Over 1400 babies are born at Ballarat Health Service's Maternity Unit each year. The Maternity Outpatients Unit provides women with pregnancy care (antenatal care), childbirth education classes and postnatal home visits, after your baby is born.
What we do?
We are committed to the delivery of quality maternity care that acknowledges and respects the rights, cultural differences and expectations of all women and their support people.
What to expect?
At the beginning of your pregnancy, you will see your General Practitioner (GP) or private obstetrician for your initial tests and investigations. Once the pregnancy is confirmed, your doctor will refer you to the Maternity Outpatients Clinic.
The Maternity Outpatients Clinic will then contact you to arrange a booking in appointment with a doctor and midwife. This appointment will be between weeks 10-17 weeks of your pregnancy (gestation) and includes a detailed health history, a review of any previous test results, a discussion about your ongoing pregnancy care and a discussion regarding which model of care you may prefer.
Ballarat Health Services offers three models of pregnancy care for our patients.
Is for women who have low risk and will have a midwife involved in their care. Midwife-led care can be delivered in three ways:
Midwife Antenatal Care.
Midwives provide your antenatal care in the Maternity Outpatients Clinic. You will see a Doctor at your booking visit at 28 weeks, 36 weeks and at 41 weeks. Our Midwives, in the labour ward, will be your main care providers during labour and birth and will consult medical staff, when required, for advice and support.
Continuity of Care Option (COCO)
A small group of midwives care for you during your pregnancy in the Maternity Outpatients Clinic. These midwives work across all areas of maternity and may care for you during labour, birth, on the postnatal ward and for your home visit. This model follows the same schedule of visits where you will see a Doctor at booking in, 28 weeks, 36 weeks and 41 weeks.
GP Shared Care
Most of your pregnancy care is provided by your General Practitioner (GP). You will attend the Maternity Outpatients Clinic for key visits with a midwife and doctor, including booking, 28 weeks and 36 weeks. At 40 weeks a doctor in the Maternity Outpatients Clinic will see you, to discuss prolonged pregnancy management.
Obstetric-led care is for women who are deemed to be having a higher risk pregnancy, according to the exclusion criteria for Midwife-led care and GP Shared Care Models. The timing and number of visits are flexible, to meet the individual woman’s needs. Women will be cared for primarily by a Doctor in the Maternity Outpatients Clinics and also see a midwife at: booking in, 25 weeks and 34 weeks.
Private Obstetric Care
You can nominate to be a private patient and your care is provided by a Private Obstetrician throughout your pregnancy. You will see a midwife at the Maternity Outpatients Clinic for your booking in visit. Your Private Obstetrician will be responsible for your monitoring during pregnancy.
If you nominate to be treated by a Private Obstetrician, Private Patient’s expenses will be incurred. To discuss this, please call the Private Patient Liaison 03 5320 4214.
If you would like to familiarise yourself with the Maternity Unit, ward tours are held on the first Sunday of each month, commencing at 2:15pm.
It is advisable to call the ward at 1pm before attending on 5320 4980.
Postnatal home visits
When you are discharged from the Maternity Unit, after having your baby, you will be offered domiciliary postnatal home visits. These visits are from a midwife in your area, who will visit you at home 1-2 times to check on you and baby. These visits usually occur 3-6 days after delivery. If you live in an outlying area, you may be required to take your baby to the nearest hospital for these visits, as some areas cannot facilitate a home visit.
Commonly Asked Questions
What can I expect at each visit?
You will be asked to confirm your details and check in at the reception desk for each appointment. Please update any personal information with staff prior to taking a seat. This includes next of kin details, phone numbers and address.
From 20 weeks gestation your care provider will measure your abdomen, listen to the baby’s heartbeat with a sonic aid, check your blood pressure, discuss any concerns you may have as well as provide education and vaccinations.
How long will my appointment take?
Each woman and baby are different and appointment length may vary depending on each individuals needs; therefore there can be a wait to see the doctor and midwife. Most appointments should take around 20 minutes and we do our best to run to schedule; but delays do occur. Please allow at least 2 hours for your appointment, and if you have been waiting more than 1 hour please present to the reception desk. Please note: we also have concurrent clinics running each day so you may see other patients being seen before you.
Do I need to bring anything to my appointment?
At your booking visit, please bring your Medicare card, health care card, private health card and next of kin details. You may bring any results you have to each visit and always bring your Pregnancy Record.
Can I bring a support person to each visit?
Yes, you may bring a support person or partner to each visit.
What do I do if I am bleeding, in labour or worried about my baby?
Please call the labour ward immediately on 5320 4980. This number is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
1011 Mair Street
Ballarat VIC 3350
Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5pm
Have something to tell us? We welcome all feedback from patients, family members or carers. Tell us more.