Friends of Belmont Birthing

Maternity Care at Belmont

We pregnant women don’t ask for much. Many of us would like a normal birth if possible. We’d like supportive, respectful care that builds our confidence in coping with labour (because many of us are worried about the pain). We’d like our babies to be handled with care. We want our babies and ourselves to be safe.

We also need accurate information about our options. Friends of Belmont Birthing developed this site to share first-hand knowledge about Belmont Midwifery Group Practice – mother to mother.

Supportive, Natural Birth at Belmont

The maternity service at Belmont Hospital has been designed to support us in the following ways:

  • We are more likely to have a safe, normal birth
  • We are more likely to know and trust the midwife who cares for us
  • We are supported to feel more confident about labour, birth and motherhood
  • A midwife will come to our homes when we think labour has started
  • Our babies will be born into a calm, welcoming environment
  • We receive personalised, postnatal care in our homes.

midwife visit at home

How Belmont midwives deliver your care

The maternity service at Belmont, also known as Belmont Birthing Service, is a Midwifery Group Practice (BMGP). It is a publicly funded (i.e. free) maternity service provided by Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD). You can book without a referral or you can request a referral from your GP. You have the option of birthing at the birth centre (located at Belmont Hospital) or at home.

A small team of four experienced midwives provide all your care during pregnancy, birth and up to two weeks after your baby is born.

water birth

There are no obstetricians onsite. The Belmont midwives are supported by medical specialists at John Hunter Hospital. Your midwife will refer you if you need or want medical care (including epidural pain relief) at any point in your pregnancy, labour and birth, or postnatal period. And you can change your mind at any stage.

Why Choose Belmont?

You are more likely to have a safe, natural birth.

Belmont caters for healthy women with normal pregnancies. Research has shown that being some distance from a tertiary obstetric unit, compared to being alongside or in an obstetric unit (e.g. John Hunter Hospital Birth Centre, birthing suite) has been shown to increase women’s chances of having a natural birth without compromising safety.[i]

You are more likely to know and trust the professional who cares for you in labour

 At Belmont, all your pregnancy, labour and birth and postnatal care is provided by the same small team of midwives. You can be confident that the midwife who cares for you in labour and birth will know your unique needs and expectations and provide all possible support for you to achieve the birth you want in safety.

antenatal checkup

"… I had become much more informed about pregnancy and labour and knew that having a relationship with a midwife whom I trusted was going to be key to my experience this time.

-From the birth story A healing homebirth

"I believe you have to be brave going somewhere where you don't know who will be looking after you. At such a beautiful, intimate time to have a complete stranger by your side seems like risky business to me

-From the birth story Luca Rae

Feel more confident and positive about labour, birth and motherhood.

Having a relationship with a midwife throughout pregnancy, who will care for you in labour and birth, can increase your confidence in birthing and motherhood. With the type of care offered at Belmont, women report feeling at ease and growing comfortable with their ability to cope with labour and birth.[i],[ii] and, more positive experiences of labour, pain and birth.[iii]

"The midwives are so dedicated and generous with their time. Talking to them really gave me the chance to work through the fears I had about childbirth and becoming a mother. I felt so loved that when it came to giving birth I had all the support I needed to go through the process with calmness and purpose.

-Tess

Peace of mind knowing that a midwife will visit to confirm that your labour really has started.

Sometimes we’re not sure that we are in labour, especially first-time mums. Worryingly, research has shown that going to hospital too early in labour (latent labour) results in a higher chance of augmentation, epidural and caesarean section.[i]

You won’t risk going to the hospital too early when you give birth with the Belmont midwives. They provide the reassurance of a home visit when you think you are in labour. They’ll keep in touch, helping you cope until the time is right to go to the birth centre, or for them to come to you.

"Having a midwife that you know come to your home while you're labouring and stay with you awhile is the most reassuring partnership a first-time-mum can ask for. I can't wait to go through labour again, I feel so proud of myself.

-Renee, Charlestown, mother of 2 BMGP babies

Calm, welcoming environment for you and your baby.

bath water

Tertiary hospitals can be hectic, intimidating places. Belmont hospital is smaller and less busy, with easy parking close by. The birth centre is warm, friendly and intimate; perfect for welcoming your new baby into the world.

"…we were welcomed into a calm environment by staff that were happy to take the time to talk to us and show us around. Right away we were at ease and just knew this was the place for us.”

- From the birth story Luca Rae

Personalised, postnatal care in your home

It’s nice to think that you’ll have some rest in hospital after your baby is born. But the truth is, hospitals are busy places. It can be hard to sleep. It’s hard not to disturb, or be disturbed by, other mothers, babies and visitors.

At Belmont, you go home a short time after baby is born. Your midwives visit daily at first, helping you to develop confidence in your own space. No prying eyes. No need to relearn things, like breastfeeding positioning for example, when you get home. You and baby rest in your own welcoming beds and your postnatal care meets your individual needs.

So, find out if Belmont is right for you. Arrange a visit before you decide. No pressure, no judgement, just accurate information. Best Wishes on your birth journey.

 

[i] Rota, A., Antolini, L., Colciago, E., Nespoli, A., Borrelli, S.E. & Fumagalli, S. (article in press). Timing of hospital admission in labour: latent versus active phase, mode of birth and intrapartum interventions. A correlational study. Women and Birth (2017),  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2017.10.001

[i] Leap N, Sandall J, Buckland S, Huber U. Journey to confidence: Women's experiences of pain in labour and relational continuity. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health. 2010; 55(3): 234-42.

[ii] McLachlan HL, Forster DA, Davey M-A, Farrell T, Flood M, Shafiei T, Waldenstrom U. The effect of primary midwife-led care on women’s experience of childbirth: results from the COSMOS randomised controlled trial. BJOG 2016;123:465–474.

[iii] Leap et. al. op. cit., p.238.

[i] Birthplace in England Collaborative Group. (2012). Perinatal and maternal outcomes by planned place of birth for healthy women with low risk pregnancies: The Birthplace in England national prospective cohort study. BMJ: British Medical Journal, (7840), 17.