Queensland mums-to-be have a new online and interactive tool to help them decide which birth facility suits them best.
Called Birthplace, the tool is part of the work the Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies (QCMB) is doing to enhance maternity care in Queensland.
Research Fellow Ms Rachel Thompson, said Birthplace, part of the QCMB’s Having a Baby in Queensland website, was a comprehensive online directory of all 62 birth facilities in Queensland
“This is the first time Queensland parents are really able to know what to expect from their chosen place of birth and, where possible, to choose the birth facility that best meets their individual needs and preferences,” Ms Thompson said.
“Birthplace includes information about facility policies and procedures, as well as the experiences of other women who have had a baby in the facility.”
She said Birthplace was developed in response to women’s requests for more information about their options and more transparency in maternity care in general.
“From our early work talking with pregnant women and new mothers, it became clear that the best birthing facility for one woman may not be the best for another,” she said.
“There are major variations in practice across different hospitals and birth centres in Queensland. Facilities differ in the types of care they offer and in their policies and practices.
“Women want this information to help them make the best choices for them.”
Ms Thompson said Birthplace combined information from the facilities as well as information taken from the QCMB’s Having a Baby in Queensland Survey, a biennial survey which asks more than 20,000 women about their experiences of their care during pregnancy, labour, birth and after birth.
The QCMB is an independent research centre based at The University of Queensland and funded by the Queensland Government. The role of the Centre is to work towards consumer-focused maternity care that is integrated, evidence-based and provides optimal choices for women in Queensland.
Some of the other projects the Centre is working on include:
– Evaluation of the Universal Postnatal Contact initiative
– Maternity Consumers Representative Training Program
– The Having a Baby in Queensland Book, a trial information resource to help women make their pregnancy/birth related decisions
– Parent Information Sheets
– The Maternity Care Communication and Collaboration Project, which aims to enhance true and effective collaboration between maternity care providers as well as consumers
For more information about any of our projects visit the website.