- Latest State Budget provides $1.8 million for a new family birth centre which will be midwifery led
- Providing home-like care in a first for the south metropolitan region
- McGowan Labor Government delivers new family birth centre election commitment
In a first for families in the south metropolitan catchment, expectant mothers will have access to midwifery led care through their antenatal, labour, birth and postnatal periods at a specialised family birthing centre.
The $1.8 million in funding provided, as part of the 2018-19 State Budget, is fulfilling the McGowan Labor Government's election promise for a family birth centre at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH).
During what is one of the longest baby booms in the State's history, the centre will complement the hospital's service through the large number of births it will help to deliver, by providing care to women with low-risk pregnancies to have a more home-like birthing experience.
Being co-located with Fiona Stanley Hospital, which has a birth suite and a neonatal intensive care unit, will enable swifter access to a higher level of care should complications during pregnancy or birth develop.
The Family Birth Centre will be established within the existing maternity ward area and will include four birth and postnatal rooms and a family room/kitchen area, with work on the facility expected to commence in the latter half of 2019.
Through the new Family Birth Centre, patients will be able to see the same group of midwives for the majority of antenatal check-ups, and a familiar midwife/group of midwives will also be present for the birth and involved in postnatal care in hospital and at home.
A Midwifery Group Practice will be established to rollout this model of care, which has proven to achieve better outcomes and satisfaction from mothers. It is expected that 160 mothers will be seen at the Family Birth Centre in its first year of operation.
Women will need to meet the clinical criteria for a low-risk pregnancy before they are offered the Family Birth Centre model of care.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"I am pleased we've been able to deliver this family birthing centre at Fiona Stanley Hospital. It has been a commitment of ours to ensure families in the southern suburbs are provided with greater choice combined with good outcomes for mothers and babies.
"We are focused on delivering quality health care to all Western Australians and doing so within our means. This Budget has included funding for key health commitments that will ensure people across Western Australia have access to good functional health facilities."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"A family birthing centre provides women with a more homely environment and means others, such as partners and children, can be involved in the birthing process.
"The McGowan Government is committed to putting patients first and this service is a prime example of placing the needs of expectant mothers, and their families, first."
Comments attributed to Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk:
"I can't think of a bigger and more important life event than the birth of a child.
"This should not only be in a relaxed environment with family and carers around you, but also mum-to-be should have the comfort of knowing that she and baby will be given world-class tertiary health care should it be needed. Fiona Stanley Hospital's Family Birth Centre ticks both of these boxes."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500
Women's Interests Minister's office - 6552 6600