Other maternity care characteristics

Antenatal and postnatal care

Most maternity models of care (93%) provide antenatal and postnatal care in individual sessions. Some (7%) provide this care through a combination of both individual and group sessions. These group sessions include both education and clinical care.

Around 72% of maternity models of care provide women with access to at least one postnatal visit in a residential setting. All models classified as midwifery group practice caseload care, team midwifery care, and private midwifery care offer postnatal visits in a residential setting, compared with 72% of models classified as public hospital maternity care, and 38% of models classified as private obstetrician (specialist) care.

Labour and birth settings

A model of care may have one or more planned settings for birth. Nearly all (97%) maternity models of care offer birthing within a hospital birth suite or labour/delivery ward as a planned setting for birth.

Around 7% of models of care have a birth centre (either stand alone or in a hospital) as a planned birth setting. Only a small number of these centres exist. A birth centre is an alternative setting to the conventional hospital setting for labour and birth. A common feature in a birth centre is a homely space, midwife-led care with a philosophy towards normality and avoidance of interventions. A small number of models of care (4%) have the home as a planned setting for birth.    

Around 6% of models of care have routine relocation of women prior to labour for intrapartum care and birth, as part of the model. The intention is that all women cared for in the model require relocation from their communities to another location prior to labour for intrapartum care and birth. Routine relocation usually applies to models where women reside in a rural or remote community with no access to a birth facility and are routinely relocated to a larger town or city some weeks prior to birth. Routine relocation as a characteristic of the model of care, is higher in the Northern Territory (25%) and Tasmania (17%).