Pregnancy complications are health problems that happen during pregnancy. These can be problems with you, your baby or both.
Going to your pregnancy appointments at the right times, not missing appointments, and telling your midwife or doctor about any symptoms – for example, vaginal bleeding, swelling or severe headaches – will help them pick up problems early and work out what needs to happen.
Tell your midwife or doctor about anything that might affect your care or health – for example, depression.
You will see an obstetrician if it looks like you might have any complications.
If the doctor or midwife is worried about your health or your baby’s health, you might not be able to give birth in the birth centre. This is a decision that the medical team will make with you, but you need to stay flexible.
If you transfer to public hospital care, an obstetrician will see you more often to:
- check your health and your baby’s health
- send you for screening or diagnostic tests, extra scans or counselling
- get other specialist opinions.
You might like to read more about health problems in pregnancy.
Midwives, usually ones you know, will care for you during labour and assess your progress.
If you or your baby needs extra medical checks or care – for example, a forceps birth or caesarean – the midwives will call an obstetrician. You’ll go to the birthing suite or theatre at the public hospital attached to the birth centre or nearby.
Birth centres aren’t set up to deal with serious birth complications. If you go into labour before 37 weeks or your baby needs high-level medical care, you’ll go to a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or special care unit (SCU).
Sometimes your baby will need to stay in hospital even after you have recovered and have been sent home.