Latrobe Regional Hospital's Thomson Women's, Children and Birthing Unit has several dedicated birth suites and is staffed by a specialist team of midwives, registered nurses, obstetricians, gynaecologists, lactation consultants, GP obstetricians and paediatricians who work together to provide you and your baby, children and women with the highest quality of care. We are here to guide and support you throughout your pregnancy, the birth of your baby, breast feeding and through the early days of parenthood.
As a unit dedicated to the care of children, we provide paediatric services up to the age of 18. We also offer specialist services for women including gynaecology.
The Thomson Unit has 33 beds including six surgical, eight postnatal, three birth suites, 10 paediatric beds and six special care nursery cots.
Key features of our service
- You can choose your preferred obstetrician.
- The team of LRH midwives will manage your pregnancy, birth and postnatal care collaboratively with your obstetrician.
- You can also share care with your GP if they have the necessary qualifications.
As per the requirements of the Safe Patient Care (Nurse to Patient and Midwife to Patient Ratios) Act 2015 the following ratios apply to LRH's Thomson Unit:
- Portion A - Paeds - 10 beds - 1 staff to 4 patients (morning) | 1 staff to 5 patients (afternoon) | 1 staff to 8 patients (night)
- Portion B - SCN - 6 cots - 1 staff to 4 babies (morning) | 1 staff to 4 babies (afternoon) | 1 staff to 4 babies (night)
- Portion C - Birthing - 3 beds - 2 staff to 3 patients (morning) | 2 staff to 3 patients (afternoon) | 2 staff to 3 patients (night)
- Portion D - Postnatal - 8 beds - 1 staff to 4 patients (morning | 1 staff to 4 patients (afternoon) | 1 staff to 6 patients (night)
- Portion E - Surgical - 6 beds - 1 staff to 4 patients (morning) | 1 staff to 5 patients (afternoon) | 1 staff to 8 patients (night)
- Unique ratio - 33/9.5 (morning) | 33/8.80 (afternoon) | 33/6.92 (night)
Getting started - pregnancy care
Latrobe Regional Hospital’s maternity antenatal services are offered from the Gippsland Private Consulting Suites which are located within the hospital precinct. The service includes the Midwives Clinic and Pregnancy Day Assessment Unit.
The Pregnancy Day Assessment Unit is open Monday–Friday from 8.30am-5pm and available to all women who are booked at LRH. The team is also available to discuss any concerns you may have during your pregnancy on 5173 8809.
Once you have visited your GP to confirm your pregnancy, your GP will fax your referral through to an obstetrician at the Consulting Suites. The midwives will call you to make an initial appointment, ideally when you are 14-18 weeks pregnant.
This is a very important appointment in the early weeks of your pregnancy to book services and plan for the months ahead. It will take approximately one hour.
If you have not heard from the midwife within two weeks of your GP faxing your referral, please call us on 5173 8809.
As part of the initial visit, a detailed history is taken so we can plan the safest and best possible care for you and your growing baby. This involves organising a schedule of care depending on your specific needs and may include a combination of appointments with midwives, specialist obstetricians, dietitians, physiotherapists, social workers and perinatal mental health nurses.
Your childbirth and breastfeeding classes can be booked at your initial appointment with a midwife. There are various options for these classes on different days of the week to suit your needs. You will be provided with an information pack and a new mothers’ bag during your visit.
Coming to hospital
The Thomson Unit has four labour rooms with private bathrooms and facilities to help optimise your labour. Our team of midwives are skilled in assisting you through your labour and birth. If you request pain relief, we have both non-pharmacological and pharmacological pain relief options.
Non Pharmacological: shower, massage, sterile water injections, aromatherapy.
Pharmacological: nitrous oxide (gas), medication for pain relief, epidural.
When do I come to hospital?
We encourage you to call the Thomson Unit on 5173 8211 if you are experiencing signs of labour or if concerned about your condition. Don’t hesitate – even if you’re unsure. Your care and the health of your baby is important to us.
Signs of labour
- Water breaks. We will ask you to describe the colour and amount of fluid (please put on a sanitary pad).
- You have regular contractions.
- You notice any blood loss.
Please call hospital immediately if you experience
- Signs of labour before 37 weeks.
- Blood loss.
- Baby’s movements are decreased or you are worried about baby’s movements.
- Issues with blurred vision, high blood pressure, significant headaches and upper abdominal pain.
- Constant itching.
After baby is born
After you have your baby you will be moved to our postnatal unit which has six single rooms with double beds and private ensuite and three shared rooms with ensuite.
We try to accommodate every woman’s needs however we do not reserve single rooms. Rooms are allocated based on availability.
Expected length of stay
If you have a vaginal birth, you can expect to stay at least two nights while if your baby is born by caesarean section, the length of stay is three nights.
During the pandemic, the length of stay has been adjusted and women may wish to discharge earlier if there are no risks to herself or baby.
During your time in the postnatal unit you will be provided with help and education on breastfeeding/ formula feeding, bathing your baby and assistance in the transition to motherhood. Midwives and maternity nurses will also be monitoring yourself and baby, ensuring the highest standard of care.
In addition, we have many excellent services available to women antenatal and postnatal:
- lactation consultants
- women’s physiotherapist
- social worker
- perinatal mental health support
If you would like a referral to one of these services please consult your midwife.
Special Care Nursery
Our Special Care Nursery offers low to high dependency support for babies 32 weeks and onwards.
Babies admitted to the special care nursery can have a range of medical problems and our staff are trained in providing high quality care and treatment.
We know this time can be stressful for parents so we are able to provide facilities to support you to stay by your baby’s side.
We ask children who are not siblings to an infant in the Special Care Nursery and visitors who are feeling unwell not to attend.
The management of babies in the special care nursery is overseen by paediatric consultants, registrars, interns and nurses who make up the paediatric team at Latrobe Regional Hospital.
If your baby needs higher care in a level five or six special care nursery, the paediatric team will liaise with PIPER (paediatric infant perinatal emergency retrieval) for transfer to another hospital.
Lactation consultants work in Thomson and offer appointments for women during and after their hospital stay. They also provide antenatal breastfeeding classes for women wishing to gain education and support before the arrival of baby.
Lactation consultants work Monday- Friday 8am-4pm. If you wish to see a lactation consultant, please ask your midwife or call 5173 8211.
Our midwives work in consultation with your Maternal and Child Health Nurses during the early weeks when you are home and we are able to contact your GP on your behalf if required.
Emotional support - Agnes Unit
Becoming a parent can be challenging and at times, overwhelming. The Agnes Parent and Infant Unit at Latrobe Regional Hospital is a space for parents and infants under 12 months of age to get to know each other and strengthen their bond. It is a free early intervention program for mums across Gippsland. Agnes offers a flexible program to meet your family's needs.
The Agnes Unit can help with:
- adjustment or emotional issues
- difficulties with bonding
- feeding concerns
- sleep and settling
- someone to talk to during these uncertain times.
Call the unit on 5173 8553 for enquiries or more information.
In addition, our Perinatal Emotional Health Program works with women who are pregnant or parents in their home after their child is born. The service is available to parents with an infant up to 12 months of age and complements the residential program offered by our Agnes Parent and Infant Unit.
Our perinatal program offers you a chance to talk about your difficulties in a safe, supportive environment. After a comprehensive assessment our clinicians provide counselling and support, information about emotional health and education and strategies about coping and managing stressful situations. We can also link you to other health and community services.
How to get help
Your doctor, midwife or maternal and child health nurse can make a referral on your behalf or you, your partner or support person can contact us through the Mental Health Triage Service on 1300 363 322.
While you may have the support of family and friends, it is important to seek assistance from a health professional. You must look after yourself in order to look after your baby.
GP and referral information
Dr Tzipporah Ben Harim
Dr Pamela Cardoza
Dr Wale Ibraheem
Dr Genevieve Read
Dr Jodie Keane
Women should be referred by the 12th week of pregnancy or earlier if high risk.
We require all pathology and ultrasounds to be attached to the referral.
- Blood group and antibodies
- Hepatitis B and C
Aneuploidy screening should be offered to all women. This includes the Combined First Trimester screening, or the Maternal serum Screening or the Non Invasive Pregnancy Test (NIPT – HARMONY or Generation)
BMI and gestation calculators
Important contact numbers
Pregnancy Day Assessment Unit/Midwives Antenatal Clinic Phone 5173 8809 or Fax 5173 8097
Thomson Women’s, Children’s and Birthing Unit: 5173 8211
Breastfeeding Support: 5173 8211
Need more info?
There is a wealth of information available about pregnancy and childbirth. We recommend that you read the below information that is available online. We will also give you hard copies at your first antenatal appointment.
Raising Children – raisingchildren.net.au
The Australian parenting website: comprehensive, practical, expert child health and parenting information and activities covering children aged 0-15 years.
Infant Hearing Screening Program – rch.org.au
A hearing screen is one of the routine health checks your baby will have soon after birth.
Newborn Screening – vcgs.org.au
Newborn screening is a program that identifies babies at risk of having rare but serious medical conditions that can affect normal development.
Rh (D) Negative Women – resources.transfusion.com.au
You & Your Baby brochure provides important information for Rh (D) Negative Women.
Listeria – The facts – health.vic.gov.au
Advice for pregnant women, the elderly and anyone with suppressed immunity.
Breastfeeding Confidence – breastfeeding.asn.au
Learn the basics of breastfeeding. A free breastfeeding e-book is available on the Australian Breastfeeding Associations home page.
Whooping Cough Vaccine – health.vic.gov.au
This vaccination is recommended for mothers’ during their pregnancy from 20-32 weeks of pregnancy. Family members are also recommended to have this vaccine if they have not done so in the past 10 years.
Quit Victoria – www.quit.org.au
The Quit Victoria website provides extensive information on the impact of smoking when pregnant as well as the impact of second hand smoke on your children’s health. Click on the Reasons to Quit tab. Also click on the “I have some questions” tab for further information.
Alcohol Consumption Guidelines – www.alcohol.gov.au
If you are pregnancy or breastfeeding the safest option is not to drink alcohol. There is a 24-hour National Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 MUM to MUM or 1800 686 2 686.
Antenatal and Postnatal Depression – www.beyondblue.org.au
Beyondblue provides extensive information on antenatal and postnatal depression. You can also read the excellent booklet titled “Emotional Health during Pregnancy and Early Parenthood” from the Antenatal and Postnatal Depression page. The info line (1300 22 4636) provides information on depression, anxiety and related disorders, available treatments and referrals to relevant services.
FreeMOM Labour Pain Management system – tensaustralia.com
This is a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device designed to assist in the relief of pain during labour, after-birth pain, sleep after delivery and lower back pain.
TENS machines are available for hire through our Physiotherapy Department on 51738383 from 36 weeks.
Paid Parental Leave – humanservices.gov.au
The Paid Parental Leave scheme is available for working parents of children born or adopted from 1 January 2011.