Canberra Maternity Options
We are here to guide you through your pregnancy journey within the ACT public maternity system.
We want to ensure you have the right care at the right time, at the right place.
There are two public maternity hospitals in the ACT:
- Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (Garran)
- Calvary Public Hospital Bruce (Belconnen)
It is often more convenient for women to birth at the hospital nearest to their home.
Most women will see a GP early to confirm their pregnancy and to receive early pregnancy advice and support. Having a GP is important at this time for you and your family’s health and wellbeing.
Continue to see a GP as your primary health carer, as they provide an overlap of care, until you have your first appointment with the hospital antenatal care team.
Information for people who live in NSW
If you live in NSW and would like to access Canberra’s public maternity system, speak to your local maternity service or GP to start your maternity care and ask for a referral to access Canberra’s public maternity system.
You’re pregnant: what now?
There are a few things you need to do before we see you. Follow the steps below when you find out you’re pregnant.
Step 1. Sign up for MyDigtial Health Record (MyDHR)
Sign up to MyDHR by completing the online registration. If you’re already registered skip to step 2.
MyDHR allows you to access and update your health information from home and manage future appointments. You may also be able to access patient education materials tailored to your needs. You can access your own Digital Health Record (DHR) through the secure website or a mobile app.
The DHR safely stores health information for patients who use any of the ACT’s public health services. This includes Canberra Health Services and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce. Private health facilities are not included.
Step 2. Find out more about your maternity care options
It is important for you to learn about your maternity care and birthing options. When you let your GP or Central Health Intake know you’re pregnant, they will ask you what your preferred maternity care option is.
Sometimes your preferred model of maternity care may not be possible. This might be due to your health history or because that model of maternity care is at capacity. In this situation, a midwife will contact you to discuss your options.
Things to think about when making your decision for your maternity care option:
- Talk to your GP if you have a complicated pregnancy history.
- Public maternity care can be considered.
- Think about whether you would like to have your birth attended by a midwife known to you?
- Midwife-led care could be considered.
- Think about whether you want to continue to see your General Practitioner (GP) for your pregnancy care?
- GP Shared care could be considered.
Step 3. Let us know you are pregnant
You can call Central Health Intake (CHI) on 5124 9977 to register yourself. You will be asked some questions about your baby’s due date, the hospital you plan to birth at and your preferred maternity care option.
Make an appointment with a General Practitioner (GP), who will send a referral to CHI and connect you with Maternity Options.
At your appointment, your GP will:
- confirm your pregnancy and your expected due date
- discuss options and provide early pregnancy advice
- ensure you are taking the right supplements and initiate any recommended medications/vaccinations.
- appropriately support and refer you for pregnancy care, and early specialist care if needed.
Your GP will organise:
- a referral to Canberra Maternity Options for ACT public maternity care for you
- early pregnancy screening
- urine tests
- blood tests
No matter what maternity care option you chose for your ongoing pregnancy needs your GP will continue to care for you and your baby throughout pregnancy and beyond.
Step 4. Your first antenatal appointment with a midwife
Your first appointment with a midwife is ideally when you are between 12-14 weeks pregnant. You will be contacted to arrange your first antenatal appointment. You will receive a reminder for your appointment details.
During this appointment the midwife will talk you through some health and wellbeing assessments and the options available to you if you need extra support during your pregnancy. Your appointments will follow the recommended antenatal schedule as shown in your Pregnancy Health Record, which will be given to you at your first antenatal appointment.