Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy and birth are normal physiological processes.

During pregnancy we’ll work to empower you, helping you understand and trust your body. During labour and birth we’ll provide a private, safe, comfortable environment that supports normal physiology so you can respond to your body and channel your innate ability to birth your baby.

Supported by a calm, familiar person and without any unnecessary disruption you will be able to move freely and allow the natural process of labour and birth to unfold.

Your pregnancy care

We believe all women deserve safe, respectful, individualised, evidence-based care. Our team of four midwives work together to offer Midwifery Group Practice or caseload midwifery care.

When you book in to Castlemaine Health you’ll meet your primary midwife. This is the midwife who will care for you throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth and early parenting.

During your pregnancy you’ll see your primary midwife at all or most of your appointments, depending on which care option you choose. You’ll also get to know our other Midwifery Group Practice midwives. They will support you if your midwife is attending a birth or is unavailable.

If you’re interested in shared care, where you have some of your pregnancy care appointments with your midwife and some with your GP, we can offer that too. Your GP will need to be a Castlemaine Health accredited general practitioner.

Women who receive continuity of care from a midwife they know and trust are:

  • More likely to have a positive experience during pregnancy
  • More likely to have a normal birth
  • More likely to have a more positive birth experience
  • More likely to successfully breastfeed
  • Less likely to use pain relief
  • Less likely to have a caesarean birth
  • Less likely to have a pre-term baby
  • Less likely to have a baby that needs to be admitted to special care
  • Less likely to suffer postnatal depression.

Our Midwifery Group Practice midwives will support you during labour and birth and help you with urgent concerns. They will care for you and your baby after your baby is born, including helping establish feeding, and visit you when you return home. They are supported by a group of midwives who also work in the maternity unit and together, they will look after you and your family.

The Midwifery Group Practice midwives also work closely with a team of local general practitioner obstetricians, who provide on-call care 24/7 if required, and the regional health service Bendigo Health. If you need to access other health services at any time they’ll work together to make sure you feel supported, safe and informed.

This is what’s known as continuity of care and it has been shown to have wonderful benefits for mothers and babies.

Can I have my baby at Castlemaine Health?

Castlemaine Health is a Level 2 maternity service, offering local care for women and babies at low risk. If you’re a healthy person with a normal pregnancy then having your baby at Castlemaine Health could be a great option for you.

If you have particular health concerns, obstetric conditions or a history of complicated pregnancies, you and your baby may need more specialist care and support, so a higher-level service may be better suited to your needs.

Please be aware that to provide the level of care required for Midwifery Group Practice each of our midwives cares for an agreed number (caseload) of women per year.

Not sure if Castlemaine Health is right for you? Our midwives would be happy to speak with you. Just click on the link, fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch. You might also like to speak to your GP.

Contact us
Receive pregnancy care in Castlemaine

I’m pregnant. How do I book in?

If you’re pregnant and think you would like to have your baby at Castlemaine Health:

Fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch within two to three working days.

Or visit your GP to confirm your pregnancy and refer you to Castlemaine Health. Ask your GP to fax your referral to Castlemaine Health Maternity Services on 5471 3530 and we’ll be in touch within two to three working days.

If you’re curious about the service but unsure if it’s the right fit for you, our midwives would be very happy to answer your questions. Fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch.

When does pregnancy care begin?

Your first appointment with your primary midwife will be when you’re 14 – 16 weeks pregnant. This is called the booking appointment.

All pregnancy appointments, including the booking appointment, will be with your primary midwife.

Very occasionally your appointment may need to be rescheduled or you may need to meet with one of our other midwives if your primary midwife is attending a birth or is unavailable. Your midwife will speak to you if COVID-19 restrictions are likely to affect any of your appointments.

Once you’ve had your booking appointment your midwife will be on-call and available 24 hours a day to help you with urgent concerns. You’ll have a mobile number you can call at any time.

If you experience complications or have an urgent issue before you before your 14 – 16 week booking appointment, you’ll need to contact your GP, visit urgent care at your closest hospital or call an ambulance by phoning 000.

What do I bring to my first pregnancy care appointment?

You can bring copies of any tests or ultrasounds to your first pregnancy care appointment (also known as the booking appointment), if you have them. If you don’t, that’s fine, we can get them from your GP.

At each of your appointments we’ll check on your health and the health of your baby. We’ll take your blood pressure, check the growth and position of your baby and listen to your baby’s heart rate. We’ll also speak with you about a range of topics.

You should feel free to add your own topics or speak to your midwife if there are some you’d prefer not to discuss.

Your midwife will speak to you if COVID-19 restrictions are likely to affect any of your appointments.

Where do I go for my pregnancy care appointments?

All your pregnancy care appointments with our midwives will be on site at Castlemaine Health.

Our pregnancy clinic is spacious so you can bring other children or your support people to your visits with you. There’s parking on site and we’re very close to the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens with a lovely playground, grassy areas and great, flat walking paths. There are also cafés and shopping close by.

The pregnancy clinic is located in the Metcalfe building next to Austin Pathology. You’ll need to enter the hospital from Cornish Street and follow the signs. There are car parks opposite the clinic marked Pregnancy Care Clinic.

Download a map here.

If you choose to have some of your pregnancy care appointments with your GP you’ll see them in their consulting rooms, not at Castlemaine Health. Your midwife will not go to these appointments with you.

Your midwife will speak to you if COVID-19 restrictions are likely to affect any of your appointments.

Yurpilang - First Nations pregnancy care

Yurpilang is a Dja Dja Wurrung word for birth, which means to bring forth.

“Birthing is a special time for families. It is a time of bringing people together as a new life comes into being. It is about family and community together acknowledging the spirit of the child and the unique connection they will have with Country, as we have done since birth.

It is important to acknowledge the diversity of community and our cultural practices in bringing a new life into being. We honour and encourage First Nations people to embrace their cultural practice through this time. As First Nations people we wish to empower you during this time of pregnancy, birth and during the early stages of your child’s life. Community caring for community, like in times past.”

Castlemaine Health First Nations Maternity Advisory Group

Our service is a place where all people can feel safe, comfortable and respected.

We acknowledge the traditional practices and wisdom of First Nations people. We work with our local community to empower First Nations people to make choices about their pregnancy, labour and birth and early parenting that are right for them, their families and their babies.

If you, your partner or your baby identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you may have an Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer or other support person with you throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth and early parenting. Your views, beliefs and values will be heard, understood and respected at all times.

Castlemaine Health has been granted permission to use the word Yurpilang by the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation.

Information for partners

We encourage partners to be involved throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and early parenting. Partners and support people are welcome at all your pregnancy care appointments.

There can be a lot to take in and lots of questions for partners, especially if it’s your first baby, so we’ve put together a list of resources you might find helpful.

How much will it cost to have my baby at Castlemaine Health?

Castlemaine Health is a public hospital. Medicare covers all costs for pregnancy, labour and birth and early parenting care.

If you choose to have some of your pregnancy care appointments with your GP you may be required to pay the gap between the Medicare rebate and your GP’s fee.

Medicare does not cover ambulance costs. If you need an ambulance and you are not an ambulance member it could be very expensive. We recommend you become an Ambulance Victoria member. You may want to consider a family membership so your baby is also covered. Some private health funds include ambulance cover. Check your policy for details. Health Care Card holders are covered for transport by ambulance.