Gunnedah hospital's maternity ward will not close over December and January, Hunter New England Health (HNEH) has confirmed.
HNEH's Susan Heyman has dispelled any concerns from locals of a temporary closure, saying pregnant women could come to the hospital as normal.
"One of our three GP obstetricians in the Gunnedah area has advised us he intends to take well-deserved leave during the Christmas and New Year break. We understand he is speaking with affected patients in his GP practice about their plans for labour," Ms Heyman said.
"During this time women in labour should present to Gunnedah Health Service as normal, for comprehensive assessment by midwives.
"The midwives in consultation with medical staff as needed, will determine whether the woman can remain at Gunnedah to give birth or if she should be referred or transferred to a higher level hospital for care."
Ms Heyman, HNEH's director rural and regional health services, said decisions to refer or transfer pregnant ladies to a different hospital would depend on many factors including "her medical history, experience of pregnancy complications, and stage of labour".