North West

Pregnancy, Birth and Early Parenting banner image

North West

Options of care during your pregnancy - North West

At the THS we believe it is important to involve you in all aspects of your care in Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) pregnancy. Statewide services do vary so what is available in Hobart may be different in Launceston or on the North West coast.  There may be circumstances when one or more of these options may not be suitable for you due to medical or other reasons.  Please feel free to discuss your options with your midwife and/or doctor.

Antenatal visits will not cover all your educational requirements for labour, birth and the transition to parenting.  For this reason the THS recommends Birth and Parenting Classes along with any additional classes offered that may benefit your specific needs.  Further, research supports the benefits of attending a tour to familiarise yourself with the environment in which you will labour and commence your transition to parenting.  Whilst on the tour,  you will learn valuable information like after hours access, parking possibilities, what happens in hospital and length of stay.

In the THS midwives work in all models of care so if you have medical or other circumstances resulting in the need for you to be cared for in a medical clinic you will still see midwives during your antenatal visits.

Exclusion from Midwifery based care may occur if there is any deviation from a normal risk pregnancy, unless you are with MGP where collaborative care may be given between your midwife and our doctors'.

Some women receiving Midwifery care may be required to have an appointment with one of our doctors at 36 weeks due to a medical reason like a previous caesarean birth or diet controlled gestational diabetes.

Midwifery Group Practice

You will be cared for by a primary (and backup) midwife who you will get to know well for your pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal needs. This model of care offers the most continuity possible and includes a shorter hospital stay of 4-6 hours after the birth. Then you will have one on one visits in your home for up to 10-14  days days according to your assessed needs. The pregnancy care will occur primarily in community clinics with the venue negotiated directly with you.

Midwife Satellite Clinics

Satellite clinics make our services conveniently available to women within  their local community. To find out if there is a clinic in your area ask your midwife or contact Women’s Health Clinic to find out what is available. The clinics are run by midwives and are for normal risk women.

These midwives give antenatal care onlyand will not be available for your labour and/or birth.

Medical Clinic

Women are referred to Medical clinics due to health needs. These models  of care encompass a team approach between the obstetric doctors and the clinic midwives who are both available to complete antenatal appointments. There are varying types of medical clinics available thus ensuring best care depending on your circumstances. If you are required to be cared for in one of our Medical Clinics this may be discussed when you first see your GP or at your first appointment at the Womens Health Clinic.

North West Integrated Care Service Contacts

North West Integrated Care Services (THS & NWPH) Contact Numbers

Women's Health Clinic Appointments - Mersey COmmunity Hospital(03) 6478 5180
Women's Health Clinic Appointments - North West Regional Hospital(03) 6493 6353
Pregnancy Assessment Clinic - Mersey Community Hospital1800 940 766 
Pregnancy Assessment Clinic - North West Regional Hospital1800 940 747
North West Private Hospital Maternity Unit(03) 6432 6031
Lactation Consultant0409 973 547
Interpreter Services(03) 6478 5392
Perinatal and Mental Health Services(03) 6478 5319

Antenatal education

The Tasmanian Health Service (THS) North West Integrated Maternity Service (NWIMS)  offers a variety of antenatal class options.  Antenatal classes are designed to help you with your physical, mental and emotional preparation for pregnancy, birth, early parenting and feeding your baby. The sessions are relaxed and informative, giving you and your support person, the opportunity to meet other families and to discuss ideas, thoughts  and choices for birthing and parenting. It is important to book  your  classes early to ensure you do not miss out on the time that best suits. Please check with  your midwife for updates on sessions available.

Antenatal  classes are run  in the evenings in both Mersey and NWRH and may sometimes be available on weekends. It is best to attend your birth and parenting classes from  28 weeks gestation onwards.

Bookings for classes will be made for you by a midwife at booking-in or another antenatal appointment.

Location of Classes

Classes are conducted by Midwives at  the Mersey Community Hospital and the North West Regional Hospital. You will be sent a letter with time and venue prior to the classes commencing.

Birth and Parenting classes

We recommend you enrol in a Birth and Parenting Class, especially if this is your or your partners first child. Birth and Parenting classes are facilitated by midwives. The classes cover self help skills, an understanding of labour and birth, feeding, unexpected outcomes, natural and medical pain relief options to help make informed choices. Transition to parenting can be a busy but exciting time. We offer you some strategies to cope with the early days at home and give you information regarding follow up support in the community.

Please read the Maternity Information Package prior to attending the Birth and Parenting classes.

Please ask your  midwife for available session times, dates and venues.


Physiotherapy may be able to assist you further with some of the common aches & pains of pregnancy  (such as back or pelvic pain and carpel tunnel syndrome). Your physiotherapist will support you to be as physically active as you can be during your pregnancy.


Breastmilk is the most nutritious food you can give your baby. Breastfeeding is natural but a learned skill. If you have specific concerns requiring further discussion you may book a one to on consultation.

Please ask your  Midwife.

All THS hospitals are accredited Baby Friendly Hospitals and follow the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The full Breastfeeding policy is available on request.

Birth and Parenting Education

Discuss with your midwife or doctor,  as educators working in this area can also assist in the following circumstances.

  • People with specific birthing and/or parenting issues;
  • If this is not your first baby but you require an update of information in a specific area.
  • Women  having twins;
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who require one to one parenting discussions with an interpreter; and
  • People who would like the opportunity to debrief after a difficult birth when booking in for subsequent pregnancies.

Tours of the Maternity Unit

If you have not previously birthed at the NWPH it is important to attend a tour of the Maternity Unit to not only understand the process for admission but to ensure you are familiar with the environment during an important stage of your life.

Tours can be arranged by phoning  (03) 6432 6000.

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service

Social worker services are available at the MCH and NWRH to assist you  with further referrals.  Please discuss with you midwife or doctor or GP.

The Mental Health Service Hotline is also available 24hours  a day freecall 1800 332 338.

Life Line: 1300 364 566

Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia

Beyond Blue

Pregnancy Assessment Centre (PAC)

The Pregnancy Assessment Clinic is the area that you need to contact if:

  • You are between 20 weeks pregnant and 10 days post birth;
  • You think that you are in labour
  • Have a pregnancy related concern
  • If you have had a fall or an accident

You can contact PAC at any time if you have any concerns. You will be able to talk to a Midwife and if needed, have a follow  up visit to PAC.

North West Regional Hospital1800 940 747
Mersey Community Hospital1800 946 767

PAC is located at the North West Regional Hospital only.

When you come to PAC the Midwives and Doctor will assess the wellbeing of you and your baby.

After this appointment you will either go home or be transferred to the Maternity Unit. If you go home it is important you follow the advice given and attend any follow up appointments.

Please do not hesitate to ring PAC if you have any further concerns.

To avoid overcrowding:

  • Only one visitor/support  person is to stay with you at the discretion of PAC Midwives;
  • The visitor/support person is required to stay with you behind the curtains; and
  • No children are allowed.

PAC is located in the Antenatal Clinics at both Mersey and North West regional hospitals.

Social Work Department

Provides patients with social and emotional  support, practical information related to pregnancy and assists with discharge planning. The services are free and available to patients and their families. Social Workers assist people to make decisions about things that are important to them.  Social Workers encourage people to be involved in their own care and to explore all available choices. If you would like to speak to a social worker,  please ask the staff or contact the Social Work Department.

Maternity Unit patient accommodation

Rooming In

The Maternity Unit has a rooming in policy, which means your baby is with you 24 hours a day. During your stay in the Maternity Unit you are responsible for the care, supervision and safety of your baby.

It is your responsibility not to leave your baby unattended.

Tell staff if you intend to leave the ward for any reason. If you leave your room/ward during visiting hours ask a family member to watch your baby.

Please note we do not have a nursery for well babies. Having your baby room in with you ensures you start to recognise their needs for feeding and comfort from birth and is part of the ‘Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative’ at the NWPH and in all THS hospitals.

Birthing Suites

NWPH’s well-appointed and spacious birthing rooms provide a comfortable and safe atmosphere  for the birth of your baby. Each birthing suite is self-contained with a TV, tea/coffee making facilities, with most of the medical equipment discreetly concealed.  A bath is available in each of the rooms for water immersion and water birth.

Most women want the company and support of someone they trust during labour. Our policy is that we promote only 2 support people (maximum) in the birthing  suite. Please place mobile phones on silent in the birth suite. It is our request that mobile phones are only used outside of the birthing suite during labour.

It is important to note that we are unable to accommodate additional family and friends in our waiting lounge for the time you are in labour, especially after 8pm. Our waiting  lounge  is a small area to be shared by many clients which makes it unavailable to others should visitors be waiting for hours.

Children are not encouraged in the birthing  suite. If a child is to attend the birth,  please prepare  them for this special occasion – what they may expect to see, hear and experience. Also, arrange for someone other than your support person to look after your child during the birth. Nursing staff are unable to look after children in the birthing suite.

Ward Rooms

The NWPH maternity unit has 4 bed rooms,  they are shared and your partner cannot stay in these rooms.

There may be single rooms available for women who have specific medical requirements.

Arriving at the Maternity Unit for Elective Admissions

Patients requiring admission for induction at the NWPH  should present at the time advised to Huon Ward on the day of your induction. You will be provided with information  on what is involved and what to expect.

Elective caesarean section patients will be advised of admission dates and times. You will also be given information  on caesarean section when your surgery is booked.

Labour and birth

Phoning before you leave home enables the midwives to prepare for your arrival and makes the admission procedure flow more smoothly.

Midwives are available to talk with you on the phone regarding concerns about your pregnancy and whether or not you should come to hospital.

On arrival if you are in labour, please present to Huon Ward.

Telephone contact for women in labour is 1800 940 747 or North west Private Hospital (03) 6432 6031.


It is important for you to get rest, particularly in the first few days. For this reason a rest period is encouraged after lunch and visiting hours are strictly enforced.  Please ask your  visitors to consider your needs while you are in hospital. Partners and children can visit all areas in the morning.

Visiting to the ‘Special Care Nursery’  is restricted to members of the immediate family and is not an area for general visiting. Please observe hand hygiene requests.

Visitors are asked to observe the unit and ward visiting hours below and be mindful of all patients when visiting the hospital.

Strictly 2pm - 4.30pm & 6pm - 7.30pm


Parking is available in the NWPH car park, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A parking exemption voucher can be provided for 1 vehicle on the day of your baby’s birth.


NWPH is a teaching hospital and has the responsibility of teaching a range of students in the health care professions.

We ask for your  permission  to involve students in your care, this will help to educate the students who will be the health care professionals of the future.

Interpreter service

North West Integrated Maternity Services (NWIMS) provides interpreters as required to interpret medical information for patients of non- English speaking backgrounds.

This service is provided  to ensure the best clinical outcomes  are achieved.

NWIMS does not use family members or friends to interpret  information  unless in an emergency.

Aboriginal Health liasion service

The Social worker  will provide  referral to appropriate services as needed.

Refugee/Migrant liasion officer

The Multicultural and Health Diversity officer  is employed to assist patients and their families from culturally and

linguistically diverse backgrounds to fully access and benefit from the hospital support  services. Staff can arrange a referral for you if needed.


All THS hospitals and NWIMS are smoke free environments for patients and visitors. This includes the hospital grounds. We thank you in advance for your cooperation in maintaining this policy.


All rooms at the NWPH has a remote controlled television for patient use, they are required to be turned off by 9.30pm.


The NWPH  kiosk is open between 8am - 2.30pm Monday to Friday.

Meal times

Your meals will be served according to your dietary needs. Please advise staff on admission of any specific dietary requirements you may have.

Your partner will be provided with a meal while you are in labour.

Safety - small electrical appliances

For safety reasons patients are discouraged from bringing small electrical items (ie, computers, electronic tablets etc) into THS hospitals. However, if you do bring small electrical appliances into hospital you must comply with THS policy. Further details on the policy can be obtained from ward/unit staff.

Prior to bringing small electrical appliances into hospital they must be tested and tagged to ensure compliance with electrical safety standards (at your expense). The THS does not accept any responsibility/ liability for damage or theft of appliances.

Booking tests and where to go

Ultrasound Department

The Ultrasound Department  is located at the Mersey Hospital and Oldaker Street, Devonport.

The NWRH Ultrasound is in the Medical Centre and at Marine Terrace, Burnie.

Pathology Tests and Bookings

The diabetes in pregnancy blood test (OGTT) requires you to book an appointment  and present to the pathology having fasted. We recommend you book an early appointment, you will need to allow 2-3 hours.

The pathology department is located at the Mersey Hospital ground floor or at Oldaker Street in Devonport.

Pathology tests are available in Burnie at NW pathology in the Medical Centre, as well as Marine Terrace, Burnie and the GP super clinic at Cooee.