Expectant mums will be able to consult their own doctor during most pregnancies under a model used at Werribee Mercy Hospital.
The Shared Maternity Care model allows healthy women experiencing normal pregnancies to see their local doctor during most of their antenatal-care visits.
Key check-ups, including the 16-week appointment with a midwife or obstetrician, the 36-week obstetrician appointment, the 40-week midwife appointment and even the 41-week obstetrician appointment for overdue babies, are performed at Werribee Mercy’s outpatient clinic.
If complications develop during pregnancy, patient care is then put into the hands of the maternity care team at Werribee Mercy.
More than 70 GP clinics across Melbourne’s north-west are involved in the program, which has been running since late 2010.
In 2014-15, 1039 pregnant women used the service, with as many as 1680 patients expected to use the shared-care model this financial year.
Hayley Germaine, who gave birth to her third child, Charlotte, earlier this month, said she would highly recommend shared care for any woman wanting the consistency of seeing the same medical professionals throughout her pregnancy.
Katalin Hegedus, who is pregnant with her second child, said the level of care she received during her latest pregnancy was the same quality and attention to detail as the care she had been given the first time around.
“It’s great for any woman who already has an established and trusted relationship with their GP or [who] wants to build this relationship for their family’s future care,” Ms Hegedus said.