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Embarking on the journey of motherhood can be daunting, especially if it is for the first time. Knowing what types of maternity care and the choices available to you in Cairns can make that journey a little easier.

Public or Private?

You can choose to have your baby at the public or private hospital. Check with your insurance provider what level of cover you have, and what, if any, gap payment you may have.

Midwife Care

The public hospital offers “Midwifery Group Practice”. This is where a group of midwives have a number of women who they look after throughout their pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period. The numbers are limited so you will need to either self-refer or get your GP to refer you early in your pregnancy to secure a space. Getting to know your midwife who may potentially help you deliver your baby is proven to lower the incidences of intervention in labour and delivery, as well as reduce your risk of requiring a caesarean.

GP Share Care

Your doctor will look after you during the antenatal period and the postnatal period, provided your pregnancy remains low risk. This option is preferable to a lot of women who know their GP well and have built a trusting relationship. They can also book appointments at a time to suit your work/life balance. Your doctor will organise routine blood tests, screening test, ultrasounds and referrals to specialists and the hospital when necessary. After your baby is born, they will continue care for yourself in the postnatal period and care for your newborn including immunisations.

GP/Midwife Share Care

A service unique to Apple Tree Medical Clinic is GP/Midwife share care. They provide midwifery services alongside your family doctor by fully qualified Registered Midwife, Heather Scanlan. This enables you to have access to a midwife you are familiar with and who will be involved in your care from the very beginning of your pregnancy through to your postnatal period of six weeks. Midwife appointments are structured to your individual requirements during your pregnancy. Once your baby is born, midwife Heather will continue caring for you and your newborn, helping you in the transition to motherhood and offering assistance when you need it most.


A Doula may be able to offer you further support in your pregnancy and birth journey. They are not qualified in midwifery services but have experience in supporting women and their families especially in labour and birth. They may be an advocate for you and your partner and assist you in making choices along the way. It is important that if you choose to use a Doula, you have a connection and feel comfortable with them. Your labour and birth is an intimate experience for you and your partner and at times you may feel vulnerable.