Choosing your LMC or Lead Maternity Carer is an important job. They are after all the one person who is going to remain constant for you, your babies and your partner throughout your pregnancy.
Many newly pregnant Mums start finding their LMC straight after they find out they are pregnant, while others wait a few weeks. Though at this stage, unless you have had an ultrasound, you won’t know you are having twins and only that you are pregnant.
What Does a Lead Maternity Carer Do?
An LMC or Lead Maternity Carer is responsible for your care both during and after your pregnancy, as well as your twins for the first six weeks after their birth.
They will help you with advice on nutrition, baby development, labour and delivery, breastfeeding and even contraception. On-call 24 hours a day, with a backup service provided in case they are unable to help you, your LMC at the start of your pregnancy will most likely be a midwife or your GP.
Choosing Your Lead Maternity Carer
Choosing a lead maternity carer is a bit like hiring someone for a job. You’ll want to feel comfortable with them, be reassured that they have both solid experience and knowledge in their field and whether or not they’ll work with other health professionals if needed.
The difficult bit is once it is confirmed you are having twins, your LMC is obligated and MUST recommend you and your care are transferred to a specialist obstetrician. This can be really upsetting for you, with your LMC either not involved at all or having a reduced role in the care of you and your twins.
However, during a twin pregnancy, there are complications that may develop and this is when the experience and knowledge of an obstetrician is invaluable.
While all Public Hospitals have the responsibility of providing care for Mums of twins, if you live in a provincial area, you may have to travel to receive this care.
You still have choices though around your LMC. The hospital you have been referred to may have several obstetricians on staff and depending on their caseload, you may be able to request a specific one to care for you.
You also have the option of choosing a private obstetrician, which of course you are required to pay for. In some cases, your obstetrician may be happy to share your care with your original midwife.
Legislation governing the care of twins and other high risk or multiple pregnancies has been developed to ensure that you and your babies do receive the highest of care and the best result possible.
You have the same rights as other pregnant Mums, including being part of all discussions around your care. Remember, they are your babies and you do still have the right to choose your LMC to some degree.