Pregnancy and childbirth is such an exciting time for most new mothers and their families. For some, the journey may have begun with a consultation with their general practitioners who have provided them with preconception care to optimise their health and the success of fertility.
Each expectant mother experiences their own physical and emotional journey. Every individual and family has different sets of values, knowledge and understanding of pregnancy and childbirth. As a general practitioner who has completed postgraduate training in obstetric care, we are able to discuss your personal circumstance to facilitate antenatal care and education, and to manage your general health care needs.
What is shared maternity care?
Shared maternity care is one of the models of antenatal care in the public system. Shared care GP shares the responsibility of your pregnancy and childbirth with other healthcare professionals such as midwives and obstetricians in the affiliated public hospital that you are allocated to based on the address you reside in.
The other models of care include midwife led care, and obstetrician led care which can be either public or private. In the private system, you can choose your own obstetrician and private hospital that you prefer.
Who is it for?
It is only for women who are classified as having low risk pregnancy. For example, it may be deem as high risk and therefore not suitable for shared care model, if the expectant mother has certain preexisting illness such as diabetes or develop a complication relating to mother or fetus during the course of pregnancy. In this case, the expectant mother will be led by obstetrician in the affiliated hospital.
What are the benefits?
Benefits of shared care include:
- In some cases, expectant mother has already develop a relationship with shared care GP whom you trust in your community
- You may continue to see shared care GP for your postpartum care such as breastfeeding advice and wound care.
- Your family including your newborn and partner may be able to see the same practitioner
- You are able to schedule your own preferred time for your appointment
- You are able to receive recommended vaccination in pregnancy
- You are able to attend less face to face appointment in the hospital
- The cost of seeing a shared care GP is less than a private obstetrician
What you can expect from appointments
Routine antenatal appointments are on a monthly basis, except in 3rd trimester where it is fortnightly.
In HSMC, the cost of an appointment is time based and is approximately the same out of pocket cost as your general health consultation.
You will have a few scheduled appointment with midwife or obstetrician of your affiliated hospital in the course of your pregnancy. In covid setting, this is sometimes replaced with telehealth appointment.
Shared Care Doctors at High Street Medical Clinic
In HSMC, the GPs who participate in shared care model are: