Pregnancy & Birth Models of Care // Sunshine Coast


I’m pregnant!!! Now what 🤷🏼‍♀️ 

You’ve been trying to conceive (TTC) and now you’re pregnant, yay! But what’s the next step? As soon as you have that positive test, there’s already a long list of big decisions you didn’t know anything about that need to be made. You may have an idea about the care that your friend or sister have told you about, but you’ve never put much thought into what YOU would want. So why is it so important to find out your options so early, I mean it’s a 40 week process, surely there’s plenty of time to sort it out, right? Well, unfortunately there are a couple of models of care that if you don’t request early enough, you may miss out on the opportunity. Of course, there’s always exceptions to this rule, but in general, it pays to be onto it early. 

Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) for example is a model of care that offers only limited spaces, so unless you have your GP referral sent in early in your first trimester, you may not find any spaces available. Likewise with a popular Private Obstetrician or Private Midwife, there are only so many cases they can take on, so if you have someone that has been highly recommended to you, it’s always a good idea to obtain a referral early. 

So what are my options I hear you asking….? Let’s take a look at a brief overview of all the models of care we have on offer on the Sunshine Coast. 


(Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH)) 

MGP offers a woman-centred care option that will support you throughout your pregnancy, birth and postnatal period. This model of care offers you the care and support of your allocated midwife, within a small group of midwives. Your midwife will get to know you and your birth preferences and will do everything she can (within reason of course) to support them. MGP or birth centres as they are often referred to, will usually screen you for suitability for the program, making sure you are aware the general philosophy of the program. The preference is for a woman (wherever possible) to have a physiological labour and birth. Following birth, if mother and baby are well, you would usually be encouraged to continue the care of your baby from the comfort of your home within 4-6 hours following delivery, and your midwife will check on you in the next 24-48 hours at your home. Should any medically indicated complications arise during your pregnancy, you will be referred on to the hospital doctors to provide additional care.

Some common reasons for choosing this model of care include: 

  • Preference for having a physiological labour and birth
  • Continuity of care (you are allocated your own midwife, usually in a group of 3-5 midwives that will see you through from beginning to end)
  • Woman-centred care (this means, your midwife will do everything she can to meet your desired pregnancy and birthing needs)
  • Preference for low intervention care wherever possible 
  • Water birth option 

** This is the model of care I have chosen for my upcoming birth, so forgive me if I show signs of bias towards this model. The beauty of pregnancy and birth, is we all have different needs and desires when it comes to our preferences, so while this model of care might be suited to me and my preferences, there might be a different care option that better suits yours.


(SCUH or Home birth) 

Private midwives offer a model of care that can be used within a hospital setting or you may have the option to select a home birth. Usually you will be allocated either your own midwife, or a small group of midwives for your pregnancy, birth and postnatal care.

Some common reasons for choosing this model of care include: 

  • Continuity of care (you have an allocated midwife, or small group of midwives to see you through your pregnancy, birth and postpartum) 
  • Water birth option 
  • Home birth option 
  • Woman-centred care 
  • Preference for low intervention care wherever possible
  • Support through various birth preferences (including but not limited to, vaginal birth, VBAC, & caesarian section) 


(Buderim Private)

Private obstetric care offers a model of care that can be utilised in a Private Hospital. Buderim Private Hospital facilitates natural birth, water birth and caesarian section birth. Your obstetrician will discuss with you and assess the needs of your pregnancy to help you make an informed choice on the best birth option to suit your needs. 

Some common reasons for choosing this model of care include:

  • Preference for Obstetric care 
  • Continuity of care (you will be under the care of your selected obstetrician throughout your pregnancy, birth* and postpartum)
  • Wanting to birth in a Private Hospital 
  • Water birth option 
  • Having a high risk pregnancy requiring obstetric support 
  • Preference for a longer stay in hospital following birth

*Subject to hospital scheduling 


(Buderim Private) 

This option offers those that are wanting to have private obstetric care, but are looking at a more affordable option. In this program you are under the care of a group of private obstetricians who along with midwives will care for you throughout your pregnancy and birth. 

Some common reasons for choosing this model of care include:

  • Preference for Obstetric care 
  • Wanting to birth in a Private Hospital 
  • Water birth option 
  • Having a high risk pregnancy requiring obstetric support 
  • Preference for a longer stay in hospital following birth 



This model of care is typically undertaken by mainly midwives. You will be referred on to the hospital doctors during your pregnancy should any medically indicated complications arise requiring further support. Usually you will see a wide variety of staff throughout your appointments, as you will be allocated a midwife or doctor on shift for your scheduled appointments. When you are in labour and birthing your baby, you will be under the care of the midwives and doctors who are rostered on shift that day/night. 

Some common reasons for choosing this model of care include:

  • Preference for Public Hospital care 
  • Not having a strong preference for any specific model of care, just wanting care and support of well trained staff 
  • Missing out on other care models such as MGP 
  • Support of both low risk or high risk pregnancies available 
  • Water birth option 


(Selected GP + SCUH) 

This option is suited to those that have a really great rapport with their GP, and feel confident and safe in their care. It can easily progress from your usual care, and then follow through your pregnancy to postpartum. Additionally, you have care provided by the Midwives and Obstetricians in the public hospital for any needs that arise during your pregnancy. 

Some common reasons for choosing this model of care include: 

  • continuity of care from preconception, throughout pregnancy and postpartum (although they will not usually attend your birth and typically pass you on to the hospital around 36-38 weeks)
  • Strong Doctor-Patient rapport 

** my tips for anyone wanting to use this model of care: 

  1. Ask your GP lots of questions about their experience with Obstetric/Maternal care. You want to be really confident that they have the knowledge and skills to pick up on sometimes even minor details that you might need support with. 
  2. Make sure to request a couple of appointments at the hospital, even if not clinically indicated. Simply to familiarise yourself with the surroundings and know what to expect. Particularly if you’ve never spent much time in a hospital until your own birth. It can be a daunting place if you’ve not been there before, and you want to feel calm and safe when you arrive in labour. 


(SCUH or Buderim Private) 

While this option is not a model of care, it can be a great complimentary addition to the care option you have selected. The “Connect” program offered through the Sunshine Coast University gives the opportunity for a student midwife to follow your pregnancy and birth journey alongside you. The benefit of this, is you both get to learn along the way. Student midwives are eager to learn, so during your antenatal appointments, they may ask questions that you’ve been too shy to ask, or didn’t know anything about until they brought it up. This gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about pregnancy and birth. 

Some common reasons for choosing this model of care include: 

  • Continuity of support (No matter which model of care you select, your student midwife will be a constant support person through antenatal appointments, birth and postpartum) 
  • Wanting to support the learning of upcoming midwives 

Whatever model of care you select, just remember that we are very blessed here on the Sunshine Coast with exceptional care providers both within the public and private systems. It might seem daunting at first, with more options than you first thought, but I would suggest jotting down on paper some of the things are important to you for your pregnancy and birth. Seeing it written down, you might find that you fit within only a couple of the care models available and this will help narrow down your decision. 

Emmy x 



Connect Student Midwife Program:

SCUH Maternity booklet:

SCUH Maternity Video Tour:

Buderim Private Maternity:

Shared Care Private Obstetrics:

Buderim Private Obstetricians:

Private Midwives:

Home birth:

Dr Emmy Cox

About the Author:
Dr Emmy is trained in the highly effective Fertile Life Method, giving her a broad understanding of Fertility support for both Natural and Assisted Reproductive methods. Emmy has developed an interest in helping people to reach their full health potential, and offers a gentle style of treatment that focuses on the individual’s health goals.You can find out more about Dr Emmy here.

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Bloom Chinese Medicine is an integrative Chinese medicine and acupuncture clinic committed to providing the best outcomes for our patients, and empowering them along their journey to optimal fertility and wellness. Centrally located in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, we have visitors from local suburbs and all over Queensland.

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