In today’s era of modern medicine there are many options available to women in how they wish to birth and the type of care available to them during pregnancy and delivery.

Every woman’s expectation and preference for delivery is different. Therefore discussing your options with Dr Hong will help ensure that you receive a safe and satisfying childbirth experience.

Options of where to birth in Cairns include:

  • Public Hospital
    • A GP referral is required.
    • Public hospitals are publically funded; therefore they are free for those who have Medicare.
    • A specialist obstetric team is available at Cairns Hospital.
    • Cairns Birth Centre is a birthing unit located inside the Cairns Hospital, which is separated from the main Birth Suite; it is supported by the Midwifery Group Practice (MGP).
    • GP obstetricians are available at other regional public hospitals that provide obstetrics care or delivery, including Atherton and Innisfail Hospitals.
    • Some maternity services are also available at Tully and Mareeba Hospitals for low risk women.
  • Private Hospital (Cairns Private Hospital)
    • Unlike public hospitals, you will need to pay up-front costs to birth at a private hospital (or it may be covered by your health fund if you are insured).
    • There is only one private hospital in Cairns (i.e. Cairns Private Hospital).
      The maternity services it offers includes:

      • Three birthing suites with ensuites.
      • A specialist obstetric care team with Dr Hong as your private specialist obstetrician.
      • A special care nursery.
      • Catering for fathers who stay overnight.

Birth options

  • Vaginal birth – is where you deliver your baby vaginally
  • Caesarean section – is an operation where an incision is made in the lower abdomen of the mother to deliver the baby. A caesarean section can be either:
    • A planned or elective operation requested by the mother or her medical team due to risk of complications
    • An emergency operation, which is more common during labour but occasionally before onset of labour, due to a significant health risk to either mother or baby or both.
  • VBAC (Vaginal birth after caesarean) – is where a woman has a vaginal birth after previously given birth via a caesarean section.
    • The decision to have a VBAC carries both benefits and risks, which are dependent on each individual case. This should be discussed in detail with Dr Hong at your consultation.

Pain relief options in labour

Pain relief options available during childbirth can be either medical or non-medical, depending on your labour and preference.

  • Medical pain relief options:
    • Epidural – local anaesthetic is injected via a catheter (small plastic tube) into your lower back to deliver pain relief.
    • Pethidine – a painkiller, given via injection into the muscle.
    • Gas (or Entonox) – provides oxygen and nitrous oxide gas via a mouthpiece to relief pain.
  • Non-medical pain relief options:
    • Massage and relaxation techniques including breathing exercises and yoga.
    • Hydrotherapy, such as warm showers, can reduce pain and promote movement during labour.
    • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine – where two electrodes are placed on your lower back to deliver small electric pulses to your body to help reduce pain.
    • Acupressure and acupuncture techniques

Dr Hong will be able to discuss which of these options are best suited to you and how to access them at your consultation.

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