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

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23 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 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)

#3 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.

#4 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!

#5 Sashimi_87

Posted 10 April 2018 - 09:17 PM

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

#6 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?

#7 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.

#8 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.

#9 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 :)

#10 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.



#11 Sashimi_87

Posted 04 May 2018 - 12:58 PM

Thanks so much, babybug!

#12 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).

#13 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

#14 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.

#15 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)

#16 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.

#17 GabsLi

Posted 22 January 2019 - 11:12 AM

Thanks all; dumb question alert - does shared ward mean that you're giving birth in the same room as other labouring women?

#18 ipsee

Posted 22 January 2019 - 12:01 PM

No! You have the baby in a room to yourself, but straight after they take you up to a ward room of 1, 2 or 4 people where you stay til you go home.

#19 Daffy2016

Posted 22 January 2019 - 12:03 PM

View Postipsee, on 22 January 2019 - 12:01 PM, said:

No! You have the baby in a room to yourself, but straight after they take you up to a ward room of 1, 2 or 4 people where you stay til you go home.

This! I also had time in the labour room after to work at breastfeeding etc before they moved me to the shared ward. There was only one other mother there though.

#20 MumOfThreenager

Posted 22 January 2019 - 02:59 PM

Canberra hospital is great but massively overbooked. I have given birth there and it was terrifying how overworked the staff were.

If I did this again, I would go for Calvary next time. Shared rooms in recovery (Calvary) is not as bad as a shortage of staff when you are in labour (TCH)! TCH sent us home within hours of giving birth anyway.

#21 Tetinks

Posted 22 January 2019 - 03:20 PM

Calvary is apparently also overbooked at the moment, must be a baby boom.
Canberra Hospital also has a home birth trial, same care as the birth centre. Canberra Health services were advertising it on Facebook last week.

#22 cfwact

Posted 22 January 2019 - 03:26 PM

Calvary has recently (a couple of months ago) renovated their postal ward to be almost all single rooms. So you are more likely than not to have a single room in either hospital after giving birth. They try to keep the shared rooms for women who will probably only stay 1 night. (Soundproofing is still not great though!)

#23 Summer81

Posted 22 January 2019 - 03:31 PM

I had DD1 through Calvary birth centre 3 months ago- had an amazing experience and I couldn't recommend it highly enough! You need to do a hospital tour and get your name down asap (I registered at 4 weeks)- you can't go on the wait list without going to an information night. When I was there around 50% of people get in so it's very popular.

I went private for my first 2 kids which was also great but my birth centre experience was my favourite. You stay there only 24 hours but having a midwife all through and after for visits was brilliant. I was low risk and 3rd time around it was fairly straight forward.

Otherwise, going through the maternity ward there is apparently great, they recently refurbished it and the rooms are only 1 or 2 per room. You can also have a water birth either way.

Edited by Summer81, 22 January 2019 - 03:33 PM.

#24 GabsLi

Posted 25 January 2019 - 04:25 PM

Thanks everyone, much appreciated! I'm a bit grumpy that I'm only allowed to put one referral in overall for midwife led services in Canberra... would have liked to put my name down for both TCH and Calvary. Ah well.

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