The Maternity unit at the Parkes Hospital is open again with birthing possible under the care of a midwife.
The Lachlan Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) started booking in expectant mothers from Thursday last week. The unit has been closed for almost two years because of a shortage of medical practitioners.
“I welcome the service as an option, however I will continue to pursue the Local Health District on the recruitment and retention of obstetricians and other specialists,” said Member for Orange Phil Donato, who has been very vocal on the planned downgrade to maternity services.
“Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) provides a mother with a midwife who cares for them during pregnancy, birth journey and afterwards,” said Acting Lachlan Health Service Manager, Jenni McGee.
“MGP is for women with a low risk pregnancy, and no medical conditions. Mid-wives are trained specialists in normal pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care. They also have support from specialist GP obstetricians if required during pregnancy.
“When pregnant women call the central intake line on 6861 2439, they will speak to our maternity team about the choices available. This is ultimately a decision based on both a risk assessment and the mother’s choice,” said Jenni.
“Where the pregnancy is low risk, mums can now choose to birth at either Parkes or Forbes through the MGP. They will have a primary midwife working with them throughout their pregnancy which really helps develop understanding and trust. “Two midwives will attend the birth and the primary midwife will visit mum and baby at home for up to six weeks after the birth.
“If there are any developments during the pregnancy that changes the risk assessment, the midwife will work with mum and her other healthcare providers to make arrangements to give birth at Forbes, where obstetric and anaesthetic services are available.”