More options for pregnant women

Rural mothers like Jackie Rieck, with her newborn son Samuel, will now have more options for birth choices.
Rural mothers like Jackie Rieck, with her newborn son Samuel, will now have more options for birth choices.

WOMEN in Clermont, Dysart, Moranbah, Glenden and Middlemount now have a greater choice when it comes to deciding how they would like their pregnancy managed, after the introduction of a new maternity scheme by Queensland Health.

The Four Models of Maternity Care have been introduced to help inform couples about their birthing options and provide them with a little extra level of care.

Moranbah mother-of-four Jackie Rieck just missed out on utilising the new scheme after giving birth to her son Samuel on Monday, but said she was absolutely thrilled for future mums and dads.

“Country women need the same care as city women and it looks like they are finally on their way to getting it,” Jackie said.

“It’s really nice to see.”

Under the new maternity scheme, women will have the options of which model they would prefer to go with during their pregnancy and birth and will be paired with a midwife in their own town and one at the birth centre.

The new models include a local hospital known midwife and Mackay Birth Centre midwife for low-risk women, a local hospital doctor and hospital known midwife for all-risk women, a local private GP and known hospital midwife and a private obstetrician and practice midwife.

Jackie said the new scheme would make things more personal for parents and make the experience less stressful.

“One of the good things about a country midwife is that you see the same person each time you go for a check-up,” Jackie said.

“I’m really happy women in small country towns will be getting that extra level of care.”

Rural Maternity Initiative project officer Sharon Sellers said the options were identified after a six-month consultation with medical professionals and community members.

“There is a strong focus on continuity of care and giving women the opportunity to form a relationship with a known midwife for their whole pregnancy and birth,” she said.

“If they have a known carer it helps develop trust and confidence throughout all phases of the birthing journey.”

The use of tele-health and video-conferencing will also be encouraged to minimise travel to access specialist services.

“This collaborative approach promotes partnerships with women, their families, midwives, medical officers and the community,” Ms Sellers said.

Continuity of care is also encouraged by the introduction of a Pregnancy Health Record book that contains a complete record of the pregnancy and can be shared with any medical professional, whether this be the QAS, another midwife, social worker, dietitian or general practitioner.

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