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All about birth?

13 replies to this topic

#1 RellBell

Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:39 PM

So i've noticed some of the 'mums to be' in my due date group have started to plan birthing.

I'm currently 14 weeks, and I will be contacting the antenatal at 16. I haven't even decided on public or private yet, although public does sound good - all that extra money for bub. So, I was wondering, what's your experience?

Going public vs private? (or if you've done both, which did you prefer?)
Did you use a doula or just the support of your partner? (would love to hear of women who used a doula, i've been reading into it and it looks fantastic).
The decision to have an epi?

I'm just completely in the dark here (except for what mum has told me - in which, she said private and public were a similar experience for her, and she definitely preferred her natural births to the C-sections, as the recovery time was much quicker)

#2 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

If you wanted to go private you needed to have obsetrics cover with your private health insurance for 3 months before you became pregnant so if you havent already got it you will need to go public.

#3 RellBell

Posted 29 December 2012 - 06:00 AM

I have cover, but I hear it is still a decent out of pocket expense.

#4 José

Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:15 AM

If youre already 14 weeks you might find it difficult to get into a private obs of your choice.  Believe most private obs would have alreAdy seen clients/ patients before the 14th week. People start booking in very very early. Yes there are costs to going private the largest of which is the obs management fee.


Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:22 AM

You've most likely left it much too late to book in for private - most women book in with their obstetricians at 4-6 weeks!

#6 fooiesmum

Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:26 AM


I'm not sure where you are located and location has a huge part in what services are available to you.

If you're looking for midwife led care though a public hospital and birthing in a birth centre you may find that these services are now fully booked out and not available to you (they are usually booked out at about 6 weeks pregnant)

If for some reason you are classed as "high risk" you might not have an option if going public and you will be refereed to the OB's clinic at a major tertiary hospital.

If you choose to go private with an OB you might find that their books are already closed to new patients for the month that you are due - and yes there will be out of pocket costs, upwards of $3000 at minimum.

You need to start looking at what you'd like and go from there.  

There are lots of choices open to you - HTH

#7 Beancat

Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:27 AM

I would be very surprised if you get into a private ob at weeks.  Clients cannot get into my ob by 5-6 weeks and i hear that is pretty much the same for most of the good obs in Melbourne (not sure where you are).

who has been doing your pre-natal care until now - GP??  Speak to who ever you have been seeing and they can give you the run down.

Persoanlly I would never go public in Melbourne.  I have heard too many horror stories and the general level of support is just not there, which you need if you are a first time mum.  You may be discharged after 24 hours whereas in private you will get 3-4 nights.

I am currently pregnant with my 3rd and am going private for the third time, and it will be my 3rd ceasar.  Recovery with the cesear was fine....things have changed alot since your Mum had her ceasears.  I was back walking and driving at 2.5 weeks post partum with both pregnancies.  I am not saying have an elective ceasar, but if you have to have an emergency cesear or a ceasar for medical reasons dont be scared, they are quite ok.

My advice would be dont get too hung up on the actual birth plan itself. Things can change very quickly.  Its important to know your preferences but you need to be flexible and keep your eye on the end prize which is the health of you and  your baby.  Focussing on the actual birth is a bit like focussing all of your energy on the wedding and not the marraige if you know what I mean.

#8 Pompol

Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:41 AM

Location is a massive factor OP!

If you happen to be rural, I didn't see my OB either time until after 20 weeks because he didn't want to see me until then. My OB will take a patient for the birth if he's seen them only once - so I had friends who did shared care with the midwife clinic, saw the clinic all pregnancy and then popped in to see him at 37ish weeks to tick that box.

And our local hospital, public as no private maternity here, has very nice single rooms for private patients and waives the excess to encourage people to use PHI. So, I had two babies, the first who was in special care for 3 days, and not a cent out of pocket other than the costs of consultations at his rooms and his management fee.

But if you're city based, it's a whole other scenario!

#9 elmo_mum

Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:48 AM

also, depending where you are, some PUBLIC hospitals wont accept you as they are full!!!

- some hospitals fill up by 6 weeks!!!!

your gp (assuming thats who is giing you care) should have told you to book into a hospital asap!!

my friend found out she was pg at 14wks, and had troubles getting in... its only cos she "lied" (the ob told her to) she was able to get care - she was due end of april, but cos her ob told her to say she was due beginnnig of ,ay she was able to get seen

#10 dirtgirl

Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:49 AM

Hi OP....as PPs have mentioned, the type of care you can access will probably be dictated by your location at this stage.

As far as my experience is concerned, I had both of my births through the public system ( I had PHI, but didn't end up using it because the local public hospital is literally 5 minutes away and has a fabulous maternity service). Both of my pregnancies were managed through a shared care arrangement with my GP and midwives from the hospital. I had a great experience both times - the midwives were fantastic.  That said, both my pregnancies and births were text-book - no complications, easy births.  If there had been any complications, I'm not sure if my experience would have been as great.

At 14 weeks, I would suggest you get things sorted asap, as you may have already passed the window for certain antenatal testing if you're after it.

Good luck!

#11 bambiigrrl

Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:08 AM

On the subject of doulas, i had one, and she was very supportive throughout the pregnancy, but not that helpful during the birth, but that was just her, i am sure lots of other doulas out there would have been different. If you dont have a doula you at least need someone to support you during birth who knows a lot about natural birth and defintly educate yourself on all the risks associated with hospital interventions. For instance I would avoid an epidural if I were you, I had one with both my births and they ultimatly led to c sections both times.

They can cause maternal fever which in turn causes fetal distress which results in an emergency c section. They can also cause swelling of the cervix cause you cant move around freely to let the baby turn the way it needs to and the head can put uneven pressure on the cervix which can cause it to swell then you go from 8 cm back to 6!

You will be fine in the public health system but definatly get in with the midwives, try and get in to the birthing center if there is one near you, stay at home as long as possible once your in labour and educate yourself! Knowledge is power!

#12 HeartMyBoys

Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:15 AM

I went public with both my boys, and had great care. Both births had complications, and they were very professional and i felt very cared for. That was in Adelaide. Now im in Melbourne, and expecting number 3, so im not sure where i should go. I have to decide asap by the sounds of places filling up fast. Closest is werribee mercy, but ive been told they are full. The next closest is Sunshine, and then Royal Womens in the city. I'd like to go to Royal Womens but i have this fear of giving birth on the west gate bridge lol. My last labour was under 2 hours so i want the hospital to be as close as possible. Has anyone been to Sunshine? And how did you find it?

#13 mysonsmum

Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:25 AM

I originally booked in going private but after seeing 2 different ob's & doing some research I started to feel like they were very clinical & didn't make me feel at ease at all. Also I looked into some stat's & there was a much higher risk of intervention if I had my care through an obstetrician so I ended up going to a private hospital as a public patient & using the midwives which was FREE & it was a fantastic experience.
They were much warmer & very supportive & made time for us which was great. My partner works nights & weekends & we were struggling to book into an antenatal class so my midwife made a special appointment for us to come in during the day for our own little educational chat & tour around the delivery suite ect. I only had my partner as a support person which was all I needed, at the hospital, I had a midwife 'down there' delivering the baby & one up with me as a support person aswell.
Can't comment on epidurals because I haven't experienced one but if u are going to go private check how much an epidural will set u back, my friend recently received a $750 bill for hers as it wasn't covered under her insurance.
Do some research on ur individual hospital but for me I will definitely go public again next time original.gif

#14 lucky 2

Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:39 AM

Persoanlly I would never go public in Melbourne. I have heard too many horror stories and the general level of support is just not there, which you need if you are a first time mum. You may be discharged after 24 hours whereas in private you will get 3-4 nights.

Women often get a 2 night stay for a normal birth and 4 nights for a c/s, it depends where you birth and the model of care they offer (or what is available at this stage).
The MW to patient ratios in Victoria public hospitals are the best you'll get, Vic was the first place in the world to achieve ratios in their EBA.
Public women will get post discharge MW visits where are lot of private women do not have this.
And then Victorian women have the MCHN service which covers children up to 5 yrs of age.
There are lots of different types of care available so you will have to get start looking on the net or make calls asap.
All the best for your pregnancy.

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