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Why are people choosing to go private for their pregnancy?
Posted 20 August 2019
Having a baby is an exciting, life-changing event. There are thousands of pregnancy and parenting books available, but nothing can really prepare you for what’s to come. This fear of the unknown can often leave some soon to be parents feeling a little uneasy. One of the ways to ease some of these concerns is to have a reliable and consistent medical team to support you in your pregnancy and beyond.
We have a chat to registered midwife, Donna Mansell, about the benefits you can expect when having your baby in a private hospital.
Here are some of the main reasons soon to be parents may choose a private hospital over public.
You can choose your own obstetrician
One of the big benefits of the private system is having the ability to choose your own obstetrician (OB). You have the freedom to decide who suits you when it comes to caring for you and your baby during this very special time.
Donna says when you’re a private patient you have the benefit of seeing the same doctor at each appointment, and at the birth. In the public system, you don’t have this choice.
Over the course of your pregnancy, you’re able to build a strong and trusting relationship with your selected OB. This can mean when it comes to the big day, you’ll feel a little more relaxed knowing who will be there.
Flexibility and choice with appointments
Reduced waiting times and consistency of care in the private sector is very important. There’s also the added benefit of being able to schedule your appointments when it suits you best.
“Lots of people come across from public to private around the 24 week mark because they get annoyed with the waiting periods for appointments,” Donna says.
Greater control with your pain relief
During your antenatal appointments with your OB, you’re able to work out your birth plan and what method of pain relief you’re most comfortable with.
Donna says in private hospitals, your obstetrician calls in an anesthetist when you need it and there’s normally little to no waiting time.
In the public sector the anesthetists generally work on a priority based system. “They could have a list of six people and you could be the sixth one, so you can sometimes be waiting a little bit longer,” Donna says.
Better accommodation and facilities
A private room with your own facilities is one of the added bonuses of staying in a private hospital. A bed for your partner is also usually provided, meaning both parents can bond with the baby in those first few days.
Donna says, “In a public hospital the focus is very much on the mother and baby so there are stricter visiting hours and there are no facilities for the partner to stay at all.”
Extra recovery time in hospital
If you’re planning on a natural delivery in a private hospital, you’ll likely stay anywhere between three to five days. During this time you’ll be closely monitored by midwives who will help you with your newborn and give you extra guidance and support.
In the public sector, some patients leave the hospital just 24 hours after birth.
Access to extra care and support
The Newborn Support Program at Health Partners has been designed to make that transition into parenthood a little smoother.
It’s intended to provide new mothers with ongoing support from the time you become pregnant through to the first 8 weeks of your baby’s life.
This is what it includes
- 3 gap-free lactation consultations (with a doctor’s referral)
- Post-natal advice on a range of topics
- Baby development and what to expect
- First aid for babies
- General parenting support