Antenatal Shared Care
Antenatal shared care is an arrangement where care of a pregnant woman is shared between a hospital maternity team and the general practitioner or GP.
With antenatal shared care, your GP will provide most of your care during your pregnancy, whilst the hospital maternity team will manage the care surrounding your baby’s delivery. Prior to leaving the hospital you will be advised to see your GP for your baby’s 6-8 weeks check and immunisation as well as your post natal check.
Who is it for?
Antenatal shared care is available to patients who go through the public hospital system. If you decide to have a private obstetric care, then all your pregnancy care will be provided by your specialist.
Not all pregnancies are eligible for shared care.If your doctor thinks it is likely that you will have a low-risk and uncomplicated pregnancy and you have no history of obstetric problems, they may recommend antenatal shared care. If your pregnancy is considered high risk you will not be eligible.
After your pregnancy is confirmed, your GP will organise the relevant tests like bloods and ultrasound. You will then be given a referral to the local hospital where you will be reviewed by the maternity team who will decide on whether you are eligible for a shared care.
Why choose antenatal shared care?
There are several benefits to antenatal shared care. Firstly, you can have most of your antenatal appointments with your GP at a time that is
convenient to you while still having access to specialised care at a hospital.
You will also receive individualised care because your GP will be aware of your medical history and have access to your medical records. Unlike specialised care at a hospital, it is also likely that your GP is located close to your place of residence and allows flexibility with appointments.
What Should You Expect?
When your antenatal shared care begins, you will be given an antenatal care record card. You must have this with you during all visits to your GP as well as the maternity care provider. The record card will include all details about your pregnancy and the progression.
With antenatal shared care, you will also find that you are able to establish a good relationship with your GP, who can also provide your baby’s future medical needs, whether they are regular checks-ups or immunisation.
How Do You Arrange for Antenatal Shared Care?
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you can talk to your GP about antenatal shared care and check if your GP is registered to provide such care. Not all GPs are able to provide antenatal shared care.
If your GP is not registered to provide antenatal shared care or you do not have a doctor you visit regularly, you can look at the options available at the hospital for registered doctors in your area.
If you have any questions or concerns, your GP is your first point of contact.
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