What is shared pregnancy care?

Shared pregnancy care is a wonderful way to build a relationship and trust with a health care professional that can continue to provide support and care after your pregnancy. This is a model of pregnancy care that is also known as Antenatal Shared Care (ANSC). Your pregnancy care is shared between an accredited family doctor (GP) or Privately Practising midwife and Westmead Hospital. It is community based health care that provides you with flexibility of appointments and continuity of carer. The model allows you to build a relationship with the GP that you and your family see for all your other health needs. GP’s become a very important resource after you have a new baby. Alternately Privately Practising midwives offer extensive postnatal services including breastfeeding support and settling techniques for months after the birth and can offer this support for every pregnancy.

When you see your GP to confirm your pregnancy you can discuss GP Shared Care (GPSC). Your GP will give you a referral to the hospital and write on the referral that they are happy to participate in GPSC for your pregnancy. GP’s who take part in GPSC are accredited by the hospital and attend regular updates on care for women during pregnancy. If your GP would like to be part of GPSC they can arrange accreditation by calling (02) 8811-7100.

When you attend your booking interview at the Women’s Health clinic you can also select to continue your pregnancy care with a local Privately Practising midwife. The clinic staff can provide you with further details if you do not already have them.

Who can have shared pregnancy care?

If you are pregnant and do not have any medical conditions that require specialist Obstetric care you are suitable for shared pregnancy care.. If problems arise later in pregnancy your GP or Midwife will talk with our staff at Westmead Hospital and if needed refer you back to the Women’s Health Clinic for more specialist care.

Here are conditions that are usually not considered suitable for shared care

  • Twins, triplets pregnancy
  • blood Pressure problems that need medication
  • heart disease
  • diabetes requiring insulin, or previous diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
  • significant endocrine problems
  • mental health conditions on medication
  • epilepsy on medication
  • severe asthma on regular medication
  • blood disorders on medication
  • history of malignant disease (cancer) within 3 years
  • autoimmune disorders
  • HIV or Hep C infections
  • history of stillbirth, multiple miscarriages
  • premature babies
  • obstetric complications in previous pregnancies
  • babies born less than 2500gms or more than 4500gms
  • classical Caesarean section or myomectomy
  • serious mental health disorder soon after having a baby.

What does Shared Pregnancy Care Cost?

If you have a Medicare card then you will not be billed for your visits to Westmead Hospital.

For your visits to your family doctor or private midwife you will need to pay whatever the practice charges for appointments. Some practices will bulk bill and some may have a small gap payment. Remember that you won’t need to pay for the hospital car park each visit if you elect the shared pregnancy care model. You can discuss the cost for pregnancy appointments with your family doctor or private midwife. Medicare can provide further information regarding rebates for GP/Midwife visits.

How often do I need to see the GP/Private midwife or hospital?

Weeks of pregnancy (gestation) Location for antenatal visit
Confirm pregnancy GP
12 – 15 weeks gestation Hospital – Booking in appointment
18-20 weeks gestation Hospital – Drs appointment or Private Midwife
25 weeks GP or Private Midwife
28 weeks GP or Private Midwife
31 weeks GP or Private Midwife
34 weeks Hospital – Drs appointment or Private Midwife
36 weeks GP or Private Midwife
38 weeks GP or Private Midwife
40 weeks Hospital – Drs appointment or Private Midwife
41 weeks Hospital – Post -dates clinic

Shared pregnancy care allows you to build a relationship with your family GP or Private Midwife