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A Starting Point

When ABTA was founded, one of our key objectives included reducing the rates of birth trauma in Australia and New Zealand. A question that we are frequently asked by both mums-to-be and mums that have experienced birth-related trauma is ‘How can I best prepare for pregnancy and birth’? We also have an ever increasing amount of first-time parents asking us for advice.

Our philosophy, is to encourage a multi-disciplinary and individualised approach to care that recognises each woman’s life experiences, values, wants, needs and physical health requirements and we encourage our health professionals to do the same. You can read more about ABTA’s position here.

In 2019, we conducted research specifically on birth preparation with the goal to greater understand what families are learning about birth during pregnancy and how they feel about the information that they are provided.
Fathers and Partners
Credit: Debi Brett
From this research, we were able to identify the gaps in the current care provided and started developing information with the goal to empower women and their partners to have conversations about the information that is important to them.
ABTA is currently seeking funding for this project and we are excited to share the program with you as it develops over time.
For now, we are sharing some existing resources which we believe may be helpful in preparing you for your birth.

Models of Maternity Care

Private patients of an obstetrician or GP obstetrician; attend private rooms for care in pregnancy and attended by the same obstetrician/GP for labour and postnatal care.

Antenatal care in a public hospital outpatient clinic; attend the same hospital for labour and postnatal care; pregnancy and intrapartum care provided under the supervision of medical staff, uncomplicated births usually attended by midwives.

Antenatal care is provided by a public hospital midwives’ clinic, with one or more visits to a consultant or registrar; intrapartum care is provided under the supervision of medical staff, uncomplicated births usually attended by midwives.

Team midwifery care within a separate section of a hospital where midwives provide antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum care.

Formal arrangements between a public hospital and local practitioner (GP, obstetrician, midwife); the majority of pregnancy care is provided by a local practitioner, with visits to the hospital at the beginning and latter part of pregnancy; public hospital intrapartum care.

Similar to shared maternity care but does not involve pregnancy check-ups at a public hospital clinic.

Small teams of public hospital midwives care for women throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the hospital stay, with one or more visits to a consultant or registrar.

Ongoing care with the same public hospital midwife for the majority of antenatal, labour, birth and postnatal care.

GPs and hospital-employed midwives jointly provide antenatal care to women enrolled for public hospital intrapartum care.

Midwife care for women with high social or obstetric risk, focus on support and education; intrapartum and postnatal care provided by a public hospital.

Pregnancy check-ups, intrapartum and postnatal care provided by the same midwife; transfer to hospital in the case of complications as a private patient of a GP or obstetrician; may require a number of visits with a medical practitioner.

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