Dear Obstetric Shared Care GPs,

On March 14th the Chief Medical Officer implemented social distancing measures and restricted the size of gatherings. Since then we have seen numerous changes that have resulted in flow on effects to the provision of obstetric care for women and their families.

As a community, we are currently advised to stay at home unless we are doing limited essential activities. We are to maintain at least 1.5 metres between each other and ensure no more than 1 person per 4 square metres of space.

These restrictions also apply to the provision of obstetric care and they therefore have implications for women in regard to how and where they will receive care. They are also influencing the rules and guidelines surrounding attendance of the woman’s chosen support person during their labour and birth. 

GP Partners Australia is working with other health professionals and our public hospitals to provide the necessary support and guidance for women who are pregnant during these challenging and uncertain times as well as those Obstetric Shared Care GPs who care for them.

The following are resources that may assist you to provide information and resources to your antenatal patients about Parenting and Childbirth Education:

Advice For Your Pregnant Women

Before COVID-19, your antenatal patients may have booked into hospital parenting education classes.

Due to the social distancing requirements and restrictions, gatherings greater than two people, including all face-to-face educational sessions will have been postponed or cancelled until further notice. We know that a number of providers are creating innovative ways to connect with prospective parents to provide the education and support needed in an online format and delivery, including GP Partners Australia.

If your antenatal women have any questions, remember that they can always reach out to you, the hospital Midwife Coordinator or GP Partners Australia Obstetric Shared Care Program Manager for more details and support.

Virtual classes:

For more information on virtual antenatal courses, we encourage women to reach out to the Parent Educators at the hospital where they are booked to have their baby in the first instance or consider reaching out to Childbirth and Parenting Educators Australia (CAPEA). 

The following are also resources we have sourced:

  • Practical and emotional support with feeding your baby is available from the Australian Breastfeeding Association line  1800 686 268 – women will be able talk to a trained breastfeeding counsellor about their concerns, whether breastfeeding, using formula milk or introducing solids.                                                                               
  • American based Evidence Based Birth have also developed a series of online resources to talk women through pregnancy and labour expectations.  There will be elements that are not relative to the Australian setting but the stages of labour are the same for women around the world.                                                                                                                  
  • At the time of preparing this email, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Parent Educators are working to set up a live stream and we will keep you updated as to how this is progressing. 

The following article may be of interest to you:

COVID-19 in Pregnancy – A summary for health professionals and patients based on RCOG Guidelines (Published Friday 3 April 2020)

As we head into the public holiday weekend for Easter, a huge shout out from all of us at GP Partners Australia to those of you who will be working through the holiday weekend and to all of you who continue to provide the best of care to your pregnant women.

Stay safe.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the GP Obstetric Shared Care Program Manager – Leanne at