Healthy living

Family Birth Centre – a special beginning

The Family Birth Centre offers midwifery-led care in a home-like maternity unit located next to King Edward Memorial Hospital.

The centre provides a safe and comfortable setting for families to actively participate in every phase of the pregnancy and birth experience.

At the Family Birth Centre there is:

  • care provided by midwives (if no problems develop)
  • continuity of care through appointments with a small group of midwives
  • an opportunity for your partner to stay with you overnight
  • no restriction on visiting times or the number of visitors.

Epidural is not available however there are other pain relief options.

Childbirth choices

Your entire birth experience can be as personalised and individual as you desire, within the limits of safety.

Your choices will be respected and supported by the centre staff.

For example, any birth position that is comfortable for you is acceptable.

Waterbirth

Heavily pregnant woman sitting in a large bath while a midwife presses a stethoscope to her abdomen to monitor the baby.The Family Birth Centre is pleased to be able to offer waterbirth for women who have a low risk of developing complications.

The centre has a fully equipped, large bathroom to cater for your needs during labour and birth.

Most midwives working at the centre are able to conduct waterbirths, however the bathroom is subject to availability. Waterbirths can only be conducted by midwives who have completed the necessary training.

The midwives at the centre will be able to answer any questions you may have about waterbirth to enable you to make a fully informed decision.

Who can attend?

Certain health issues may preclude some women from attending the centre.

Attendance is restricted to women whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is under 35 and who have not had a previous caesarean section.

If you’re unsure about whether you can attend please check with the centre midwives.

Advantages

Advantages of the Family Birth Centre include:

  • childbirth choices for women
  • comfortable home-like setting
  • partner able to stay continuously
  • low intervention.

Referrals

You are able to self-refer to the Family Birth Centre or your GP can refer you directly. Your referral must include:

  • confirmation of your pregnancy
  • results of routine blood tests and ultrasounds organised by your doctor.

Due to high demand, places in the Family Birth Centre are limited so please book in early.

Facilities

The facilities at the centre include:

  • private interview rooms for antenatal care
  • birth rooms and bedrooms comfortably furnished with:
    • double beds
    • easy chairs
    • ensuite shower
    • toilet
  • individual garden courtyard
  • air-conditioning you can control
  • bathroom with large birth pool
  • kitchen for food preparation and food storage for families and staff
  • family room with dining facilities
  • large group area for education and socialising.

Midwife role

Experienced midwives at the centre work in a team relationship with:

  • GPs
  • obstetricians
  • paediatricians.

They provide:

  • health assessment and care throughout the antenatal, birth and postnatal experience (regular visits are required)
  • personalised attention to each woman’s individual needs and choices
  • information and support
  • antenatal education covering:
    • physical and emotional changes
    • changing family roles
    • maintaining your health through exercise and nutrition
    • active birthing including coping strategies for labour and pain relief options
    • breastfeeding
  • recognition of complications and referral to medical staff if needed.

All of the specialist support services at King Edward Memorial Hospital are available if required.

Familiarisation

It is important that you, your support person and family get to know the midwives, support staff and environment where your baby will be born. You can do this by:

  • taking a tour of the facilities
  • regular antenatal visits
  • attending education classes.

Family members and supporters

You should have an adult support person who is willing and available to:

  • attend classes with you
  • support you during labour and birth
  • stay with you at home until you are able to manage independently.

Children are welcome to attend the birth. However, you will need to arrange for an adult (not your support person) to be present to take responsibility for them.

Transfer to King Edward Memorial Hospital

During your labour or birth you may need to transfer to the King Edward Memorial Hospital Labour and Birth Suite for additional care from doctors and other midwives.

If this occurs you may also need to stay on the hospital ward following your baby’s birth.

While at the hospital you will need to refer to the visiting policy – partners are unable to stay overnight.

You will need to make alternative arrangements if this occurs.

You can find out more about transfer to the hospital by talking to the centre midwives during your:

  • antenatal visits
  • parent education classes.

Community midwifery program

A small number of women are able to have their baby at the centre under the care of a community midwife.

In this case, education and care is provided by the Community Midwifery Program and not by the midwives at the centre.

Midwifery group practice

In the near future the centre is planning to offer even more continuity of care options.

Postnatal care

Provided all is well, you are able to be discharged to the comfort of your own home between 4 to 24 hours following the birth.

The maximum length of stay is 24 hours.

Before you go home your baby will receive a full paediatric examination.

A newborn hearing screening will also be offered.

A midwife will visit you at home for the first few days following your discharge.

They will provide support and advice on caring for yourself and your new baby.

Phone support from a midwife is also available once you have returned home.

More information

Family Birth Centre
Phone: 6458 1800 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 4.00pm)
Address: King Edward Memorial Hospital, Railway Parade, Subiaco WA 6008 (entrance between Bagot and Barker Roads)

Remember

  • Your entire birth experience can be as personalised and individual as you desire, within the limits of safety.
  • The Family Birth Centre offers waterbirth for women who have a low risk of developing complications.
  • Certain health issues may preclude some women from attending the centre.

Acknowledgements

King Edward Memorial Hospital


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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