Booking pregnancy care

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I’m pregnant. Where do I go now?

Your local GP

If you suspect you are pregnant or you have had a positive result from an over-the-counter pregnancy test, the first thing to do is go to your local GP to confirm the pregnancy and have a check-up.

(If the pregnancy is unplanned and you are unsure what you will do, you can refer to our Unplanned pregnancy health information to help you with your decision-making).

Your GP will send a referral for you to your local maternity hospital, which will make an appointment for you.

Most pregnant women have uncomplicated (low-risk) pregnancies, meaning there is little risk that there will be any health problems for the woman or the baby because of pregnancy or birth. A small number of pregnant women are considered to have complicated (high-risk) pregnancies, meaning that there is a risk that their health might be affected by the pregnancy or that their baby will be born too early.

Your GP will ask you lots of questions about your health and medical history to determine if there are any issues that will affect your pregnancy.

Can I go to the Women’s to give birth?

Because most pregnancies and births are uncomplicated, it is recommended you go to your local maternity hospital for your pregnancy care and the birth of your baby.

Where you live determines which hospital is your local maternity hospital. In general, this means the hospital that is closest to where you live is your local maternity hospital.

If you are high-risk or something changes during your pregnancy to affect your health or the health of your baby (which happens in a small number of pregnancies), your care will be transferred to one of Victoria’s three tertiary hospitals for specialist care. The three tertiary hospitals are the Women’s, Monash Health, and Mercy Hospital for Women.

Making sure that women with uncomplicated pregnancies are cared for in local maternity hospitals means that the three tertiary hospitals are able to care for women who have more complicated pregnancies or suddenly require emergency care, labour or birth.

The Victorian maternity system is designed to make sure that all women get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

The Royal Women’s Hospital provides pregnancy care for:

  • All women who live in our local area, and
  • Women from across Victoria who require tertiary care

If you do not live in the Women’s local area, you cannot book into the Women’s for your pregnancy care or the birth of your baby unless your pregnancy is considered to be high risk or have complications.

If you or your GP are unsure if you live within the Women’s local area, or whether your pregnancy might be high risk, your GP should contact the Women's.

Booking pregnancy care at the Women’s

You will need a GP referral for your pregnancy booking at the Women’s. Your first visit will take place at the Pregnancy Booking Clinic at the Women’s (either the Parkville or Sandringham site, depending on where you live) or at one of our community clinics.

At the Pregnancy Booking Clinic, your midwife or doctor needs to record a large amount of information and discuss a wide range of issues with you, including:

  • When your baby is due
  • Information that may affect your pregnancy
  • An assessment of your health and your baby’s health, and whether you are likely to have a straightforward pregnancy or whether you have more complex and diverse pregnancy needs.

This is your opportunity to ask lots of questions. You will also be given information on the types of pregnancy care available to you. Refer to Pregnancy care options below for more information about pregnancy care at the Women’s.

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