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Thread: I'm still confused!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Question I'm still confused!

    I posted this as a continuation on my last thread but no one replied so I thought I'd give it another shot

    I think I'm beginning to understand the system a little better now. But I think I'm still a bit confused over the difference between a birth centre and a hospital. I know birth centres are for low risk pregnancies only and are run by midwives. As I am low-risk, I would prefer this since I want a water birth if possible and not to feel pressured to accept intervention when it's not necessary. Since the birth centres are attached to hospitals, I've been getting confused by the posts which refer to a hospital because I'm not sure if they're talking about the birth centre or the hospital. I just want to make sure I am clear on the distinction. Can you have a water birth in a hospital and have only midwives if you're low-risk or do you need to do that in the birth centre? I just want to make sure I'm not getting myself into a situation where interventions are standard. Thanks. I go looking for a place in Adelaide next week!

  2. #2


    OK, here's some info for the UK, I can't imagine it will be that different.

    Both hospitals and birth centres have birth pools, and you are only attended to by midwives unless there's a problem: the hospital will have an on-call Obs and the birth centre will have to transfer you. You pay for Obstetric care in Aus, so I don't know if the same is true for Obs turning up during birth for you, but both places are fairly similar for an ordinary birth.

    The birth centre cannot give you an epidural - you'll need to go to a hospital for that.

    The birth centre midwives will "know" you as you attend various appointments with them (2-3) before you give birth. The hospital midwives you may have never seen before. Depends if you're comfortable with that.

    A straightforward birth, the hospital likes you in and out within the day. In a birth centre, they keep you there for 2-3 days if you want it and teach you how to breast-feed, how to change nappies, and there's someone to look after the baby if you want a shower.

    The individual hospitals and birth centres will all have different rules and some won't allow water births, but you'll have to check with the hospitals in your area what they will and won't allow, but I hope some of that was helpful to you.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2004



    There is a birth centre attatched to the hospital i go to.

    Birth centres in WA are for low risk women. You can not go there if you do not have a completely normal pregnancy with no complications and you can not go there if you have to be induced. You must go into natural labour and not be a possible medical risk at all. At the birth centre you can have a water birth i am pretty sure and there is no pain relief available other than hot water and hot packs. But if something were to go wrong and you needed assistance or needed pain relief then they can easily move you quickly over to the hospital.

    At the hospital water births are not available, you give birth in your delivery suite and pain relief is readily available.

    Its probably different at every hospital and birth centre in every state though so i would check out and research your options when you get to Adelaide.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW


    Hi kellsbells... it really does depend on your hospital as well. Our hospital is a public hospital which was set up as a birth centre as well, but never became one. So our birthing rooms have lounges & look more like hotel rooms & the hospital has 2 midwife clinics. One for low risk and one for general public. You have options to do shared care with your GP or midwife care as obstetric care is only available to higher risk pregnancies.

    With my first pregnancy I chose the specialized midwives for the low risk pregnancy & found them to be incredible. During labour I wound up with a caesarean and so this pregnancy is considered non low risk, so I have generalised midwives.

    With low risk pregnancies the rooms with baths are more available however, you can not give birth in the bath...

    Most birth centres seem to be attached to a hospital. The one in Brissy is so if there is a need for more intervention they can quickly move you to the area you need to be in.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Sydney, NSW


    There is a birth centre attached to my hospital adn this is the deal. in the hospital some rooms have baths, not all, and you are able to use all or any drugs.
    The birthing centre is for a natural drug free birth. you go there if you plan to have no drugs. There will be midwives there, same as the hospital. If you feel you really needed drugs, they will move you to the hospital part. The birth centre is more like a hotel suite xo

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Eastern 'Burbs


    The Womens and Childrens Hospital in Adelaide support water births. I didn't know this earlier so I'm having mine at Modbury Public and they don't do water births....they've even locked up the bath they used to use for pain relief, some silly excuse about it being dangerous to get in and out of. One of my midwives said there was one midwife who was trained in water births but she didn't say whether or not this one midwife still did them. I'm hoping to get this one when I have my bubs....maybe I can persuade her to let me have a water birth...maybe.
    If you google 'Australian College of Midwives' and go to the midwifery led care link then click on SA , you'll get a listing of all the birthing centres and hospitals in Adelaide.

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