Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
At Gold Coast Health we understand that preparing for the birth of your baby will be an extremely exciting time, however you may also be nervous and have a number of questions.
See below answers to some of the frequently asked questions by women and their families accessing Gold Coast Health’s maternity services.
Further information is also available by contacting the relevant number listed on the right.
Congratulations! Preparing for the birth of your baby is an exciting time, but if this is your first child it can also be confusing and a little overwhelming.
Once your GP has confirmed your pregnancy, they may commence a Pregnancy Health Record which contains details about your health and the health of your baby. It is important you bring this document to all antenatal appointments and to the hospital for the birth of your baby.
Your GP will also send a referral to Gold Coast Health advising of the due date of your baby, as well as any relevant information about your medical history.
Upon receipt of this information, we will send you a letter confirming your booking with Gold Coast Health and details of your first antenatal clinical appointment.
Pregnancy care services are provided at:
- Gold Coast University Hospital
- Midwifery Group Practice at community locations or in your home
- One of five Community Midwifery Satellite Clinics close to your home
Please carefully note the location of your appointment on the letter you receive from us and allow enough time to get to your appointment.
At your first pregnancy care appointment you will discuss with the midwife your past medical, obstetric and surgical history.
A range of other pregnancy related information will be discussed, so if you are unsure of anything please don’t hesitate to ask questions at this time.
This information will assist the midwife to determine and discuss the appropriate health professional (obstetrician, GP or midwife) and model of care best suited for you during your pregnancy.
If your doctor’s referral indicated factors that may affect your pregnancy, a separate appointment with an obstetric medical officer may be made for you on the same day, whenever possible. Factors not identified until after your booking history will mean an appointment with an obstetrician may need to be made on another day.
Gold Coast Health’s maternity services model respects mothers’ values, choices and expressed needs.
Gold Coast Health provides a variety of care options, depending on the overall health of you and your baby, including:
- General Practitioner (GP) shared care – suitable for women who have a low risk pregnancy, women continue to see their GP for pregnancy appointments.
- Eligible Privately Practicing Midwives – this a choice available to women in the community and is a private arrangement with the midwife and the individual
- Midwifery-led care – suitable for women who have a low risk pregnancy, midwifery care offers a natural approach to childbirth with care by midwives, and minimal use of drugs and intervention
- Midwifery Group Practice – this is a model where women have an allocated, known midwife from the time their pregnancy is confirmed. You midwife is on call to come to your birth and works collaboratively with obstetricians in providing care in your home
- Obstetrician-led care – if you experience complications during your pregnancy, or are considered at risk of developing complications, an obstetrician will be the lead carer for your pregnancy and birth, including liaising with doctors and midwives during antenatal appointments.
Your health care practitioner will advise if you or your baby require a referral to another service.
Additional services provided by Gold Coast Health include:
- Specialist obstetricians and neonatologists (specialist baby doctors)
- Maternal Fetal Medicine – specialists in high risk pregnancy
- Genetic counsellor
- Lactation consultant and breastfeeding support group – specialists in breastfeeding support
- Indigenous health support
- Social worker
- Child health service
- Physicians and endocrinologists – specialists who work in partnership with obstetricians and women with medical conditions
- Newborn Care Unit – specialist nurses and doctors who care for premature and sick babies.
All women who choose Gold Coast Health have their babies at our new, state-of-the-art Gold Coast University Hospital, located in Southport.
During pregnancy classes your midwife or health care practitioner will discuss in detail what to expect during the birth of your baby.
Your midwife, GP or obstetrician will provide you with personalised advice about keeping yourself and your baby healthy in the lead-up to the birth. A copy of this will be included in your Personal Health Record, which may be started by your GP upon confirmation of your pregnancy.
It is important you attend all pregnancy care appointments to ensure we can monitor the health of you and your baby, and provide advice tailored to your health needs.
Some general information about how to prepare for the birth of your baby (including what to pack, where to park and visiting times) is also included in this fact sheet.
At your antenatal appointments, your midwife, GP or obstetrician will discuss what to do when labour commences, including when and how to notify Gold Coast University Hospital.
You should contact the hospital birthing suites on (07) 56871420 if:
- You think you are in labour
- Your waters break
- You experience blood loss
- There is a noticeable decrease or lack of baby movements
- You have any concerns about your health, or the health of your baby.
It is recommended you pack the following items for use during your hospital stay.
- Your Pregnancy Health Record and Medicare card
- Any medication you are taking
- Slip resistant footwear
- Loose, comfortable underwear
- Three packets of maternity breast pads
- Comfortable and casual clothes
- Personal items such as camera, mobile phone and charger.
For your baby:
- Packet of 36 newborn nappies
- Baby wipes
- Baby bottles, teats and formula if you are not breastfeeding
- Clothes including a small beanie/hat
- Bunny rugs or wraps
- Five singlets.
Please note that while our staff take every care, Gold Coast Health takes no responsibility for any lost or damaged items belonging to women, their families or visitors.
Please do not bring large amounts of money, jewellery, technology or other valuables into hospital.
If this is unavoidable, please inform nursing staff and they will arrange for valuables to be placed in the Hospital Patient Trust for the duration of your visit.
Drugs and alcohol are not permitted on any Gold Coast Health premises.
A commercial, multi-story parking facility with more than 2,200 under-cover car parks is available to patients, visitors and their families. The car park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More information about parking.
A designated set down and pick-up area for women is located outside B Block, which houses Maternity and Birthing services.
If there is a medical emergency, such as labour progressing very quickly, bleeding, or you are feeling excessively unwell, please proceed directly to the Birthing Suite located on Level 2 B Block, or to the Emergency Department after 8pm.
Gold Coast University Hospital’s Maternity Inpatient Unit is located on Level 3, B Block.
Visitors are encouraged once you have transferred into the Maternity Inpatient Unit on Level 3, B Block.
Visiting hours are strictly adhered to.
- Partners/support person/children 8.30am to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm
- All other visitors 11am to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm
- Strictly no visitors (rest period) 2pm to 4pm
Gold Coast Health has special services to help you.
If you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, hearing impaired, or need an interpreter, please let the staff know so assistance may be arranged for you.
Chaplaincy and counselling services can also be arranged on request.
Further information is available by contacting the relevant health service on the numbers listed below:
- 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
- Antenatal Clinic: (07) 5687 1526
- Birth Centre: (07) 5687 1437
- Birth Suite: (07) 5687 1420
- Breastfeeding helpline (Australian Breastfeeding Association): 1800 MUM 2 MUM (1800 686 268)
- Maternity Assessment and Triage Unit (MATU): (07) 5687 1424
- Interpreter Services: (07) 5580 7853
Gold Coast University Hospital is trialling a new way to enrol newborns in Medicare.
If you take part you don’t need to fill out a Medicare enrolment form. With your verbal consent, we give Medicare your and your baby’s information to:
- enrol your baby in Medicare and include their details on the Australian Immunisation Register
- register your baby for your family’s Medicare Safety Net
- register your baby for a My Health Record.
Birth mothers can take part if they’re enrolled for Medicare and have named their baby before leaving the hospital.
For more information, ask our maternity staff.