ACT Health is pleased to offer a publicly funded Homebirth Service via Centenary Hospital Womens and Childrens continuity midwifery program. This service now gives women in the ACT an option to birth in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

A 3-year trial service commenced in October 2016 and was completed in March 2020. 42 successful home births occurred and were evaluated with recommendations given. The Homebirth program was officially adopted and ratified by ACT Government as an ongoing service.

The Publicly Funded Homebirth Service Final Evaluation Report can be found here.

The Service is available to women who meet the eligibility criteria and who live within the identified catchment area below.

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Is homebirth safe?

Evidence suggests that a planned homebirth with a qualified midwife for women who have a low risk of childbirth complications delivers high satisfaction rates and good outcomes for both mum and baby.

Our midwives continually assess and monitor you during your pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period. Women at low risk of birthing complications have the same outcomes, regardless of whether they deliver at a hospital or at home, when cared for by a qualified midwife.

Is homebirth for you?

Homebirth is delivered through the Canberra Midwifery Program (CMP). Throughout your labour, you are cared for and supported by 2 highly qualified midwives. If you are interested in participating in the trial, please check the self-assessment criteria and read the FAQ’s.

Self-Assessment Criteria

To be eligible for the homebirth service, you must meet the criteria below:

  • be aged between 18 and 40 years
  • live within the homebirth catchment area
  • have current ambulance cover
  • live in a safe working environment
  • have had at least 1, and no more than 4, previous healthy pregnancies and uncomplicated births and recovery periods
  • be more than 37 and not more than 42 weeks pregnant at the time labour begins
  • have a single pregnancy with the baby in a head down position before labour starts
  • wish to labour naturally

Eligibility screening continues up until you go into labour. If any issues are identified, you may need to be transferred to the CHWC to give birth.

For more information on the criteria for the homebirth trial, please see the Self-Assessment Criteria.

Express your interest

To find out more information about homebirth, please take the following steps:

  1. View the self-assessment criteria
  2. Read the FAQs to learn more about the trial and homebirth in general
  3. At your Maternity Options service appointment which your GP will refer or you may self-refer to (Ph 51249977) occurs at approx. 10wks of pregnancy the midwife will discuss all models of care including homebirth. If you are interested in homebirth your name will be placed on the continuity waiting list. You will be contacted by one of the homebirth midwives around 14-16wks to discuss further.
Frequently Asked Questions

The key Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below offer additional information about how the homebirth Service operates, including when you meet with your midwives and what you can expect from a homebirth.

Group information session

We hold free group homebirth information sessions every second month at Centenary Hospital for Women and Children Birth Centre (Building 11, Level 3).

Homebirth information night is an opportunity to hear from recent homebirth families, meet the homebirth midwives. View equipment used and have all your questions answered.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions all sessions are accessible online via WebEx.

2020 Group information session dates:

  • Thursday 24th September 5:30pm-6:30pm
  • Thursday 26th November 5:30pm-6:30pm
Page last updated on: 22 Oct 2020