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:
- Edmonton Community Health Centre
- Cairns Hospital
- Smithfield community Health Centre
- Cairns North Community Health Centre.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 advice
Cairns Hospital Maternity Unit
Lactation consultants available on request
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Phone: 07 4226 6162
Cairns North Community Health Centre
Child Youth and Family Health Service
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm.