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Canberra hospital care models - CATCH, midwifery program, shared care or antenatal clinic?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Sashimi_87

Posted 10 April 2018 - 03:27 PM

Hi all,

I'm interested in hearing your experiences of different antenatal care models at the Canberra hospital.

I've heard great things about the CATCH program but I've also heard that it's difficult to get into. My GP is encouraging me to opt for shared care, where all my appointments will be with my GP until it's time to give birth. I'm not sure if I'll be missing out on something if I go with this option.

I'd love to know what other Canberra mums have chosen, why, and what their experiences have been.

Thanks in advance

#2 SuperMombie3

Posted 10 April 2018 - 05:55 PM

There's a birth centre at both tch and calvary plus catch at tch.  Ive been through the birth center bub 1, the antenatal care at tch bub 2 and antenatal at calvary bub 3.  I loved the birth centre and have heard catch is fantastic too, both antenatal programs at tch and calvary were great, but tch rooms post birth are much nicer (single  rooms, partner can stay versus wards at calvary).  For my first pregnancy/birth it was great having the one on one midwifery care from the birth center like you get in catch.  My GP was good back up but personally I preferred going through the hospitals.  You could ring up and go on the wait list for catch while you decide.  

If you're on fb Id join canberra mums - babies and toddlers.  There should be a few posts re antenatal care options if you search and you can ask too, if you want to ask privately just pm them instead of posting.  There's probably also a canberra mums due in 2018 group, I'm in 3 different year and month ones, they're great for connecting with other local mums and mums to be.  They start with a big year group but there's also separate closed/secret groups for each month, just ask in the big group and someone will direct you.  My last bub was 2017 so I don't have a link but there's been one for every other year so I'd expect there's one for 2018.

#3 Lallalla

Posted 10 April 2018 - 06:21 PM

I’ve heard only good things about the CATCH program and the birth centre. I have also heard (first hand) multiple absolute horror stories from the main birthing area. Which I tend to believe given the week I spent on their antenatal ward was pretty attrocious (most of my care has been through Calvary both times).

The other thing to think about is how comfortable you will be going to the hospital. By having all my app at the hospital and doing birthing classes etc there, when it came to giving birth I was much more comfortable with the whole hospital set up. Which was good as I had previously barely set foot in a hospital (alas this is no longer the case, if you wanted to know about paeds at TCH I am afraid I could tell you in detail how awesome they are)

#4 babybug15

Posted 10 April 2018 - 06:29 PM

I have private insurance and chose to go through the public system at TCH.

I did GP shared care as I liked my GP and didn't want to end up trying to find an obstetrician who I may or may not get on with. Same reason as I didn't go through CATCH incase I ended up with a midwife I didn't like.

I would probably try to get into the CATCH program if I get pregnant again as every healthcare provider I met through pregnancy, birth & post-birth was excellent (bar one midwife who I though was a bit slack).

I had a textbook normal pregnancy but was overdue. First time I saw a obstetrician at 41weeks and it was whoever was on at the time. If I had lots of complications during pregnancy I may have a different view.

I have also heard excellent things about the Birth Centre at TCH if that's something you're interested in.

I would avoid Calvery and John-James.

ETA- actually I was disappointed about our birth class provider, in retrospect she was quite judgemental and didn't provide detailed information on things like pain relief and options during birth. She was also weirdly anti cloth nappies. I know this because I sat through part of a session with another instructor who was 100% more helpful.

Edited by babybug15, 10 April 2018 - 06:34 PM.


#5 harryhoo

Posted 10 April 2018 - 07:05 PM

I did shared cared (so appointments with GP and at TCH) and at 30 weeks got into the Catch program. I loved my midwife amd student midwife, they were both amazing. Due to a previous difficult birth, I had to deliver in the delivery suites rather than the birthing suites, but they were very similar. Very comfortable, bath in all of them, so much better than the delivery suite at the private hospital I had DS at. I had another difficult birth and had to stay for three nights on the postnatal Ward.  The care DD and I received was amazing. I couldn't have asked for better. All the midwives and doctors who were involved in her crazy birth came to visit and debrief, which was reassuring and quite healing after a bit of trauma! I still send update photos of DD to my Catch midwife 3 years later!

#6 Sashimi_87

Posted 10 April 2018 - 09:17 PM

Thanks for all your replies so far! Certainly lots to think about.

#7 Sailor4

Posted 11 April 2018 - 08:56 AM

I'm 6 weeks pregnant and currently living in Perth but will be moving to Canberra at 15 weeks. I would love to get on to the birth centre program. I have my dating scan next week, and an appointment with my GP afterwards in which i hope to ask for a referral letter. In your experience, is 7 weeks too late to get into these programs?

#8 cfwact

Posted 11 April 2018 - 09:45 AM

The benefit of Catch and birth centre is that you will see the same person all the way through, you know who will be looking after you during birth, and they will come to your house to see you postnatally as often as you need. If you go down the shared care route with your GP, you are less likely to get individualised care, as you won’t know who will look after you during labour and birth.
The benefits of having a known Midwife can be found here  http://cochranelibra...04667.pub5/full

Some doctors are not supportive of this model as they believe only doctors should be in this role, the source of ongoing politics.

If you are unsure, I would book into the program now and you can always drop out later and go back to your GP if you decide it’s not for you.

#9 Apageintime

Posted 11 April 2018 - 09:53 AM

7 weeks is fine.

I did shared care, because I LOVED my GP, and felt she was best at dealing with my multiple issues.

I got into CATCH at 28 weeks, but birthed in the regualr ward. It was lovely and the care was really amazing.

#10 Sashimi_87

Posted 17 April 2018 - 05:00 PM

Thanks again for all the info everyone. After reading all these posts I think I will put my name down for CATCH and see if I get in.

I'm not sure I really understand the relationship between CATCH and the birth centre. I gather that going through CATCH doesn't automatically guarantee you a spot in the birth centre, is that correct? How do you book into the birth centre without being part of CATCH? What is the alternative to the birth centre, and what's it like?

Thanks again, everyone here is so helpful :)

#11 babybug15

Posted 17 April 2018 - 05:16 PM

CATCH is different to the Birth Centre.

CATCH is for all women, regardless of birth history and pregnancy risk- the key thing being you see the same care providers throughout.

Birth Centre is for low risk pregnancy who prefer a more "home like" setting.

http://www.health.ac...y/catch-program

http://health.act.go...berra-midwifery

#12 Sashimi_87

Posted 04 May 2018 - 12:58 PM

Thanks so much, babybug!

#13 Sarzie

Posted 04 May 2018 - 01:05 PM

I went through CATCH and was low risk so chose the birth centre for my second but for my third I went via the regular birth suite as I was induced (also CATCH).

#14 GabsLi

Posted 08 January 2019 - 09:13 AM

Hi all!  Reactivating this topic as I'm looking into which maternity program in Canberra I might want now :D

I've had so many friends and colleagues give birth recently...all at TCH.  The reviews of TCH have been great, but Calvary is much closer to home & work.  Has anyone been through the midwife led programs in Calvary (which I believe is Birth Centre)?  Do you recommend it?

Many thanks!  Gabs

#15 ipsee

Posted 08 January 2019 - 09:17 AM

I haven't done that program - but the midwife programs often book out so you might want to ring them and find out if any spots are available before you put too much research into it.

#16 SuperMombie3

Posted 08 January 2019 - 10:25 AM

I'd ring and get your name down at both midwifery programs if thats the care model you want then see if you get a spot at either. I've been through the birth centre at tch many years ago, ended up with an emergency csection but my midwife was fantastic.  

Both DS1 & 2 were born at calvary but normal midwife/ob care, though only DS2s antenatal care was through calvary.  I found wait times at calvary for appointments a lot better then the appointments I had to have to see the ob at tch for pregnancies 1 & 2.  The midwife clinic appointments (at Gungahlin or Kippax) were much quicker. Second pregnancy was antenatal care at tch, but csection at calvary due to space issues on the day DS1 tried to come early.  Rooms at tch are much nicer, general antenatal wards at calvary are mostly multi person and partners can't stay.  Birth centre is probably single rooms, but if you have to transfer to materity youll probably end up sharing.  If you're on FB there's a few canberra mums groups you can join and search for the topic of you don't want to ask and out yourself.  They'll also be a closed group called something like Canberra Mums Due 2019.  There's some great online local mums groups.

#17 GabsLi

Posted 08 January 2019 - 10:28 AM

Thank you so much; that is good to know!  I will ring (looks like TCH needs a referral)

#18 SuperMombie3

Posted 08 January 2019 - 10:56 AM

They did for my second pregnancy antenatal, not for the first at birth center.  I think you need a referral for either now but not 100%.

#19 Daffy2016

Posted 13 January 2019 - 07:16 PM

I had DD at Calvary and they were great (only birth, not prenatal care). Canberra hospital is massively overbooked so you might be better off at Calvary. Only thing was they had a shared ward rather than private rooms like Canberra.




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