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

Booking in Appointment – between 12 and 16 weeks. 

If you are pregnant it is your responsibility to make an appointment to book in at the Midwifery Unit at Swan Hill District Health.  This helps the midwives have the information they need about you to help you birth safely. 

Women planning to birth in another hospital but who are still living in Swan Hill are encouraged to book in at Swan Hill District Health just in case they need to have support transferring to their preferred unit or if their baby comes early.

Contact: Midwifery Unit – Ph: 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 Midwifery after your 12 week scan at Radiology to organise your Booking In Appointment. Alternatively you can call Midwifery on the above number to schedule your appointment.

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. Once your pregnancy reaches 12 weeks and has been confirmed by your regular GP you can book-in to the Hospital by calling the Midwifery Unit.

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

  • Swan Hill District Health, Midwife Clinic. This service is located within the Midwifery Unit. Phone: 03 5033 9269
  • Mallee District Aboriginal Services, 70 Nyah Road, Swan Hill, Phone: 03 5032 8600, 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 in partnership with your GP from thereon.

Midwife Clinic

The Midwife Clinic runs Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.   The midwives have 30 min appointments to ensure you are able to ask any questions you may have and also ensure you and your baby are coping well throughout the pregnancy with care provided according to national guidelines including: physical checks, pathology, baby’s growth, ultrasounds organised and emotional psychosocial care. Getting to know your midwives during pregnancy, ensures you have some familiar faces when the time comes to birth your baby and helps prepare you for labour and birth. There is no direct cost to women for the Midwife Clinic service.

Contact: The Midwifery Unit between 8. 30am – 4pm Monday-Friday Ph: 03 5033 9269

Midwife and mother to be

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 8600


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 16 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 SHDH Education Centre (62 McCrae Street), there is no cost for the class.* Please contact Midwifery for current arrangements

For further details contact the Midwifery Unit 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.


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.


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. 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.


All pregnant women are eligible for a free initial visit with Swan Hill District Health Dental Services, with a referral from a midwife. 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.


Midwifery Unit

The Midwifery Unit contains two birth rooms and four postnatal beds, with all 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.

Partners can stay if there is a bed available (beds will be prioritised to women and newborn babies at all times).

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.

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 midwife appointments.

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 of 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

Breastfeeding Support Service

The Swan Hill District Health Breastfeeding Support Service is available to provide further support at any stage of your breastfeeding journey. Our experienced midwives (including a qualified Lactation Consultant) can visit you at home or you can come and see us at Health Promotion. Phone 5033 9337 and see for more information on breastfeeding support.

Other local services and supports for early years

Australian Breastfeeding Association Contact: Kristin Parker; Email:

Early Years Online Hub for information, events and services in the Swan Hill Local Government Area.