New mums enjoy choice

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Samy Medical Practice principle GP Dr Christabel Samy, expectant mother Kirstyn Brabyn and Rockingham General Hospital maternity unit manager Alicia Pearce.
Camera IconSamy Medical Practice principle GP Dr Christabel Samy, expectant mother Kirstyn Brabyn and Rockingham General Hospital maternity unit manager Alicia Pearce. Credit: Chloe Fraser

The number of expectant mothers in the Rockingham area choosing to stay with their family GP during pregnancy is increasing, according to the South Metropolitan Health Service.

Rockingham General Hospital became midwifery-led last month, when the hospital adopted a new model of care.

The new service gives expectant mothers the choice to share care between their GP and the hospital, or continue to seek antenatal care from a GP obstetrician, in addition to midwifery-led care during and after birth.

Rockingham General Hospital maternity unit manager Alicia Pearce said the new model of care was benefiting many expectant mothers, who were more comfortable remaining with their family GP.

“Evidence suggests that continuity of care is associated with better outcomes for mums and babies,” she said.

“What we’ve done is we’ve allowed women to actually choose who cares for them in the community antenatally.

“So they can stay with their family GP and midwife in their clinic...or they can still see a GP obstetrician.

“So it’s giving (mothers) choice. It’s giving ease of access. It’s making the service more efficient through the community and through the hospital.”

Samy Medical Practice principal GP Dr Christabel Samy said shared care between GPs and the hospital reduced stress for mothers and created a consistent timeline of care.

“The other thing I like about this model is it’s actually normalising or not overly medicalising antenatal care,” she said.

“When you get sent some-where to a GPO or specialist it creates this thought that it’s suddenly not normal or there’s a problem.

“Low-risk pregnancy really should be managed by good midwifery care alone with the support of a GP.”

Rockingham General Hospital delivers more than 1800 births each year.

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