medicare and provides care up until baby is 6 weeks old. This option will reduce your wait times  for appointments (as you will not have to attend public clinics as often) and provide plenty of experienced support for the entire pregnancy and labour experience.

The second option is Continuity of Care Complete Birth Experience. You will have individual hands on care by one named MW and access 7 days a week 24 hours a day and for 6 weeks after birth. Your lead named MW will be on call for your birth and will support you through labour and birth at the hospital with the hospital team. This option I was pleased to discover is covered by my private health insurance and means that I will be able to have the same MW who supported me through Ethan's birth once again there to do the same with this baby.

I am open to seeing my previous Obstetrician also if it is warranted as I have been advised my cervix will need monitoring this time after the LETZ procedure but I am confident in my share care choices should everything be relatively fuss free this time. I am excited to take advantage of MW care this time as truly, the experiences I had with MWs throughout my first pregnancy shaped my views on birth, labour and gave me the strength to have the birth I hoped for.

I have my appointment with Midwifery Services Gold Coast later today and am very much looking forward to it. I will continue to update about my share care choices and how they are working out as the pregnancy progresses.

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