Midwifery Continuity of Care

Benefits of Midwifery led continuity of care

Whether you choose to birth in a public or private hospital or at home you will experience midwifery care during your labour and birth.

Whilst the location of birth is experiencing hefty discussions around the globe and in Australia medical led births are considered a safe option, various studies (gathered in the systematic review published in the Cochrane Library – including low and high risk women) found that better outcomes for women and babies occured in midwifery-led continuity models.

It became evident that women with midwifery led continuity of care were more likely to have a sponteous vaginal birth, experienced fewer episiotomies and epidurals, instrumental or caesaerean births and had a higher satisfaction rate. Babies mortality rate after 24 weeks was comparable to the medical led model of care.

What does it mean?

You can choose the midwife you would like during your pregnancy, birth and post birth period. You will be able to establish a trusting relationship with your midwife/midwives to enjoy a smooth transition into parenthood starting as soon as you find out you are pregnant until your baby is at least 6 weeks old.


How does it work?

Midwifery continuity of care used to be only in homebirth settings. However In Australia a number of hospitals and organisations have established midwifery continuity of care models which includes private midwives “admitting/ access rights” to hospitals. Here on the Sunshine Coast the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) has a collaboration agreement with some of the private practicing midwives. This means the private midwife does most of the pregnancy care and will be able to look after you in SCUH when you are having your baby. Private midwives also are the only midwives offering 6 weeks postnatal midwifery support, which is especially important for breastfeeding mums. Some private obstetricians also work in collaboration with private midwives for births in Buderim private hospital. Please find out more when you meet your midwife.

What is homebirth?

Homebirth means you plan to give birth at home under the care of your private, registered midwives. Homebirth can be a safe, spiritual, and empowering experience for women and families by providing a familiar and supportive atmosphere. Midwives are trained in emergency situations at birth and carry first aid emergency equipment and medications should the need arise. Many midwives will offer empowering information and tools to support  labour and provide breastfeeding and post birth education for at least 6 weeks. Please ask your midwife if having a baby at home is a safe choice for you. Please refer to the next page to find a homebirth midwife on the Sunshine Coast.

What is freebirth?

Freebirth implies that you intend  to give birth at home without registered midwives; however some Freebirths are supported by Doulas. Doulas traditionally provide emotional and physical comfort to mothers and families but have no medical expertise. Freebirth carries a higher risk of complications than homebirth, particularly if the mother and baby experience unexpected complications during labour and birth