Pregnancy & Birth

Pregnancy & Birth
 

 

Swan Hill District Health provides a comprehensive and quality service for pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. We have long history of caring for women and families as they make this important transition.

  • Care from qualified and experienced midwives for birthing 
  • Specialist Obstetricians available 24 hours a day to assess and manage complexity and concerns arising during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. 

Dr. Max Holsman

Dr. Max Haverfield

  • Postnatal and parenting care in the Post-natal Ward 
  • Midwife home-visiting service to nurture and support the mother and new baby.

Contact:

Midwifery Unit
Location:      First floor, enter from Splatt Street, stairs/lift on right past front reception.
Nurse           Unit Manager: Paulette Prinsloo
Phone:          03 5033 9269 Email: midwifery@shdh.org.au

Pregnancy and Antenatal Care

It is important for the health of you and your baby to have regular check-ups during pregnancy. This is called Antenatal Care. To commence antenatal care see your GP from 8 weeks into your pregnancy, in order that all recommended tests can be organised.

Antenatal Care in Swan Hill is provided at a number of locations in the Swan Hill area:

  • Swan Hill District Health, Midwife Clinic, on Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon. This service is located at the Primary Health Medical Centre, see details below.
  • Swan Hill District Health, Primary Health Medical Centre, 31 High Street, Swan Hill, Phone: 03 5033 9900. For care by Dr Ernan Hession.
  • Swan Hill Medical Group, 54-56 McCrae Street, Swan Hill, Phone: 03 5033 1711. For care by Dr Stewart Booth and Dr Manzoor Elahi.
  • Mallee District Aboriginal Services, 70 Nyah Road, Swan Hill, Phone: 03 5032 5277, for Indigenous families through the Koori Maternity Service.

Specialist Obstetric Antenatal Consultations

Any concerns identified by GP's or midwives during your pregnancy will be referred to one of our Specialist Obstetricians to be reviewed either at Swan Hill Medical Group, or in the Midwifery Unit at Swan Hill District Health. Should complications, or increased surveillance be required, care will be managed by the Obstetric team from thereon.

 

Midwife Clinic

Midwives from Swan Hill District Health work alongside GP's at the Midwife Clinic, now located at Primary Health Medical Centre (31 High Street), on Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon. Standardised antenatal care provided according to national guidelines including: physical checks, pathology, babies growth, ultrasounds organised and emotional psychosocial care. Get to know your midwives during pregnancy, so that they can better care for you during your birth and early parenting period. There is no direct cost to women for the Midwife Clinic service.

Contact: Primary Health Medical Centre (31 High St, Swan Hill) Ph. (03) 5033 9900  

Koori Maternity Service

Mallee District Aboriginal Services provides pregnancy and postnatal care for Aboriginal families through their Maternity team of midwives, maternity worker, and maternal and child health nurses. Contact: Mallee District Aboriginal Services- Koori Maternity Service 70 Nyah Road,Swan Hill, Vic. 3585. Ph. (03) 5032 5277

Healthy Beginnings lunch time session

Expecting a baby? Come along to 'Healthy Beginnings' to help you get off to the right start with information about how to fuel your changing body and what to expect. No referral is required and lunch will be provided. Second Monday of the month, 12.15-1pm, at Health Promotion, 60 McCrae Street, Swan Hill. Phone: 5033 9337 for more information or see here.

Maternal and Child Nutrition Clinic

Nutritional advice from a Dietitian has been shown to improve health outcomes for newborns and mothers. We recommend at least one consultation at our Maternal and Child Nutrition Clinic. You can phone Health Promotion (03) 5033 9337 to organise an appointment or one our midwives will refer you later in the pregnancy. See brochure here.

Physiotherapy

Some women experience significant musculoskeletal discomfort during pregnancy. Areas of concern include the back, pelvis, hips and hands. Physiotherapy treatment can improve comfort. Outpatient Physiotherapy consultations are available at Swan Hill District Health in the Allied Health area, accessible inside the hospital main entrance on the left. Pregnant clients will be prioritized. Appointments can be made as required, contact Allied Health reception by phone (03) 5033 9390. TENS machines are a non-pharmacological tool for pain relief in labour. The Physiotherapy Department facilitates their use and hire. See booklet here.

Booking in Appointment 20 Weeks

Contact:  Midwifery Unit Swan Hill District Health (03) 5033 9269

Every woman planning to birth at Swan Hill District Health should have a long consultation with a midwife called a Booking in Appointment at the midwifery unit. During this consultation you will have the opportunity to discuss your birthing options and plans, and the midwife will identify any further needs. You will also receive relevant information to your upcoming birth and be able to organise birth classes. Call Midwifery on the above number at the 15 week mark of pregnancy to schedule your appointment.

Classes

Childbirth education classes are offered to pregnant women and their partner or support person. Facilitated by a Midwife, the class focuses on late pregnancy, labour, breastfeeding and early parenting. It is recommended that you book-in to Midwifery at around 20 weeks, if you are planning to attend a Childbirth Education Class you will be booked in by your midwife. The class is held on the third Sunday of each month from 9am until 4pm, at the Community Rehabilitation Centre (enter from High Street), there is no cost for the class. To book in to Midwifery or gain further information, contact Midwifery Department.

Birth

Midwifery Unit

The Midwifery Unit contains two birth rooms and an eight-bed ward, with 3 double rooms and 2 single rooms. All rooms have ensuite facilities with televisions provided.
                   Visiting hours are 10.30 am - 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm - 8.00 pm.

                   Quiet period is from 1.00 pm - 3.00 pm to allow a rest period for mothers and infants.

See also:

Having a baby in Swan Hill booklet

Labour and birth

Swan Hill District Health has a tradition of supporting natural childbirth in a safe environment. Midwives comfort and guide mothers through the early and advanced stages of labour and birth.
"We want to make it a very memorable occasion for all of our mums and parents. I'm a great believer in calm births. I think it's very beneficial to the progress of the pregnancy, the labour in particular. I like to instil a lot of positivity in the mums... and draw on their own life experiences as well, that transition them into parenthood" Midwifery Unit Manager, Paulette Prinsloo.



Midwives facilitate use of natural and medical methods of pain relief. They specifically monitor the appropriate progress of labour and wellbeing of mother and baby. Concerns are communicated promptly to the Swan Hill District Health Specialist Obstetricians. From thereon the obstetricians and midwives work seamlessly together, based on a relationship of trust and mutual respect, to achieve the best outcome for mother and baby. Swan Hill District Health provides a comprehensive Obstetric Service for our region. Theatre services are available 24 hours a day, if required, to manage high-risk cases.
More detailed information and a tour of the midwifery unit will be provided at Antenatal Classes, or alternatively, discussed in depth during your booking in appointment. See details in the 'Having a Baby in Swan Hill' Booklet here.

Postnatal Stay                        

The focus of the stay on the postnatal ward is to promote good recovery from childbirth, monitor newborn's transition and wellbeing, and to assist and nurture the new parents. Teaching and facilitating breastfeeding, other methods or feeding if chosen or required, infant care, baby bathing and settling are all important priorities.

Length of stay for vaginal births is around 3 days, and for caesarean births around 4 days, depending on preference and need.                

                                 

Your first weeks at home

Midwifery provide a 24 hour phone service for up to 6 weeks of age, midwives are available for advice regarding parenting, feeding and mother and baby wellbeing. Phone the Midwifery Unit on 03 5033 9269.

Domiciliary (Home) Visiting Service

During your first week after discharge from Swan Hill District Health a midwife will visit mother and baby at home. The weight and wellbeing of baby will be checked, as well as the physical wellbeing and adjustment of mother.

Maternal and Child Health Service

The Maternal and Child Health Service is the service that provides ongoing support for the families, babies and young children in the community. One of the nurses from your Shire (Council) will visit you at home to monitor baby's growth and wellbeing. An appointment will be organsied at the local Maternal & Child Health Centre for when the baby is 2 weeks of age, and thereafter for key ages and stages. Maternal & Child Health Nurses provide advice and information around behaviour, feeding, development, immunisation and parenting.

Contact: Swan Hill Maternal and Child Health Service, 154 Curlewis Street, Swan Hill, Phone: 03 5032 1329

Other local services and supports for early years 

Australian Breastfeeding Association Contact: Kristen Parker; email:twistwithyou@yahoo.com.au

Maternal and Child Nutrition Clinic (see above)

INFANT program, see brochure here.

Resources

Healthy Beginnings Pack            

If you are planning pregnancy or have had your pregnancy confirmed your Doctor should provide you with a Healthy Beginnings Pack. The packs are full of health and safety information to help you give your baby the best start to life. If you have not received a pack, ask you Doctor or Midwife for one.
If you are planning to have your baby at Swan Hill District Health it is suggested that you book in to Midwifery when you are around 20 weeks pregnant. Booking in early will allow you to be booked in to Ante Natal Classes, collect your Victorian Maternity Record, meet with your midwife and ask any questions relating to your pregnancy or childbirth.

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