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Identification and evaluation of models of antenatal care in Australia – A review of the evidence

Authors

  • Erin Brock,

    1. Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Karen E. Charlton,

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
    • Correspondence: Associate Professor Karen E. Charlton, M.Phil (Epi), M.Sc., PhD, APD, School of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, NSW 2500, Australia. E-mail: karenc@uow.edu.au

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  • Heather Yeatman

    1. Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
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Abstract

Background

Antenatal care has been routine practice throughout the world since early in the 20th century, and in most developed countries, antenatal care consists of a scheduled program of individual consultations with a healthcare practitioner, using a doctor or midwife. Women seek antenatal care that provides a physical review of the health and development of their unborn baby, the reassurance and ability to be listened to and the opportunity for their partner to be involved in their care.

Aims

To identify the types of antenatal care services that are available to Australian women and investigate the views and opinions of Australian women related to these services.

Materials and Methods

A systematic literature review using Scopus and Medline databases was used to find appropriate journal articles in January 2013. Articles were restricted to those in the Australian setting from the past 10 years with a focus on different models of antenatal care and the views and experiences of women during their antenatal care.

Results

Eighteen relevant peer-reviewed journal articles were included. Emerging forms of antenatal care that are showing increasing levels of satisfaction from Australian women include continuity of carer, the midwifery-led care and group- or community-led care. These approaches are proving to be safe and successful.

Conclusion

Newer models of antenatal care in Australia may offer benefits over standard practice.

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