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Dr Rahul Sen | Specialist care for birth and beyond | Sydney, Australia

Clinic conveniently located in Edgecliff : Freecall 1800 890 964

The History of Obstetrics at Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women

Established while Australia was still just a colony, Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women has a long and distinguished history. Today, it is one of the country’s most prestigious hospitals for providing health care services to women and their babies. It is seen as a leader and innovator in the maternal health field, particularly for obstetrics, education and medical research.

The history of obstetrics at Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women

Throughout its storied history the Royal Hospital for Women has been a leader in improving the health and wellbeing of the women in the country since its inception. It began its career as a health care provider established by the Benevolent Society in 1820, specifically targeted at offering obstetric, gynaecological and neonatological services to poor married women during their pregnancy, labour and after the birth of their child. 

Since then it has continued to be an innovator in the field, becoming New South Wales’ first ‘lying-in’ hospital for women in 1866, and over time became the principal teaching hospital for the University of NSW in fields related to women’s reproductive health. 

Finally, in 1992 the management of the hospital was conferred from the Benevolent Society of New South Wales to the Eastern Sydney Area Health Service, and in 1997 it officially relocated its facilities from Paddington to Randwick to occupy a new $40 million purpose built hospital in the area. 

Since then it has continued to be one of the best hospitals in Sydney for supporting women’s health, leading the way in the field of obstetrics and playing a vital role in educating the next generation of healthcare providers in Sydney.

Some of the amazing milestones that the Royal Hospital for Women has achieved over the decades in the fields of obstetrics and maternal health include:

  • Being the first hospital to offer ultrasound services in Australia
  • Performing the first successful fetal transfusion, fetal cardiac ultrasound, cranial ultrasound of a newborn and the first fetal muscle biopsy in the country
  • Establishing the longest continuous antenatal clinic in the world
  • Performing the world’s first operation in utero to save a child’s life

The Royal Hospital for Women today

Today the Royal Hospital for Women has continued to improve and grow their services for women in New South Wales. The primary areas of specialisation in the hospital include gynaecology, gynaecological oncology, maternity, maternal fetal medicine, menopause, newborn intensive care and reproductive medicine. 

The Royal Hospital of Women is dedicated to providing high quality obstetric and maternal services to women, delivering more than 4,000 babies every year, including taking care of 600 premature babies and performing more than 600 gynaecological procedures annually. This makes it one of the largest and most experienced maternal hospitals in the country.

The Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick, affectionately known as The Royal, is open to all women from across the state, providing expert support for mothers and their babies when they need it most.