So, you're pregnant, now what?

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SCUH MGP Midwife

Welcoming a new baby to the family is an exciting time, but it can also be a little bit overwhelming especially with so many important decisions to make.

When it comes to the health of both the mother and baby, there are different ways you can be cared for throughout your pregnancy and postpartum. We refer to these as different 'models of care'. In those early days, you should start thinking about what model of care you would like so you can start organising any referrals you might need.

At Sunshine Coast Health we offer a range of care options and at Sunshine Coast University Hospital. One of those is Midwifery Group Practice - or as it is often referred to - MGP. It means you will be assigned one midwife to support you during pregnancy, labour, birth and for up to six weeks after your baby is born. It gives you the comfort and reassurance of a familiar face who knows you and your health history.

MGP has limited spaces available, which is why it is so important expectant mothers know about the service and how to get involved. This type of care is known as midwife-led continuity of care, and there is a lot of research behind the benefits of it.

Top four benefits of MGP

  1. More likely to have a midwife you know at your birth

    Research shows you are seven times more likely to be attended at birth by a known midwife. Part of the MGP model of care means your midwife is available during your due date period. MGP midwives work in a team of four midwives and it’s highly likely you will have met the midwives in the program, who will be there if your midwife is unavailable.

  2. Less likely to have a premature baby

    Research shows you are 24 per cent less likely to experience preterm birth1
    Full-term pregnancy is anywhere from 37-42 weeks. Further research is needed to explore findings of fewer preterm births and fewer foetal loss and neonatal death associated with midwife-led continuity models of care.

  3. Less likely to experience pregnancy loss

    Research shows there was a 16 per cent reduction in fetal loss (less than 24 weeks) and neonatal death1
    If complications develop during your pregnancy, your midwife will connect with an obstetrician who knows your pregnancy and will talk you through your options.

  4. Reduces the need for intervention during birth

    Research shows you are more likely to experience spontaneous vaginal birth1

    • 15 per cent less likely to have regional analgesia (eg. epidural)1
    • 16 per cent less likely to have an episiotomy1
    • 10 per cent less likely to have instrumental birth (eg. forceps)1
  5. Your primary midwife will be aware of your individual care needs and preferences and will be with you throughout your pregnancy and birth.

If you are accepted into MGP for your pregnancy care, you will be assigned your own midwife who is then supported by a small team of other midwives. Most of your appointments throughout your pregnancy will be with your midwife and they will also introduce you to the others in their team.

Your MGP midwife is available to answers questions or concerns throughout your pregnancy, and when it’s time for your baby to be born they will support you through labour and birth at Sunshine Coast University Hospital. If they are not available, someone in their team will be available. It is likely you will have already met this midwife.

MGP is all about establishing a relationship with a dedicated midwife who provides education and supports your empowerment and decision-making as your confidence increases heading into birth and motherhood.

It is important you see your GP as early as possible in your pregnancy (before 10 weeks) to increase your chances of securing a spot in MGP care.

Please send our team an email at sc-mgp@health.qld.gov.au expressing your interest, so we know to keep an eye out for your referral.

1Source: Sandall J, Soltani H, Gates S, Shennan A, Devane D. Midwife‐led continuity models versus other models of care for childbearing women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD004667. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004667.pub5. Accessed 02 May 2023.