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Three smiling women stand behind a table. The are cutting a cake that sits on the table together. One of the women is holding a baby. There are flowers and a large light for the one year anniversary celebration.

Maryborough model of maternity care turns one

Thursday 11th May, 2023

Maryborough District Health Service (MDHS) is this week celebrating one year of midwife-led care under its new maternity services model which is driving an increase in the number of babies born at Maryborough Hospital.

Midwives, and the families they have cared for, came together to celebrate the milestone on the International Day of the Midwife.

The special occasion provided the chance for mums, dads and babies to reunite with a midwife and say thank you for the care they received to help give their babies the best start in life.

Chief Executive Officer Nickola Allan said the health service introduced a Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) Model of Care – also known as the Maryborough Model – in May 2022.

“We’re celebrating one year of maternity services under the new Maryborough Model and it’s great to see a show of community support,” said Mrs Allan.

“Over the past 12 months we’ve been able to grow our team of midwives to provide safe and sustainable maternity services,” she said.

“During that time our midwives and broader maternity team have cared for more than 125 families and bookings have also almost doubled.

“So far around 80 families have welcomed a new baby, and we’ve seen 33 babies born at Maryborough Hospital with more women due to give birth this month,” said Mrs Allan.

Under the model, MDHS midwives provide one-to-one care to women throughout pregnancy, labour and birth, and early parenting.

Under the Maryborough Model, a known primary midwife provides individualised care to each woman and helps them make informed choices about the maternity care they receive.

The midwife is supported by a wider team of midwives and a collaborative, multidisciplinary healthcare team, including obstetricians, GP obstetricians, nursing and allied health staff.

Evidence shows continuity of care leads to better outcomes for mother and baby. The Maryborough Model also enables more women to have their pregnancy care and birth locally (when clinically appropriate), with referral to specialist partners in Bendigo or Ballarat if needed.

“The implementation of the Maryborough Model was a long time in the making. It follows a three-year journey of working with maternity experts and the community to co-design a model to meet the needs of women and families in the Central Goldfields and our catchment area.

“Over the past year, we’ve been able to take the gold standard model for the provision of maternity care and bring it to reality,” said Mrs Allan.

“Our vision at Maryborough District Health Service is to change to healthcare story with our community and this how we are doing it…one beautiful baby at a time.”

To find out more about maternity services at Maryborough District Health Service visit

More about the Maryborough Model

The Maryborough Model was co-designed with local midwives, GPs, obstetricians and consumers, based on feedback from more than 70 local families on the kind of care they wanted while bringing their babies into the world. The governance committee included representation from the Department of Health, the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation and Safer Care Victoria.

The theme for International Day of the Midwife was Together Again: From Evidence to Reality.

Evidence shows an MGP model of maternity care provides benefits such as greater satisfaction with the birth experience, more likelihood of carrying to term, reduced birthing trauma, better success rates with breastfeeding and longer-term outcomes for babies.