Pregnancy care

The Atherton Maternity Service has Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) and 24 hour obstetric cover.

We also run childbirth education classes every month. Contact the maternity unit for dates and times on 07 4091 0233.

Atherton Hospital Maternity Service

You can ask your doctor to refer you to the Atherton Midwifery Group Practice when you confirm your pregnancy.

You can also book in yourself to the Atherton Maternity Service by calling 07 4091 0233.

We recommend you book in as early as possible in your pregnancy.

Midwifery Group Practice

Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) is where women are supported and cared for by the same midwife or midwives for their pregnancy, labour, birth and after the birth for about 6 to 8 weeks.

Your midwife will be your primary carer during your pregnancy. You'll have their mobile number and will be able to contact them at any time.

You'll meet other midwives during your pregnancy who will care for you if your midwife is away. If you can’t reach your midwife, please phone the maternity unit on 07 4091 0233. You can call 24 hours a day.

Shared care with the obstetric team at Cairns Hospital

Most women have normal, uncomplicated pregnancies and births. But some women may need to see an obstetrician for some medical or pregnancy conditions.

An obstetrician who is a doctor who specialises in care during pregnancy, labour and after birth.

If you do need to see an obstetrician, the Atherton Hospital midwives will offer your antenatal and postnatal care in consultation with the Cairns Hospital obstetric team.

You may need to be referred to a specialist obstetrician if you have:

  • a complicated medical history
  • had a previous difficult pregnancy needing specialist care
  • a pregnancy that isn't progressing normally
  • a multiple pregnancy such as twins.

Birthing options

Birth suite

We have 2 birth suites. We’ll help you feel as comfortable as possible. If everything is going as planned, you’ll be looked after by a midwife with doctors on call 24/7 if they’re needed.

Water immersion

You may be offered water immersion for labour and birth if appropriate.

Special care

If your baby is sick or premature you may need specialist care after birth. If this happens, your baby may need to be transferred and admitted to the Special Care Baby Nursery at Cairns Hospital or the Neonatal Unit at Townsville Hospital.

Giving birth

When you're in labour

When you think you are in labour, contact your midwife. If you can’t contact your midwife, call the Atherton maternity unit on 07 4091 0233 and they'll tell you what to do next.

If you have an emergency, go straight to Atherton Hospital emergency or call triple zero (000).

After you have your baby

After you leave hospital your midwife will arrange to visit you at home and provide care for 6 to 8 weeks. After that you will be referred back to your GP or local child health nurse.

Child Health Clinics

You can call Atherton Child Health Clinic on 07 4091 0233 to make an appointment.

Support services

Advice and support services you might need during pregnancy and caring for your baby.

Indigenous Liaison Officer

Atherton Community health
Phone: 07 4091 0263

Mums and Bubs Group

Atherton Maternity Unit
Phone: 07 4091 0215

Lactation consultant advice

Atherton Maternity Unit
Lactation consultants available on request
Phone: 07 4091 0233

Atherton Child Health Clinic

Atherton Hospital
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Phone: 07 4091 0263

Last updated: November 2023