An interesting debate that has been growing in popularity over the years, where should you give birth to your baby?
Is our public system sufficient or should you choose to have your baby delivered in a private hospital by a private obstetrician?
There are many, many factors to consider when making the decision, and primarily that could well be financial. For many, private hospital costs are simply out of the question, considering the requirements are not only to have private health insurance, but also private births incur a large out of pocket expense too.
However, if you do have a choice of public vs private, where would you choose to birth your baby and why?
Worth it in a private hospital: single room/more privacy; choice of own doctor - despite the Obstetricians fees being quite high; nicer facilities - feels more like a home and less clinical/like a real hospital, and greater rest periods. The food is better at private hospitals also. There is an option where visitors can pay a subsidised price to eat a meal with their loved one, during their hospital stay after giving birth. Bear in mind, you need to check your PHI carefully for waiting periods, and whether or not your baby is covered with certain levels of cover.
I went with a birth centre rather than the hospital L&D ward for my first baby which is not quite the same (more of a compromise between home and hospital birth). I chose the only public birth centre in the state at the time (I think there is a second one now) because they offered a natural, intervention free birth (where possible), consistent care (two midwives I had for all my pre and post natal care and the birth itself) and a private room your partner could stay over in. If I hadn't been accepted there I'd have gone to the labour ward at the public hospital, not really by choice but because that's what I could afford. I really didn't like the idea of having strangers present while I was giving birth, which I think can be a major downside of public hospitals. I also preferred to avoid interventions like drugs if I could.
Having a room to ourselves was nice, and I suppose that would be one advantage of a private hospital too, but that wouldn't be enough in itself to sway me.
Second time around I didn't birth in hospital, but did go private by hiring an independent midwife to attend the birth at home. It was fantastic and all things being equal I'd do the same again.
I know people who have birthed in public hospitals and been happy with the experience and others who have been traumatised by it. I have a friend who has experienced labour in both public and private hospitals as well as home births and she didn't find the private hospital any better than the public in terms of respecting her as a person and helping her achieve the kind of birth she wanted, so opted for home birth the third time around and was much happier with it.
It's an individual choice which depends on your personal beliefs and circumstances (finances, health etc). I wouldn't assume that private is automatically better. It would be wise to tour the facilities you are considering, talk to them and see how well their policies line up with what you are looking for (for example whether you will be allowed to labour in water if you want to, or what their policies are regarding how long you are "allowed" to be in labour for, what their policies on induction are etc.) and look at their c-section rates.
I have to say Public is not the way to go. If you can go private Do it!!!!!!
Having seen a great deal of people come through the doors of public hospitals.
Visit.... the new mother.....When asked 'why' so many people are in that room, the staff say ''we can not police it''.They come and go, and they take no notice of the staff.
This is a problem mainly with new Australians.
It is in their culture that ALL show up.
But........if you are in a room with 1-2 or even 3 other new mothers, then it is Hell.
People just want to see the new mother, new baby...and take no care of thinking about the other New mothers in that public hospital bed...in that same room.
It has been noted, that up to a dozen people visit, for one new mother! at the same time.
In fact! they ask each other what time they all should show up.
Also visitors bring their own children, and it can be overwhelming for a new mother,and that's not the one who is having the visit!