Birthing services in Darwin
The maternity services at Royal Darwin Hospital has the following care choices for women and families for pregnancy, birth and after babies are born:
- antenatal clinics
- midwives clinics
- obstetric clinics
- paediatric clinics
- three midwifery group practices, including home birthing options
- shared care options
- group pregnancy care
- domiciliary midwifery - home visits
- 28 bed maternity ward
- six birth rooms in the delivery suite
- two birth rooms in the birth centre
- neonatal intensive care unit and special care nursery
- two paediatric units
- one full-time lactation consultant for breastfeeding support.
In the first 10 weeks of pregnancy you should see your doctor to get screening and testing.
Referrals to Royal Darwin Hospital
You need a referral from your doctor for Royal Darwin Hospital maternity services.
If you need an interpreter your doctor will state this in your referral and the hospital will organise this for you.
Your first appointment at maternity services will be after 14 weeks of pregnancy. You will receive a letter confirming your appointment.
Midwifery Group Practice
If you are receiving care from one of the midwifery models of care with a known midwife, you can birth in either the Birth Centre or Delivery Suite, depending on your personal and clinical needs.
Antenatal and Midwives Clinic
If you are receiving care from the Antenatal Clinic or Midwives Clinic, your care will be provided by the core staff at Royal Darwin Hospital. You will give birth in the delivery suite.
The delivery suite is on the sixth floor of Royal Darwin Hospital. It has six birth rooms, showers, toilets and two baths.
Darwin Birth Centre
The Birth Centre has two birth rooms. Each room has a bath, shower and toilet. You can use water in the bath during labour as a pain relief option or you can choose to have a waterbirth if it is agreed with your doctor and midwife.
There is also an outside garden area leading from each room.
You can access the Birth Centre during office hours from Monday to Friday, or by calling the on-call midwife after hours.
There are 28 maternity beds for pregnant women and mothers who have had their baby.
In the ward doctors and midwives will check your health and the health of the baby, and educate you on the following:
- supporting you to care for your new baby
The length of your stay in the maternity ward will depend on the type of birth and your circumstances.
Discharge soon after the birth with early midwifery home visits is encouraged to help you adjust to mothering your baby in your own environment.
Meal times are at the following times:
- breakfast at 8am
- lunch at 12 midday
- dinner at 5.30pm.
Since there is limited space in the ward, only two people should visit at a time. Partners and family can't stay overnight.
Visiting hours are a guide to help the mother get enough rest:
- 10am to 1pm - open visiting
- 1pm to 3pm - restricted to partners only
- 3pm to 8pm - open visiting.
Before you are discharged you and your baby will have a complete check and discuss if you need any follow up appointments.
The doctors at Royal Darwin Hospital support birth spacing and good pre-conceptual care for the next pregnancy and will discuss your contraception needs before your discharge. Your contraception can be prescribed before leaving hospital. Contraceptive implants can be inserted before going home if you choose this method. Discuss this at your antenatal visits.
For more information contact the maternity ward: (08) 8922 8666.