A trial program allowing parents to pay private midwives to deliver their babies at Northern Hospital could be expanded in the next 12 months.

The My Midwives Private Practice Program was launched at the Epping hospital last year as part of a statewide pilot program that allows private midwives to act as primary carers for women giving birth.

Midwife Andrea Quanchi, who runs the Northern Hospital program with her daughter, Hannah, said that by supporting the program, Northern Health was delivering a family care model not previously available in Victoria.

“This model has demonstrated improved health outcomes for mothers and babies and increased family satisfaction,” she said.

“Supporting families through their pregnancy, birth and in the weeks after their baby is born is very rewarding. By building a trusting relationship with new mothers and their partners, we are able to make a difference to families.”

Northern Health women and children services general manager Jodie Ashworth said the success of the program in the past 12 months was encouraging.

“The collaborative program with My Midwives has had a positive impact with flow and access for our maternity patients,” she said. “Equally important, it offers families another choice for maternity care.

“The community have shown a lot of interest in their model of care and we are hoping to expand the program in the coming 12 months.”