thread: Family Birthing Suites

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004

    Family Birthing Suites

    Just wondering if anyone has had any experiences with family birthing suites that offer a Midwiffery level of care, rather than an OB.

    At the Angliss Hospital (public), they have a family birthing suite where you can book in, the rooms have a queen size bed with a small dining table and couch etc, and your partners and children can stay in the room with you, you have more lenient visiting hours etc.

    So basically you go and see an OB for your first check up just to make sure there are no complications, but from there you only deal with the midwives, they organise your ultrasounds and tests and all that kind of thing, or you go through your GP for that, and the midwives deliver your bubs (unless there are complications of course, when a specialist is bought in)

    what are peoples thoughts on this, do you think it is neccessary to go through an OB. this is our first child, so we need all the advice we can get!

  2. #2
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    Hi Min,

    If you can, get both! That way you have the peaceful approach of the family birthing suite, as well as the peace of mind that an OB is "at the ready".

    From my own experience (I think I have been lucky) this is how my care panned out, and I feel really that it was ideal for me, and would certainly aim to have this again if I get pregnant again:

    ~ GP referred me to OB at 12 weeks
    ~ Saw OB for "big things" like first check, scans etc
    ~ For monthly checks saw the midwife team
    ~ As I got into the 3rd Tri I saw my OB fortnightly and midwives weekly
    ~ For any incidentals (ie I had a vaginal swap done in my 3rd tri) I just saw the midwives
    ~ I could phone or email the midwife team OR my OB at any stage, 7 days a week, 24 hours.

    For the labour/birth I chose the family room/family birthing suite. My labour was very quick and I dilated very quickly without anyone really realising, so I spent nearly all of my labour either at home (in phone contact with my fave midwife) or in the family suite with DH and my midwife popped in now and again. In only managed to actually get to the birthing suite about 10 mins before Olivia popped out.

    When it came to the crunch my OB came in and had a look at me and delivered Olivia as I had dilated quickly, and it turns out that I had a tight and narrow pelvis. However, whilst I adore my OB, and was glad to have him there, I know that Jane (my midwife) COULD have delivered by herself if necessary. (They actually have worked together for years and make a great team!)

    The aftercare was totally midwives (my OB did come and see me but only for a quick chat every morning, not to examine me.....the midwives did that).

    SO, if you can get both, I personally feel it is the best of both worlds.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jul 2004
    in a land of screaming kids.


    I am going thru mainly a midwife clinic and trying to get into the birth suite (rather than labour ward) because as u said, it is a more relaxed environment and more family friendly. At Blacktown hospital the two are linked and very similar except for visitor rules. So I don't mind either way. I am very happy with the midwife clinic. They are very professional and know what they are doing and if anything is unusual they will book u into an OB to be checked.
    In labour if u r with the birthing suites and bubs seems to be unwell or something goes other than normally (pray god it doesn't happen) they transfer u straight to the labour ward.
    I think u will find that ur local birthing suite and labour ward will work closely together because they never know when they will need to transfer a woman in labour to somewhere higher care.
    Hope this helps

  4. #4

    Hi Min

    I was doing the birthing suite care with my pregnancy with Kameron until complications set in. With ours you could only stay in there for 24hrs after the baby was born. Unfortunately though I never got to experience delivery in there due to complications in pregnancy, but I loved how they would have appointments to suit you. ie if you couldn't get in till 7pm for you antenatal appointment that was fine with them.

    Love :hbeat:

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004

    Thanks girls, all great points and advice. Found out this one only lets you stay 24 hours as well, so I dont know If I want to have the hassle of having to be uprooted 24 hours later and settle into another room?

    They apparently have a tour ever week, so we might go and have a look on Sunday and see what it is all about.

    Decisions Decisions!!

  6. #6
    Bespoke Image Guest

    There are hosptitals like Mercy and Royal Women's in Melbourne that have both family birthing suites right next to normal birthing suites, so if there are complications or you want drugs - you can be moved immediately.

    Last time I had a baby (like I do it every day!!) I went Midwife care, only saw the OB 3 times in all I think, and had midwives through my labour, though because of complications was delivered by an OB. I'm doing the Team Midwife thing again this time (Mercy hospital) as I found them so great, and they also look after you after the birth, and really helped me get the hang of breastfeeding. They were absolutely fabulous.

    I know a couple of midwives at Royal WOmen's family birthing suite and they're lovely too - it's just too far for my hubby to contemplate driving for us with the stress of me being in labour.

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004

    yeah, unfortunately royal womens and Mercy are about an hours travel for us, so that rules them out.

    am definately leaning towards the midwives though, weree meant to go for a tour on sunday, but couldnt be bothered! shocker I know, but I have got until my 12 week appointment to decide, so still got a bit of time up our sleeves

  8. #8
    Bespoke Image Guest

    I know someone who had a baby at the Monash Medical Centre birthing suits who thought that was great.

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004

    I've seen pictures of the family birthing suites at geelong hospital - and they look like really bad motel rooms!! I think I'd rather just hangout in the wards, and then go home!
    I'm more of a B&B girl, and I hate motels, so I reckon it would actually make me feel more uncomfortable.
    Besides hospital is only 3-4 mins drive from home, so I wont feel guilty if Shane has to drive up and see me 5 times a day! You can only stay in these for 24 hours too.
    But I reckon for some people they would be great. My cousin had one at a private hospital in Queensland, and it was gorgeous!! My cousin and his 2 year old slept there for about 3 nights?? I would definitly hang out there if i could!