Pregnancy & Birth

Pregnancy & Birth
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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. Mohamed Abdeen

  • 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

Positive Pregnancy Program 
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.

It is vital that your care in pregnancy is performed by a practitioner credentialled to provide antenatal care by Swan Hill District Health. In the Swan Hill area these providers are:

  • 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, GP Obstetrician.
  • Swan Hill Medical Group, 54-56 McCrae Street, Swan Hill, Phone: 03 5033 1711. For care by GP Obstetricians 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 District Health Primary Health Medical Centre, 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, 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) Phone: 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) Phone: 03 5032 5277

Booking in Appointment - between 12 and 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 receive relevant information to your upcoming birth and be able to organise birth classes. We recommend attending Pre-Admission and Midwifery after your 12 week scan to organise your Booking In Appointment. Alternatively you can call Midwifery on the above number to schedule your appointment, you will need to go to Pre-Admission before seeing the Midwife (reception desk located in corridor before Midwifery).

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 between 12 and 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. For further details contact the Midwifery Department 03 5033 9269.

ENHANCED ACCESS TO ALLIED HEALTH SERVICES

The following services are part of the Positive Pregnancy Program and aim to provide you with comprehensive pregnancy care services to achieve optimal outcomes for both mum and bub. 

Healthy Beginnings session

We encourage you to attend a free prenatal education session early in your pregnancy, but you can come along at any time during your pregnancy. The session is led by a Dietitian & Physiotherapist and provides general tips about nutrition and physical health. It is a great opportunity to have any questions answered and gain some further information in a relaxed, informal environment. If you require further information or follow up, individual appointments with a Dietitian and/or Physiotherapist can be made (see also below). Healthy Beginnings is held on the first Thursday of every month, 12.15-1pm, at Health Promotion (60 McCrae Street, Swan Hill) Phone: 03 5033 9337 for more information or see here.

Dietetics

Nutritional advice from a Dietitian has been shown to improve health outcomes for newborns and mothers. Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing a food borne illness, so pregnant mothers need to be more cautious about their food choices to keep their baby safe. We recommend at least one consultation at our Dietetic service where we can advise you on meeting the extra nutritional demands of pregnancy and ensuring the food you eat is safe for you and your growing baby. You can phone Health Promotion 03 5033 9337 to organise an appointment or one of our Midwives may refer you during your pregnancy. 

Physiotherapy

During Pregnancy, women can experience minor or significant musculoskeletal discomfort including back, pelvis and hip pain. Physiotherapy can help to assess and improve this discomfort. Labour TENS machines, a drug free pain relief method that can be used during labour and are available for hire from 37 weeks of pregnancy. Specialised continence Physiotherapists can also help with any issues you may have with your continence and pelvic floor muscles during the ante and post natal periods. Appointments are available in the outpatient Physiotherapy department and Continence Clinic. See booklet here. Phone 5033 9390 for an appointment  

Exercise Physiology

Regular physical activity during pregnancy has numerous potential health benefits.These may include reducing pregnancy related complications such as pre-eclampsia, hypertension and gestational diabetes. It can also assist in minimising excessive weight gain, improving fatigue and decreasing stress levels. Our Exercise Physiologist will provide you with education regarding the best form of exercise for you. They can also set you up with an appropriate and safe home exercise program to keep you active throughout your pregnancy. 

Dental

All pregnant women are eligible for a free initial visit with Swan Hill District Health Dental Services. Maintaining good oral health during pregnancy is important for you and your baby. Severe gum disease has been linked to premature and low birth weight babies. Booking in early to get help and advice is the best way to prevent issues. It is safe to visit the dentist while pregnant. Phone 5033 9336 for an appointment.

See also:

 

Positive Pregnancy Program

 

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

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 between 12 and 20 weeks pregnant. Booking in early will allow you to be booked in to Antenatal Classes, collect your Victorian Maternity Record, meet with your Midwife and ask any questions relating to your pregnancy or childbirth.

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