On 4 September WCHM launched its new website – Having A Baby In Canberra – as a centralised ACT Website which will support ACT women who are planning a pregnancy, in early pregnancy, during pregnancy or after birth – and their partners and support people.

The website originated from feedback from women in the ACT who responded to a consultation by WCHM about the experiences of ACT women accessing maternal care in the ACT.  In particular women highlighted the lack of a trusted local source of information about ACT resources and services which was available in one spot – women wanted to know what local choices are available, where and when they can be accessed and the referral pathways into ACT government, private and non-government services. And to have the ability to compare and contrast what was available within each hospital or service and to understand what different models of care were offered. So WCHM worked over the last 6 months with local maternal health services to coordinate the content and develop the website.

Visit the new website here: http://www.havingababyincanberra.org.au/ 

WCHM completed a Report in 2016 called Women and Maternal Care in the ACT Consultation Report which was based on women’s stories about pregnancy, birth and post-birth care in the ACT. A strong theme was that women wanted consistency in the information they are able to access about the options and care choices available in the ACT. The analysis of the consultation found a need to more clearly assist women to assess what local choices are available, where and when they can be accessed and which provides appropriate information and referral pathways into the local government and non-government services that provide for where the woman is at, at that moment in time.

WCHM has now commenced working on implementing one of the key recommendations from the Report:

That WCHM, in conjunction with ACT Health, develop and implement a web based information portal which provides information on birthing options, models of care and the hospitals and facilities available in the ACT and Queanbeyan along with other areas such as breastfeeding and post-natal supports available in the community. This portal would be developed in conjunction with maternal healthcare stakeholders in the ACT local community and ACT Government services, with the overall aim, to ensure that women are aware of and can access local and relevant services and support at the right time in the right place to receive the right care.

The content for the website (based on feedback from women) is currently being developed in partnership with key service providers, and the website is expected to be in place for early July.