Central Queensland mothers say staff shortages are just being used as an excuse as the Gladstone and Biloela Hospitals enter 150 days on bypass.
The women and their families believe they have been put under unnecessary anxiety and danger giving birth out of town.
Queensland Health placed both major maternity wards on bypass due to obstetric and gynaecology staff shortages across the state.
But Maternity Consumer Network spokesperson Alecia Staines blamed the bypass on a centralisation within central Queensland.
"Three specialists have resigned from Rockhampton recently and all of their positions have been filled, so I think it's ridiculous to continue to use specialist shortages as an excuse, because they haven't been affected at all," Ms Staines said.
"These families face the prospect of roadside birthing.
"Many can't afford just to relocate for birth, or they may not have family/friendship support in other towns like their own community."
Ms Staines said obstetrician staff at Gladstone are being forced to work in Rockhampton.
"Midwives have been explicitly told to not call these obstetricians for emergencies after hours, but instead to get women to Rocky," she said.
"We also know that the three obstetricians who recently left Rocky have already been replaced.
"This is not a recruitment issue, it's a centralisation of services issue under the guise of staffing."
Elective caesareans by appointment returned at Gladstone on October 14.
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service chief executive Dr Emma McCahon acknowledged the bypass of birthing services at Gladstone Hospital has caused stress on expectant mothers and their families.
Dr McCahon said until qualified medical staff could be recruited to cover long-term leave and vacancies, birthing services at Gladstone and Biloela would remain on bypass.
"Hospital birthing services will be reinstated when we can ensure the safe provision of care for mothers and babies,"
"We are committed to returning birthing services to Gladstone Hospital when it is safe to do so and delivering a sustainable long-term solution for maternity care across Central Queensland.
"While we work towards the return to full services, we have made a number of short-term changes including upgrading equipment and fast-tracking recruitment of administrative and nursing positions to provide additional support to our maternity units."
"It is important to note that a safe, 24-hour birthing service, can only be provided when a full birthing care team is available."
Dr McCahon said the hospital is in contact with all women due to deliver soon to update them on the situation.
"In Biloela, birthing is unavailable due to emergent leave of an anesthetic doctor.
"Despite our best attempts we have been unable to secure services of a replacement.
"As in Gladstone, pre-natal and post-natal care is being provided for mothers and babies by midwives in Biloela as normal."
Biloela teacher and first time mum Emma Keegan and her partner Pete had to stay in a hotel before having their first child, Douglas, at the Rockhampton Hospital in early November.
Ms Keegan said her young family experienced a very stressful time and unnecessary anxiety, during this time.
"People in community have been just as upset as I am with there being no maternity services here in Biloela," she said.
"I had to travel and stay in a hotel prior to birth in Rocky so I was close to hospital.
"I was there with my partner for a week before he had to travel to Moura for work."
Biloela mother, Alanna Jones, is currently 16 weeks pregnant with her third child. She found out that Biloela was on bypass when she was two weeks pregnant.
"If I knew it was closing, I wouldn't have gotten pregnant to begin with," she said.
"I simply can't be waiting around in Rocky for three weeks and my partner can't take that much time off work."
According to Ms Staines, since 40 per cent of birthing units have closed across the state, they've seen a 200pc increase in roadside births.
"No baby should have a road listed as their place of birth," she said.
"The Rural Maternity Taskforce Report back in 2018 addressed all this.
"Local services need to be available and maintained as a priority.
"When birthing is lost from a hospital, not only is it very difficult to get it back, the skill set of the hospital is lost, and it gets very hard to recruit to."
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