New Family Birthing Centre a first

A pregnant woman sits on the edge of a birthing pool. Another woman and three men stand beside her.
L-R: Jessie Carmichael, Coordinator Women's and Newborn Fiona Stanley Hospital Peta Fisher, Michael Carmichael, Minister for Health Roger Cook and Nurse Director for surgical specialties and women, children and newborn services for Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group Michael Jacobson.
October 3, 2019

Jessie and Michael Carmichael live just 10 minutes’ drive from Fiona Stanley Hospital’s new Family Birthing Centre, but that’s not the main reason they are excited to be on the list for the first arrivals next month.

Developed with the help of the community and midwifery staff, the $1.8 million facility leads the way in modern birthing practices and design.

In the lead-up to her expected due date next month Jessie and other mothers-to-be have been receiving antenatal care at the centre.

“I have really appreciated having that continuity of care,” Jessie said. “I wanted the options this model of birth will provide and that extra support within an expertly designed facility.”

Under a midwifery group practice model of care, women 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 service not previously offered south of the river.

The centre is designed to provide care to women with low-risk pregnancies to have a more home-like, holistic birthing experience. Women will need to meet the clinical criteria for a low-risk pregnancy to be eligible.

A unique feature of the Fiona Stanley Family Birthing Centre is its placement within the hospital environment, next door to the maternity inpatient ward. This means quick and easy access to higher levels of care should complications arise during pregnancy or birth.

The atmosphere has been enhanced through artwork, colour, shapes and scent – all designed to help women feel more comfortable and relaxed. The facility also promotes family participation and inclusion.

Minister for Health Roger Cook officially opened the new $1.8 million Family Birthing Centre (FSH) today with families, Fiona Stanley Hospital Midwifery staff and community representatives who were involved in the development process.

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