Congratulations, you’re having a baby! Whether it’s your first pregnancy or you’re an old hand at this parenting gig, there’s a lot to think through, prepare for and get excited about – from the day your test results come back positive to when you’re in the thick of breastfeeding, changing nappies and rocking your bub to sleep at 3am!
Pregnancy and childbirth is an exciting time for everyone in the family, but we understand that it can also be quite overwhelming. You may be wondering which hospital to go to, whether to go public or private, which obstetricians you should meet, which antenatal groups you could attend and where you can get support once your baby finally arrives. There can be a lot to take in and so we’ve pulled together some of our key tips, resources and general information about pregnancy and birthing services on the Central Coast that will help you navigate through this wonderfully exciting time!
FOLLOW PLAYING IN PUDDLES TO DISCOVER THE BEST OF THE CENTRAL COAST FOR KIDS
Antenatal and Birthing Classes on the Central Coast
You’ve absorbed the test results, had your first scan, told your family and friends the wonderful news and finally the morning sickness has subsided! Now that your energy levels are coming back, it’s time to start thinking about antenatal classes and maybe even a spot of exercise!
Birth and Beyond Antenatal Classes, Gosford Private Maternity Services
Image ©Gosford Private Maternity Services
Gosford Private runs two antenatal courses for soon-to-be parents: a Weekend Program and a Single Day course. Both courses cover the same topics and cost the same amount, but one is held over two weekend mornings while the other is held in a single day.
Birth and Beyond programs: Delivered by trained midwife educators at Gosford Private Hospital, this two-part antenatal course supports soon-to-be parents in the lead up to the birth of their baby. Held over two weekends, expectant mums and dads will receive a comprehensive overview of pregnancy, birth and parenting. From how to prepare your mind and body and the 3 stages of labour, right through to relationship changes, expectations and coping strategies, this thorough course will give couples the tools they need to confidently embark on their new parenting journey!
It Takes a Village Pre- and Post-Natal Counselling
It Takes a Village is a unique counselling service for new or soon-to-be parents. Women are invited along to join in small group sessions that are held in a relaxed ‘mother’s group’-style environment, and facilitated by qualified Counsellor Kate.
Kate’s group sessions run for an hour over the course of 5 weeks and give mums the opportunity to comfortably and openly discuss their feelings and challenges around what it means to be a parent. Throughout the five-week course, women will be able to share their own stories in a supportive and non-judgemental environment and be provided with the tools to survive motherhood. From depression, anxiety and parental guilt to relationships and loneliness – nothing is off the table.
LOCATION: Wamberal Park
Strong and Ready Antenatal Physio Sessions, Gosford Private Maternity Services
Image ©Gosford Private Maternity Services
This intuitive course delivered by Gosford Private Maternity Services is specifically designed to support soon-to-be mothers from 18 weeks of pregnancy. Covering all bases, women will receive information on a variety of topics that will assist in the preparation for childbirth, including self-care, nutrition and exercise.
Public Health Maternity Services on the Central Coast
The Central Coast Local Health District provides public health maternity services to the Central Coast community. They offer a variety of courses including birthing and parenthood courses, gender specific classes (so dads get some attention!) and courses for young women who are pregnant and under the age of 21. Some classes are also available during evenings and weekends at selected locations.
Calmbirth is an evidence-based childbirth education program that has been clinically and scientifically proven to reduce the rates of medical intervention and the use of pain relief during childbirth, as well as the impact of perinatal anxiety and postnatal depression in women after childbirth. Irrespective of how women birth, this program is designed to positively enrich each individual birth experience. Classes are offered across NSW.
Birthability Lamaze Classes and Doula Support
Run by Lamaze certified childbirth educator Gemma, Birthability gives women the essential information and practical tools they need to feel confident and prepared for their birth experience. Childbirth education courses are based at various locations across the Central Coast and cover a wide variety of topics from preparing for labour and understanding interventions and medications to postpartum care and ‘The Fourth Trimester’! In addition to these classes, Gemma also provides a Doula support service.
Maternity and Newborn photography
Jessie Walker Photography
Capturing those precious moments leading up to the birth of your little one is priceless – your bump is growing, your family are ticking the days off on the calendar and soon your tiny human will be ready to say “hello” to the world. Specialising in maternity and newborn photography, local Central Coast photographer Jessie Walker absolutely loves capturing candid moments in natural light, creating memories that you and your family can hold on to for ever.
Jessie has three photography packages for expectant and new mums to choose from:
Maternity: These are best done at around 30 weeks gestation. The package costs $400 and you will receive a minimum of 30 images delivered via an online gallery.
Newborn: These photos are best done when baby is 1-2 weeks old and you have the option whether to have these taken at home, in the studio or in a lifestyle setting. The package costs $500 and you will receive a minimum of 30 edited images.
Bundle: Both the Maternity and Newborn packages (valued at $900) can be purchased together for $750 – giving you a saving of $150!
Prenatal Exercise Classes
Belle Movement Pilates Classes
Belle Movement is a pilates and wellness studio in Ettalong that caters to mums and mums-to-be. We absolutely love them as they run pregnancy classes and postnatal classes, and they have a creche with an on-site nanny! The studio includes a crèche run by qualified nannies, so pregnant mums with kids can exercise and enjoy a little “me time” knowing that their children are being closely cared for.
Pregnant? They have two “Belle Glow” classes that have been specifically designed to keep expecting mums mobile and strong during pregnancy. The focus during these classes is on mobility, pelvic floor, pelvis stability, core strength and a small amount of conditioning.
Have a newborn? “Belle Babies” is a class designed with postnatal recovery in mind. Your precious bub stays in the room with you AND there’s a nanny on site to give you a hand with the rocking, the burping, the settling.
Healthy Bumps pre-natal and post-natal exercise classes
Healthy Bumps provide pregnant women with safe and effective exercise sessions that they can do throughout their pregnancy. The classes aim to prepare women for labour and to safely strengthen the pelvic floor and core to prevent the severity of pelvic floor dysfunction, prolapse, abdominal separation and other complications. The classes also offer a space where mums-to-be can improve fitness and strength levels in a safe environment and feel motivated to work out – with other pregnant women who feel the same as you.
The classes are run by accredited exercise physiologists who understand how to best modify your training to accommodate pregnancy-related complications such as pelvic or back pain, carpel tunnel, etc. Private health fund rebates and Medicate plan rebates are available.
New Mums can also attend their specialist postnatal program – Vagina Rehab, a 6-week course concentrating on pelvic floor and core rebuilding, enabling women to return to exercise properly and safely.
LOCATION: North Avoca (and Erina coming soon)!
Central Pilates is a six week pregnancy specific Pilates class designed to prepare both your body and mind for birth and beyond.
LOCATION: Hamlyn Terrace
Landete Health Personal Training
Landete Health is a welcoming, supportive space where women can come to be active and healthy, learn how to look after themselves pre and post baby and meet other mums and their children.
NORah head swim school
These aquarobics classes are designed for strength and conditioning. They’re also great for pregnant women (with the approval of a Doctor).
LOCATION: Norah Head
PROGRESSIVE PILATES EQUIPMENT SESSIONS
Pilates equipment sessions are perfect for women who want a class based entirely on their bodies needs and goals – making them perfect for pregnancy!
Singingbird Yoga & Birth Support
Prenatal yoga at Singingbird is a unique fusion of yoga (yoga poses, breathing practices, meditation & relaxation), childbirth education and mentoring for birth.
LOCATION: Long Jetty
THE YOGA COLLECTIVE
During this six-week course, you will learn yoga practices including postures, breathing and relaxation techniques to help increase your awareness, strength and trust in yourself and your body to nourish and birth your baby.
UMINA BEACH YOGA
This yoga practice is very sensitive, nurturing and suitable for all stages of pregnancy. Gentle yoga poses help to alleviate common pregnancy problems, develop awareness of changes in the pelvis, support good posture and foetal positioning.
This yoga class is open to all stages of pregnancy, and aims to provide knowledge and tools that can be used throughout pregnancy, birthing and beyond. A safe and gentle practice, which includes different pranayama and meditation techniques to support the well being of both mother and baby.
LOCATION: Norah Head
birthing options on the central coast
It’s time to decide on where you want to have your baby! Whether you decide to have your baby privately or choose to go through the public system, we understand that making this choice is a very personal decision and is influenced by a number of factors. Luckily, there are many fabulous options and services on the Central Coast that aim to provide you with the best birthing experience, no matter what you decide!
Gosford Private Hospital
Image ©Gosford Private Maternity Services
As the only private maternity service on the Central Coast, Gosford Private Hospital pride themselves on the maternity services they provide to families, understanding that being pregnant is an enormously special time. Patients can expect to have access to experienced doctors and specialist midwives, be given ample support and education both throughout pregnancy and after birth and be provided with an extended stay in modern private rooms while having meals taken care of for both Mum and Dad.
Gosford Private Hospital is about to undergo a $32million redevelopment which will include a brand-new maternity ward to meet the growing demands of the Central Coast community. The new ward will have its own dedicated, purpose-built space with three birthing suites each with its own bath, 12 spacious postnatal rooms with ensuites, a Special Care Nursery, beauty spa, family lounge and outdoor courtyard. You can find out more here.
Open days are held a couple of times per year and give parents-to-be the opportunity to take a tour, ask questions, meet the Obstetricians and the friendly team at Gosford Private Hospital. Keep your eye on their Facebook page for upcoming open day dates.
Gosford & Wyong Public Hospitals
Image ©Central Coast Health
Gosford Public Hospital maternity ward underwent a redevelopment in 2018 and now has ten birthing suites – all with en-suite bathrooms and fixed baths as well as a maternity ward for care before and after birth. Services include a day assessment unit, medical and midwifery antenatal clinics and a Neonatal Nursery for unwell or premature babies.
For soon-to-be parents living towards the Northern end of the Central Coast, Wyong Public Hospital provides another option for where to have your baby. Open to women with low-risk pregnancies and who are receiving care with Wyong Midwifery Group Practice, the hospital has three birthing suites with en-suite and fixed baths. For women who require a Cesarean section, an epidural or who have a medical condition such as Gestational Diabetes, it’s advised that you contact Central Coast Health to confirm which hospital would be best suited to your needs. Wyong Hospital is currently in the planning stage for a future redevelopment. You can keep up to date with the status of these development plans here.
having a doula
The support of a Doula can be wonderful for some couples or women who want the experience of a professional at their side throughout their pregnancy, during the birth of the baby and for the first few weeks after bub has arrived. Their purpose is to help women have a memorable, and empowering birthing experience.
If you are interested in finding a Doula on the Central Coast, this website is a handy directory.
Finding an Obstetrician
If you have decided to have your baby privately, then finding an Obstetrician that you and your partner feel comfortable with is a big part of the process. To help with your research and making this decision, we have compiled a directory of practicising Obstetricians on the Central Coast below.
Dr Peta Skilbeck
Dr Jini Mandapati
Dr Mutayyab Shah
Dr Amrou Metawa
Dr Raouf Farag
Your GP will write you a referral for a diagnostic imaging service as you reach the major milestones of your pregnancy. These may include an initial dating scan, a nuchal translucency scan at 12 weeks and an anomoly scan at 20 weeks. There are a number of services available on the Central Coast including those that offer bulk billing. We have listed some of the major providers below.
COAST Women's Imaging
An independent medical imaging provider for women on the Central Coast, Coast Women’s Imaging specialise in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
LOCATION: North Gosford
I-Med provide ultrasound services as part of the routine care during pregnancy.
LOCATION: Erina, Woy Woy, Long Jetty, Kanwal & Tuggerah Lakes Private Hospital
medical imaging erina
Medical Imaging Erina provide prenatal ultrasound services and they also bulk bill.
PRP diagnostic Imaging
PRP ultrasounds include initial dating, nuchal translucency and anomaly scan at 20 weeks.
LOCATIONS: Erina, Gosford, Gosford North, Toukley, Tuggerah and Woy Woy
For parents-to-be requiring specific education or support during their pregnancy and beyond, there are a number of free specialist services available on the Central Coast. Some of these include Aboriginal pregnancy support, support for young parents and free immunisation clinics.
Aboriginal Pregnancy NGIYANG
The Aboriginal Pregnancy and Child and Family Health service NGIYANG is a free service offered to Aboriginal families living in the Gosford Local Government Area, The Entrance, Bateau Bay and Chittaway Bay areas. Services provided include culturally sensitive pregnancy care, early child development, immunisation, parenting support, education and referrals. The service is staffed by child and family health nurses, midwives and social workers who offer home visits and clinic appointments at Tuggerah, Umina, Gosford and The Entrance. Aboriginal health workers are also available to provide parenting support and help families to access developmental health checks and immunisations.
Young PREGNANT WOMEN’S COURSES
Central Coast Health provide daytime courses for young pregnant women (aged 21 years and under) and their partners at Gosford and Wyong locations. Course topics include pregnancy, labour and birth, active birth, a tour of the delivery suite, the role of partners and support people, breastfeeding, caring for babies and parenting tips.
Central Coast Family Support Services – young parent program
Available to Central Coast residents under the age of 20 and who are currently pregnant or parenting, this free service supports younger parents in their transition to parenthood. Through the development of a support plan, CCFSS assists young people in accessing support services including centre based counselling, enhancing parenting practices and relationship skills and providing information about services and assistance available to them. Family case workers are available to meet with young people at the office in Kariong, in their home or at other agreed locations within the community. They also run regular young parent groups and workshops across the Central Coast region.
Free Immunisation Clinics
Pregnant women are able to access the free whooping cough and flu vaccines through antenatal clinics, general practitioners (GPs) and Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs). Women can also attend free walk-in clinics which are held monthly on a Saturday at Erina Health Centre. Visit the Central Coast Health website for upcoming dates.
central coast Breastfeeding Classes and Assistance
BREASTFEEDING BASICS, GOSFORD PRIVATE MATERNITY SERVICES
This class at Gosford Private Maternity Services will teach you the basics of breastfeeding, starting with how breasts make milk, the different breastfeeding positions, correct attachment and the transfer of milk. It will also cover how types of birth can impact on feeding and what to do if your baby won’t feed, as well as other breastfeeding tips and myths.
This course is available to women birthing at Gosford Private Hospital as well as to mums birthing at other private or public hospitals.
Australian Breastfeeding Association Online Webinars
Parents wanting to gain confidence in breastfeeding their baby can now attend one of The Australian Breastfeeding Association’s 1.5 hour interactive webinar sessions. During these sessions, parents will have the opportunity to learn about how breastfeeding works, chat to other parents and take part in a live Q&A session with a breastfeeding mother.
Nursery and Baby Stores
If this is your first bub, then you’ll need to get prepared with all the baby gear! We have compiled a list of baby stores, children’s clothes shops and markets around the Coast so you can get shopping!
Baby Bunting, West Gosford – Phone: 4322 1000 | Visit Website
Gosford Baby Markets, Gosford RSL – Phone 4323 8305 | Find out more.
Lake Haven Centre – Phone 4392 7800 | Visit Website.
Little Wren Designs, The Galleria Ettalong – Phone 0490 450 267 | Find out more.
Precious Little, Terrigal – Phone 4385 1082 | Visit Website.
Tiny Folk Co, Long Jetty – Phone 0404 142 542 | Visit Website.
Westfield Tuggerah – Phone 4305 5351 | Visit Website.
Zarlak kids, Terrigal – Phone 4384 7815 | Visit Website.
Central Coast Events to attend with your baby
Across the Central Coast, there are a number of regular weekly classes and playgroups you can attend with your baby – from free library story sessions to public playgroups. Check out our event calendar for daily inspiration.