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Midwifery Group Practice

The Mater Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) is a public midwifery service providing care for people during pregnancy, labour and birth, and in the first weeks of a child's life. 

Midwifery Group Practice differs to public and private hospital care, or GP shared care in the following ways:

  • By having a named midwife (primary midwife) who provides you with direct care during your pregnancy, labour and birth, and for four to six weeks postnatally.
  • Support of other midwives who work closely with your primary midwife in small MGP teams of four-five midwives.
  • Antenatal group appointments and education with other pregnant people in a community setting (rather than at the hospital).
  • Support from your named midwife to access specialist care through the Mater Mothers’ Hospital.
  • Birthing at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital, supported by your primary midwife/team, with access to the birth suites and specialist care (if required for you and your baby).
  • Discharge from the hospital within four-six hours after birth (if you and your baby are both well) with follow up home visits and support for four-six weeks.
  • Phone support and advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week from your primary midwife/team.

Known benefits of Midwifery Group Practice models of care mean women are more likely to:

  • Have a baby born at full term.
  • Experience normal birth.
  • Have a positive labour and birth experience.
  • Successfully breastfeed.

How to book into the program

If you wish to participate in Maters’ Midwifery Group Practice you should be:

  • referred to us by your General Practitioner (GP).
  • able to attend the community clinics for your appointments.
  • hoping to have a natural birth with no unnecessary interventions.
  • prepared to go home with your baby between four and six hours after birth, if you are both well.

Your GP will refer you to the Mater Mothers’ Hospital Antenatal Clinic, noting that you would like to participate in the MGP Program.

Once you have been referred to the antenatal clinic you will:

  • receive a text or telephone call from one of the MGP midwives to discuss your options.
  • have an initial meeting with your midwife, in your home or via telehealth.
  • be reviewed by a doctor via telehealth and an opportunity to discuss any concerns.
  • have subsequent antenatal visits in a local community clinic.

To ensure we provide you and your baby with exceptional care, it is important you are matched to the model of care that best suits your needs. There are limited spaces available and they fill quickly. If you are eligible and there is availability, then you will be booked into the program and contacted by your primary midwife.

To ensure we provide you and your baby with exceptional care, it is important you are matched to the model of care that best suits your needs. There are limited spaces available and they fill quickly. If you are eligible and there is availability, then you will be booked into the program and contacted by your primary midwife.

Your care

Your midwife will be responsible for the majority of your care. You will get to know your midwife well and will be able to contact them at all times. If circumstances mean your primary midwife is unavailable to take your phone call or to be present for the birth of your baby, you will be supported by midwives from your team. You have opportunity to become familiar with all the MGP team during your pregnancy so that you will feel comfortable with their care and advice.

Our aim is to provide you with a consistent philosophy of women centred care and to feel part of your journey

Mater Mothers’ Hospitals’ Pregnancy Assessment Centre and Birth Suite are available, 24 hours a day.  If you need any urgent assistance, please call your midwife so that we can attend the hospital with you.

Pregnancy Check-ups

Your scheduled pregnancy check-ups will be in a local clinic setting.
Your midwife will be at the clinic as well as other midwives from your midwifery group
practice team.

The antenatal session includes discussions on topics such as diet, exercise, pregnancy, active birth, labour, baby care and infant feeding. The group antenatal sessions enable you to meet other midwives from the group and women from your community. Sessions run for 90 minutes and include your check-up.

Some of the specialist MGP groups provide one on one appointment’s where you will be able to meet other midwives in the team and discuss options for education.

A bit about the specialist Midwifery Group Practice teams

Maters' MGP has three teams which care for pregnant women with specific needs. 

These teams are:

  • The Young Women's MGP team 
  • The Refugee MGP team
  • Birthing in our Community team who care for woman having an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander baby. 

The refferal process is the same, as is the philosophy and the care provided. The midwives can discuss the type of care you would expect to receive during an initial telephone conversation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of the frequently asked questions from women who have been involved in Maters' Midwifery Group Practice Program.

What happens if I need a doctor during my pregnancy?

The medical team at Mater Mothers’ Hospital works closely with your group practice midwife. If a complication arises your midwife and the medical team will ensure you and your baby receive the specialist care you need. The doctor, in most cases, will work with you and your midwife to keep you in the program. Your midwife will discuss your options with you and keep you and your family involved in any new plans for the care of you and your baby.

Who will care for me during my labour and birth?

When you think you are in labour, please telephone your midwife. When you and your midwife agree that you are ready to come into hospital they will meet you at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital Pregnancy Assessment Centre. Your midwife will care for you during your labour and birth, while another midwife from your group practice may assist.

What happens after my baby is born?

If you and your baby are well, you will go home directly from your Mater Mothers’ Birth Suite, between four and six hours after the birth. It is important that you have arranged to have some help when you return home.

If you, or your baby, need to stay in hospital for medical reasons, you will remain in the Mater Mothers’ Hospital until your doctor is happy for you to go home. During this time, you will be cared for by the Mater midwives who work in this area.

Will a midwife visit me at home?

If needed, your midwife will visit you and your baby at home for four to six weeks after you’ve given birth, provided you are still residing in the Mater catchment area. These visits will be arranged between you and your midwife.

Before their last visit, your midwife will help you arrange for you to see your GP and give you the contact details of your local Child Health Service. This service will provide you and your baby with the best available health information.

Further Information

For further information about the MGP Program, please telephone 07 3163 1968.

Contact details

In an emergency, please contact the Mater Mothers’ Hospital Birthing Suites on telephone 07 3163 7000 (all hours).

2021 Mater Misericordiae Ltd. ACN 096 708 922

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-430006
Last modified 21/7/2021.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 05/7/2021
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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