- Living in rural Tasmania, you can choose the types of health professional or team that will care for you during your pregnancy, labour and birth.
- If you travel a long distance from home, you might be able to claim some travel and accommodation costs through the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people may be able to access special programs such as Birthing on Country — ask your doctor or health worker for more information.
What are my options for maternity services?
If you are pregnant and live in rural Tasmania, you can choose the type of health professional or team you would like to care for you during your pregnancy, labour and birth:
- Midwifery group practices and the ‘Know Your Midwife’ scheme, allow the same midwife or team of midwives to care for you throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth. They may also continue caring for you at home after the birth.
- Midwife satellite clinics are only available in local communities and provide pregnancy care for low risk pregnancies. They are not available to care for you during labour and birth.
- Your GP might offer ‘shared maternity care’ with the midwives and doctors at a local hospital.
- Independent privately practising registered midwives can provide care, and some of the costs might be covered by Medicare.
- A private obstetrician (a specialist doctor) can provide medical care during pregnancy and birth at a public or a private hospital.
It is best for you to have the same health professional throughout your pregnancy, birth and early parenting.
To help choose the type of care best for you, see the Department of Health website.
Where can I give birth?
You can choose where to birth your baby.
Depending on where you live and if your pregnancy is low or high risk, your options may include birthing:
- in a public hospital
- in a private hospital
- in a birth centre
- at home
You can receive maternity care from some public hospitals in Tasmania. The cost of care in a public hospital are usually covered by Medicare. In some hospitals, your GP may be able to share the care with hospital staff.
Some public hospitals also provide private care. This means you can choose your own private doctor or obstetrician to care for you. Private health insurance can help cover some of these costs.
Public hospitals offering maternity care include:
- Royal Hobart Hospital (also open to private patients)
- Launceston General Hospital (also open to private patients)
- North West Regional Hospital, Burnie (pregnancy care only, all births at the nearby private hospital)
- North East Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, Scottsdale (also open to private patients)
- Mersey Community Hospital, Latrobe (pregnancy care only, birthing services provided by the nearby North West Private Hospital and the Launceston General Hospital)
Private hospitals offering maternity care include:
- North West Private Hospital, Burnie (also offers public patient care)
- Hobart Private Hospital, Hobart
- Calvary Lenah Valley Hospital, Hobart (also offers public care)
Talk to your local hospital or health service to find out what help you can get if you need it. Here are some options in Tasmania:
- The Royal Hobart Hospital has a public birth centre.
- The Launceston Birth Centre is a private centre run by midwives and encourage birthing with minimal intervention.
A home birth may be suitable for healthy low-risk pregnancies. You can be transferred to hospital during labour if you request it, or if there are problems. Talk to your local hospital or health facility to find out what help you can get if you need it urgently.
What support is there for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
Birthing on country
Birthing on country is a program that encourages health services to offer Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people access safe and culturally appropriate pregnancy and birthing services. That will mean different things to different women in different parts of Australia.
Ask your local midwife, Aboriginal health service, hospital, birthing centre or primary health network what is available.
If you want to be seen by indigenous midwives, you can contact:
- Aboriginal Health Service through Tasmania Health South – call (03) 6166 0000 (available weekdays 9am-4:30pm).
- Ravenswood Child and Family Centre – call (03) 6777 2703 (available weekdays 8.30am-4pm).
- Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in Hobart – call 1800 132 260 or (03) 6332 3800.
What if I need to travel long distances to give birth?
It’s safer for you and your baby to be close to a hospital close to your due date. If you need to travel a long distance to give birth, try to plan ahead.
If you need to travel a long distance from home to access care, you might be able to claim back some of your travel and accommodation expenses through the Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS).
Resources and support
For general information about having a baby in Tasmania the Royal Hobart Hospital provides a Maternity Information Package: your guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Early Parenting.
For more information on pregnancy care in your area, please visit the Tasmanian Department of Health website.
For more general information and support, please call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 at any time during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby’s video call service allows you to speak face-to-face with a maternal child health nurse. Video call is a free service and is available from 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week (including public holidays).
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Last reviewed: April 2023