Minister for Health Roger Cook officially opened the new $1.8 million Family Birthing Centre at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) today.
Expected to welcome the first babies later this month, the new facility leads the way in modern birthing practices and design.
The welcoming family atmosphere has been enhanced through artwork, colour, shapes and scent – all designed to help women feel more comfortable and relaxed. The facility also promotes family participation and inclusion.
The Centre includes three birthing suites, two with inbuilt birthing pools and the other a portable pool, specially designed birthing cubes, day beds and family lounge facilities.
The new Family Birthing Centre will provide women in the South Metropolitan catchment access to midwifery-led care. The Midwifery Group Practice has been established as it is proven to achieve better outcomes and satisfaction from mothers.
Under a midwifery group practice model of care, women will be able to see the same group of midwives for the majority of antenatal check-ups, and a familiar midwife/group of midwives will also be present for the birth and involved in postnatal care in hospital and at home, a service not previously offered south of the river.
The new birthing centre at Fiona Stanley will complement the existing Family Birth Centre, which has been successfully operating at the King Edward Memorial site for over 27 years and delivered over 7,000 babies.
A unique feature of the Fiona Stanley Family Birthing Centre is its placement within the hospital environment, next door to the maternity inpatient ward. This means quick and easy access to higher levels of care should complications arise during pregnancy or birth.
The Centre is designed to provide care to women with low-risk pregnancies to have a more home-like, holistic birthing experience. Women will need to meet the clinical criteria for a low-risk pregnancy to be eligible for the Family Birth Centre model of care.
Some families are already receiving antenatal care in the Centre, with 10 births expected in November.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“The McGowan Government is committed to providing women with greater choices when delivering their baby.
“I’m delighted that women south of the river can now access this model of care.
“We know that this is a service many women want, but it also gives enormous job satisfaction to midwifes to work to the full scope of their practice.
As stated by Minister for Women’s Interests Simone McGurk:
“This family birthing centre will provide a more intimate birth option, so I congratulate the consumers and professionals involved in helping to deliver a range of birth choices for women and their families.
“In many cases, the more homely environment will enable partners, children, extended family members and others to be involved in the birthing process.”