Pregnancy care

At Cairns Hospital you can choose different care options during your pregnancy.

GP share care

GP share care is for women who prefer to have most of their pregnancy appointments with their GP. We recommend you visit the hospital when you’re between 12 to 14 weeks to book your birth in. We’d also like to see you at 36 weeks for a midwife or doctor’s visit.

Midwifery Group Practice

Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) is where women are supported by the same midwife or midwives for their pregnancy, labour, birth and after the birth. You can ask your doctor to refer you into a MGP when you confirm your pregnancy. For more information call the antenatal unit on 07 4226 8760.

This is for women who have a low risk pregnancy.

Obstetrician team care

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

You'll be cared for by an 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.

Childbirth and parenting classes

We offer childbirth and parenting classes for first time parents and refresher classes for parents who have had a baby before.

Classes are held at:

For more information and to make a booking, call our antenatal clinic on 07 4226 8760.

High risk pregnancy services

Most women have normal, uncomplicated pregnancies and births. But some women have complications. At Cairns Hospital you have access to treatments and support services.

Early Pregnancy Clinic

The Early Pregnancy Clinic helps women who have bleeding, pain or ultrasound abnormalities in early pregnancy.

This clinic is for women who have presented to the emergency department or have a referral from their GP to follow up on their blood and ultrasound results.

Counselling Clinic

Our Counselling Clinic is for women who are trying for a baby or early pregnancy care. You can attend the clinic if you:

  • have had a previous high risk pregnancy
  • have medical conditions which may affect your pregnancy
  • have an abnormal or high risk Non Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) nuchal translucency or morphology ultrasound
  • need further investigations such as amniocentesis or Chorionic Villous Sampling (CVS).

Read more about prenatal screening tests such as NIPT, amniocentesis and CVS on the Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website.

Birthing options

Birth suite

Cairns Hospital has 9 birthing rooms. 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.

Cairns Birth Centre

Our birth centre is separate from the main birth suite and runs with the understanding that, for most women, pregnancy and birth is a normal life event needing little intervention.

Women must be with the MGP to use the birth centre.

Special care nursery

The special care nursery is for sick and/or premature babies. Babies are admitted to our nursery for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons are respiratory support, blood glucose monitoring and phototherapy.

The special care nursery cares for babies born at 29 weeks and over.

Giving birth

Before you have your baby

Your midwife will be your primary carer during your pregnancy. They'll give you their mobile number, and you can contact them any time while you're under their care.

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 4226 6162. You can call 24 hours a day.

When you're in labour

Contact your midwife when you think you're labour. If you can’t contact your midwife, call the birth suite on 07 4226 6318 and they'll tell you what to do next.

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

After you have your baby

We can help support you after leaving hospital.

Midwife visits

After you go home, your MGP midwife or a midwife from the Extended Midwifery Service (EMS) will call and arrange to visit you and your baby at home. Our EMS service is available to mothers living between Palm Cove and Gordonvale.

GP visits

We encourage you to take your baby to your GP for a check up between 7 to 10 days after birth. You should also see your GP for your check up between 6 to 8 weeks after birth. At this appointment, your GP will ask you how your recovery is going and they will give your baby some vaccinations.

Child health

All babies born at Cairns Hospital will be referred to Child, Youth and Family Services for ongoing health support. We have drop in clinics located throughout the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service which are run by Child Health Nurses.

Support services

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

Indigenous Liaison Officers

Phone: 07 4226 8343

Good Start Program

Phone: 07 4226 8343

Lactation consultant services

Cairns Hospital Maternity Unit
Lactation consultants available
Monday to Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm
Phone: 07 4226 8386

Cairns North Community Health Centre

Child Youth and Family Health Service 
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm

Last updated: June 2024