The Age newspaper spoke to Dr Danielle Wilkins, obstetrician and Director of Maternity Services at Cabrini, to find out.
A focus on mother, baby and child health at Cabrini is backed by access to specialists. With more than 50 years’ service, Cabrini Maternity provides expectant mothers with high quality, around-the-clock care and a safe and private birthing experience.
Cabrini Malvern has everything that mums-to-be and new mums need at their fingertips to support them in their journey from pregnancy to parenthood.
A dedicated Cabrini Mother and Baby Centre, 24-hour medical assistance and continuity of care through pregnancy and birth are just some of the many benefits.
Expectant mothers experience chef-designed menus, spacious private double-bed rooms with private ensuites, and access to luxury hotel accommodation.
Cabrini’s integrated healthcare service is designed to care for expectant mothers with obstetricians, paediatricians, lactation consultants and allied health service providers all available in one place.
“We’ve really built our maternity service over the past four or five years when the hospital made a very conscious decision that birthing was one of our key areas,” says Dr Danielle Wilkins, Cabrini’s Director of Maternity Services.
Changes included appointing a Director of Maternity Services, a 24-hour obstetric anaesthetic roster and the opening of the Cabrini Mother and Baby Centre. “It’s unique to have everything together in the one place,” she says. “It provides a lot of peace of mind, convenience and familiarity for expectant mothers.”
Each year, 2000 babies are delivered at Cabrini Maternity, which has six birthing rooms and offers a calming birthing environment. “Each room has enough space for the couple and other support people to be mobile during the labour and birth, but still have privacy and the security of being in such a well-run hospital,” says Dr Wilkins.
Cabrini’s history dates back to 1948 when ten Italian Cabrini Sisters arrived in Melbourne and established a small hospital on a hill in Malvern. The first Cabrini baby, an infant girl, was safely delivered via caesarean-section at Cabrini Malvern in September 1958 by Dr Spiers and Dr Abrahson. Since then, Cabrini has welcomed some 70,000 babies delivered at the Malvern hospital – 1000 new lives for each of the 70 years the hospital has been serving the local community.
“This focus on birthing is in line with what the original Cabrini Sisters planned, which was to care for people from cradle to grave. It was very important that we respected this,” Dr Wilkins says.
Cabrini Malvern is a general hospital with a maternity unit, enabling easy access to other specialists and services including intensive care, emergency, medical imaging and pathology.
“With an emergency department and intensive care onsite, it means there are doctors here 24 hours a day who are available to us in an emergency. This is not always the case in other private hospitals,” says Dr Wilkins.
Expectant mothers at Cabrini have their own obstetrician throughout their pregnancy and enjoy a longer inpatient stay compared with some other hospitals.
A private physiotherapy consultation post-birth is available, as well as access to a lactation consultant while in hospital and a post-birth drop-in clinic. There’s also support from a midwife once new mothers return home. Cabrini’s special care nursery supports babies born at 32 weeks or more, who can breathe independently.
Cabrini has a partnership with the five-star Como Hotel, where new mothers who are well (caesarean or natural birth) can go to recover, with room for their partners and other children.
For more information, visit www.cabrini.com.au/maternity and for a referral to a Cabrini obstetrician, visit your GP.
This story was originally published in the Sunday Age on 22 July 2018.