Now you’re pregnant

If you think you are pregnant you can get a pregnancy test or visit your GP. Your GP will be there to provide health advice, discuss any concerns you may have and support the long term needs of your growing family.

Once your pregnancy is confirmed and you would like to receive care in the public system, you will need to:

  • call 5124 9977 to book in to meet with a midwife close to home
  • book an appointment with a GP for early pregnancy care
  • meet a midwife early in your pregnancy to talk about public pregnancy and birthing options, complete a health and wellbeing assessment and discuss the best options for you
  • receive ongoing local support before, during and after your pregnancy.

You’re welcome to attend a free early pregnancy information session or learn about your maternity care options online.

There’s a lot of things you’ll need to consider when you’re pregnant, so here’s our go to guide for what you might need to know.

Genetic counselling

The ACT Genetic Service offers genetic counselling and clinical genetic consultations if you have concerns about the possibility of an inherited condition during your pregnancy.

Our services include information, education, risk assessment and diagnosis for a range of genetic medical conditions.

We may also offer genetic testing if the gene is relevant to your personal and family medical history.

You can access our services for free if you hold a Medicare or Asylum Seeker card.

To make a booking, please call 5124 7630 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 3:30pm Wednesdays.

Please bring any information about your relevant health or family history to your appointment to ensure an accurate risk assessment.

Leaving hospital

We recommend you go home between 6 and 24 hours after giving birth if you and your baby are well. There are many reasons for an early transfer home, including:

  • partners and family can be more involved in bonding with and caring for the baby
  • earlier establishment of routine
  • better sleep with less interruption for mother and baby.

If you or your baby had complications during labour or birth you may need to stay longer. We will always ensure you are ready to go home at the right time.

Women from the ACT, Queanbeyan or Jerrabomberra will be offered home visits from the midwives in the Midcall team.

Ongoing support after giving birth

For women living in the ACT, Queanbeyan or Jerrabomberra, we provide follow up care in the first few days after you give birth. A midwife will come to your home and offer individualised postnatal care, feeding and parenting support.

Our service is available seven days a week from 8:30am to 5pm. You may receive between one and three home visits from our service depending on your needs.

If you live outside of the ACT, Queanbeyan or Jerrabomberra, we encourage you to connect with your local health service or GP.

We also recommend planning your support at home before your baby is due. This may include:

  • booking leave for your partner or support person
  • having an approved baby car seat fitted in your family car
  • joining a support group or developing your own
  • cooking meals and storing them in the freezer for when you come home from hospital.

Our Maternal and Child Health (MACH) Clinic nurses are also here to support you with ongoing information and advice to help you get the best start to parenthood.

The MACH team will contact you to arrange the first appointment.

MACH clinics offer both booked and drop-in appointments, find out more here health.act.gov.au/MACH

For more information contact 5124 9977.

Looking after your mental health

Having a baby can be one of the most exciting and challenging things you ever do. Some days can be filled with joy, happiness and delight but other days you may feel anxious, overwhelmed and confused.

While it’s normal to feel tired, irritable and overwhelmed in your transition as a parent, some women can experience extreme depression and anxiety.

The Perinatal Mental Health Consultation Service is a consultation and liaison service that specialises in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of women who experience mental health before, during and after their pregnancy.

Our service is staffed by a Psychiatrist, Registrar, Psychologists and a Registered Nurse. 

For more information, please contact us on 02 5124 3133.

We don’t offer clinical management or provide crisis assessments. If you are concerned about your mental health, we encourage you to speak with your GP or MACH nurse or call the Access Mental Health Team on 1800 629 354.

You can also seek support from:

Useful contacts

Canberra Maternity Options

5124 9977

Telephone Interpreter Service

13 14 50

Calvary Public Hospital maternity reception

6201 6030

Centenary Hospital for Women and Children
for booking and scheduling of antenatal
appointments or childbirth education

5124 7625

Maternal and Child Health Clinic central intake

5124 9977

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service

6284 6222

Australian Breastfeeding Association

1800 686 268

Physiotherapy at Centenary Hospital

5124 5921

Domestic and family violence support

6280 0900

Rape Crisis Service

6247 2525

Karinya House

6259 8998

Mental health support

1800 629 354

Pregnancy, birth and baby helpline

1800 882 436

Smoking, alcohol and other drug support

5124 9977

Women’s legal services

6257 4499

Page last updated on: 28 Nov 2019