Called Birthplace, the tool is part of the work UQ’s Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies (QCMB) is doing to enhance maternity care in Queensland.
Research Fellow Ms Rachel Thompson, said Birthplace, part of the QCMB’s Having a Baby in Queensland website (www.havingababy.org.au), was a comprehensive online directory of all 62 birth facilities in Queensland.
“This is the first time Queensland parents are really able to know what to expect from their chosen place of birth and, where possible, to choose the birth facility that best meets their individual needs and preferences,” Ms Thompson said.
“Birthplace includes information about facility policies and procedures, as well as the experiences of other women who have had a baby in the facility.”
She said Birthplace was developed in response to women’s requests for more information about their options and more transparency in maternity care in general.
“From our early work talking with pregnant women and new mothers, it became clear that the best birthing facility for one woman may not be the best for another,” she said.
“There are major variations in practice across different hospitals and birth centres in Queensland. Facilities differ in the types of care they offer and in their policies and practices.
“Women want this information to help them make the best choices for them.”
Ms Thompson said Birthplace combined information from the facilities as well as information taken from the QCMB’s Having a Baby in Queensland Survey, a biennial survey which asks more than 20,000 women about their experiences of their care during pregnancy, labour, birth and after birth.
The Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies is an independent research centre based at The University of Queensland and funded by the Queensland Government. The role of the Centre is to work towards consumer-focused maternity care that is integrated, evidence-based and provides optimal choices for women in Queensland.
Media: Rachel Thompson, 0424 571 839 or 3346 3079, or Andrew Dunne, QCMB Communications Manager, 0433 364 181.