Preparing for childbirth

Choosing your type of care

Calvary offers women the choice of the Midwife Led Maternity Care through the Calvary Birth Centre, or a more traditional maternity service through the Calvary Birth Suite.

The Calvary Birth Centre

The Continuity of Midwifery Care Service (CMCS) at the Calvary Birth Centre is ideal for women who desire an active birth and natural pain relief, with minimal intervention and a short stay in hospital.

You will have care by a known midwife throughout the antenatal, labour and birth, and the postnatal period.

Calvary Birth Centre, Level 3, Marian building

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The Calvary Maternity Care Team

The Calvary Maternity Care Team offer a more traditional model of care whereby you will be cared for by a team of midwives, doctors, physiotherapists and other allied health professionals.

A midwife leads a tour of our Maternity Unit every Sunday afternoon. Bookings are not required.

 Guided tour every Sunday, 2.30pm – 3pm

No booking is required. Please meet in the foyer of the Marian (Maternity) Building, Level 2, at least 5 minutes beforehand.

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Antenatal Clinic

If the decision is made for you to have your baby at Calvary, our Antenatal Clinic (ANC) provides complete antenatal care or shared care with G.P.’s.

This is provided at Calvary Hospital, the Belconnen Health Centre, and at Gungahlin and West Belconnen Family Health Centres. The antenatal clinic provides midwife led antenatal care, and referrals if required to medical, physiotherapy, psychology and social work as needed. Appropriate support services are put in place by our Pregnancy and Parenting Support group (PAPS) for women and their families who are identified as having additional needs.

Calvary Hospital offers a range of education classes for women and their partner/support person. These classes include information about breast feeding, birth, postnatal, physiotherapy, caesarean section, Next Birth After Caesarean (NBAC), transition to parenthood, and strengthening family relationships. if the decision is made for you to birth at Calvary, details and booking arrangements for the classes will be provided to you.

General information about the classes follows.

Partners are welcome and encouraged to attend classes.


This workshop is held either as an all-day session or 4 consecutive evenings. Birth workshop covers the process of normal labour and birth, variations in labour and birth, medical and non-medical ways to manage labour, and the postnatal period, a session with a physiotherapist, and a tour of the Maternity Unit.

Designed for women and their partners who have had a Vaginal Birth OR Caesarean Section before.

Optional session at end of class for women considering VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean).

If you require a booked Caesarean Section birth, this session will provide information on the procedures and routines surrounding booked caesareans at Calvary. Information about unplanned caesarean birth following labour is included in our Birth Workshop.

The Breastfeeding Education session will help you prepare for breastfeeding.

Calvary Public Hospital Bruce is a Baby Friendly accredited Hospital. This means we promote and protect breastfeeding by following the WHO/UNICEF’s 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Place infants in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately following birth for at least an hour and encourage mothers to recognise when their infants are ready to be breastfed, offering help if needed.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
  6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

 Partners strongly encouraged to attend

Relationship classes

‘Bringing Baby Home’ is a relationship-focused course designed to strengthen couples’ friendship and give them tools to navigate the sometimes challenging transition to parenthood. 

Research indicates a strong relationship between parents helps build healthy, strong and emotionally intelligent children.

Bringing Baby Home is evidence-based and research-tested.

Based on the ‘Bringing Baby Home’ program (see above) but in a more condensed format for those who cannot attend two full days.

 Limited space available. Attendance with partner essential. 

Physiotherapy Classes

Please wear comfortable clothes (slacks, tracksuit, etc) to the classes.

In consideration for the other people attending, please arrange childcare for your children (new babies welcome in Shape Up).

Physiotherapy information sessions are for all pregnant women.  Session covers care of the pelvic floor, abdominal muscles and backs, safe exercise and relaxation skills. Partners and support persons most welcome.

 Bookings 02 6201 6190

 Mondays 6.30pm – 8.30pm

 Physiotherapy Gym, Level 2 Marion building at Calvary hospital

Classes are conducted by a Physiotherapist and include exercises to help you manage the demands of your changing body, before baby and after.  Bookings are essential and we suggest you obtain clearance from either your Midwife or Doctor prior to attending your first class.

 Bookings 02 6201 6190

Wednesdays 4.30pm – 5.30pm

 Physiotherapy Gym, Level 2 Marion building at Calvary hospital

Postnatal Exercise Classes

 Bookings 02 6201 6190

 Thursdays 11.30am – 12.30pm

 Physiotherapy Gym, Level 2 Marion building at Calvary hospital

Physiotherapy SHAPE-UP information session

Come while you are still in hospital, or return after going home.

 Babies welcome, no booking necessary

 Wednesday & Friday 10am – 11.15am. Closed public holidays

Childbirth Education Room, Level 3, Marion Building

We occasionally need to ‘condense’ classes due to public holidays, or staff changes beyond our control. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Bookings and care options

Contact the Maternity and Women’s Health Unit on 02 6201 6359 to make an appointment with a midwife and to book your parent education classes.