Available options if you choose a hospital birth
- With private medical care you have your own obstetrician who will provide ongoing care throughout your pregnancy and will often deliver your baby.
- Privately paid obstetricians can deliver babies in private or public hospitals or birth centres. Find out where your obstetrician works. Depending on which obstetrician you choose, the cost of private medical care can start anywhere between $600 to $3000 with private health cover that includes pregnancy care. Find out exactly what your private insurance will cover. Does it include all visits to the obstetrician? Does it include an independent midwife? Does it include the obstetrician’s entire fee? Do you wish to have a paediatrician available? Is this covered?
- Statistics show that the chance of medical intervention or having a Caesarean section is higher in private hospitals.
- Having a baby can be free if you choose public health care.
- Usually you will have your check ups at the hospital’s prenatal clinic, or in the obstetricians rooms, or in a midwives clinic. Medicare covers your prenatal visits, and your stay in hospital, although you are unable to choose your obstetrician or midwife. While most public hospitals endeavour to provide consistency in their care, the risk that you will see a different midwife or doctor at each antenatal visit still exists. If this is a concern for you, another option is to have an independent midwife who you could pay for privately.
- Your birth will take place in the maternity ward. Depending on which hospital you choose, there is likely to be hospital staff, midwives, trainee midwives, trainee obstetricians called registrars, general doctors doing hospital training called residents, and an obstetrician.
- It is not necessary to have a referral from your general practitioner. You can ring your local hospital offering maternity services and make an appointment. Usually the hospital will run prenatal classes as well as postnatal classes on breastfeeding and early parenting. Make sure you book prenatal classes for you and your partner as these will help you both learn more about what’s to come.
- Different hospitals will have different policies on the use of video cameras, cameras, the number of people present and the use of a natural therapist during labour and birth. Make sure you check so you are not disappointed at the last moment.