Central Coast Midwifery Group Practice (CCMGP) offers safe, publicly-funded homebirth to women on the Central Coast. Homebirth is an extension of CCMGP birthplace choices, ensuring continuity of care throughout your pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey is provided in the comfort of your home.
Frequently asked questions about homebirth
What is Central Coast Midwifery Group Practice and Homebirth?
Central Coast Midwifery Group Practice (CCMGP) empowers a partnership between a midwife and a woman during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum journey.
CCMGP is a small team of midwives with a natural, evidence-based, women-centred care approach to birth. CCMGP work within the policies and guidelines of Central Coast Local Health District and the Australian Collage of Midwives Guidelines for Consultation and Referral. CCMGP is supported by Gosford Hospital’s obstetric and paediatric teams.
CCMGP offers safe, publicly-funded homebirth to women on the Central Coast. Homebirth is an extension of CCMGP birthplace choices. Continuity of care will occur
in the privacy and safety of your own home with the support people of your choice.
Is homebirth safe?
Yes. Large studies around the world have provided evidence that a planned homebirth with a midwife is safe for low-risk pregnancies. These studies have shown that birth at home:
• Reduces your chance of having an assisted vaginal instrumental birth
• Increases your chance of an intact perineum (the skin and muscle between the vagina and anus).
• Reduces your chance of sustaining a severe perineal tear.
• Reduces your chance of caesarean.
• Reduces the chance of your baby being admitted to the special care nursery.
• Creates little to no change in the risk of stillbirth or neonatal death.
Why choose homebirth?
Women choose homebirth for many reasons. Some reasons include:
• Motivation to have a vaginal birth with minimal intervention.
• Birthing at home reduces your chance of intervention.
• Being in your own home and environment helps your labour and birth progress undisturbed and uninterrupted.
• Having known midwives at your labour, birth, and four hours postpartum provided in the comfort of your home.
• Homebirth empowers you to labour with non-pharmalogical pain relief.
• Homebirth keeps your family and support network close to you.
• There is no limit to the number of support people you choose to have in your home.
• Birth at home increases your birth experience satisfaction and increases your chance of breastfeeding success.
Is homebirth a suitable option for me?
Home birth will be available to women who want to birth at home and meet the following:
• Have an uncomplicated pregnancy
• Were healthy prior to pregnancy
• Live no further than a 45-minute drive to Gosford Hospital
• Over 18 years old at the time of booking
• If you’ve had a baby before, you’ve had previous uncomplicated pregnancies and births
What is the process once I’ve booked for a homebirth?
Your CCMGP midwife will undertake a full assessment during your booking in appointment to ensure home is a safe place for you to plan your birth. Your midwife will explore your desire for a homebirth and help you plan accordingly. A collaborative team will ensure your pregnancy remains uncomplicated through ongoing health and wellness assessments.
If a pregnancy complication arises your midwife will continue care with an option of a hospital birth to ensure an appropriate level of care. You will meet a second midwife during your pregnancy who may be present at your birth.
By 36 weeks pregnancy your primary midwife will undertake a birth planning appointment with you and your chosen support people. Your partner and support people are encouraged to attend the birth planning appointment to ensure everyone understands their role in supporting you during labour and birth.
What pain relief options will be available?
Women opting for a homebirth work with their bodies through positioning and movement. Many women choose to use water immersion or the heat and massage from a shower to ease the discomfort of labour. Women use heat packs, massage, TENS machines, aromatherapy, music, and other natural remedies during labour for pain management.
If a woman would like additional pain relief including nitrous oxide, morphine, or an epidural your midwife will discuss transferring to the Birth Unit at Gosford Hospital. Your known midwife will continue to care for you in the hospital.
What happens if something goes wrong, or the baby is unwell at birth?
Our midwives are experienced and trained in proving emergency care to you and your baby. The midwives have the necessary equipment and medications to manage emergencies while organising a hospital transfer with NSW Ambulance if required. Complications are rare, however, if complications do arise for you or your baby, we will ensure that you are informed of the complication and the recommendation for transfer. You and your baby will be immediately transferred to Gosford Hospital.
An additional layer of safety is provided by our collaborative relationship with the NSW Ambulance Service. You and your primary midwife are further supported by the medical and midwifery teams at Gosford Hospital if transfer is recommended.
If I birth at home but my baby needs additional support, can I stay with my baby in hospital?
Admissions to the Special Care Nursery are rare for the newborns of women having a homebirth. However, if your baby does require admission, we will prioritise that you can stay together with your baby. If you are well, we have boarder rooms where parents can be with their baby in the Special Care Nursery. If you are both needing additional care, you will be admitted to the Maternity Ward and transferred to the Special Care Nursey as often as requested.
What happens if I change my mind about home birth?
You can change your mind about having a homebirth at any time during your pregnancy or labour. If, during labour, you decide that you would prefer a hospital birth your midwife will discuss the option of transfer with you. Your midwife will continue to care for you in the hospital environment maintaining continuity of care.
Can my family be with me during my home birth?
Your midwife will support your participants in care and support people to ensure they feel supported and safe during your homebirth. You will discuss with your midwife who you would like to support you during labour, birth and after your baby is born as part of the conversations during your antenatal care.
Is my home suitable for a home birth?
Your home should provide a clean and comfortable space, with hot running water and electricity available, and all-weather entrance. Having access to good mobile phone coverage is also essential. Your midwife will provide some pregnancy care in your home and will explain the considerations and preparations for homebirth in more detail.
Will I be able to have a water birth at home?
Water immersion for labour and birth is an option for women wanting a homebirth. Your midwife will explain options of using your own bath or your ability to hire an inflatable pool for your birth at home. Some women also enjoy the privacy, heat, massage, and pressure from using the shower.
Talk to our midwifery staff by contacting:
Phone number: 0414 193 132
Email address: CCLHD-Homebirth@health.nsw.gov.au