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Where should I give birth?


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29/07/2017

Understanding my option

As we have been talking all about options this week, we wanted to share one of our favourite sites for information regarding birth. Our good friend Kelly from BellyBelly has spent thousands of hours researching and writing articles to share with couples up to date information about birth and early parenting. If you want to know about something – odds are there's article on Belly Belly to answer your questions.

In this article, BellyBelly explores the pros and cons of Homebirth, Birth Centres and Public and Private Hospitals. Knowing the type of care you will receive and what your options are can be fundamental in helping you achieve a positive birth. Below are some pros and cons of the various options.

PUBLIC SYSTEM:

Pros:
• It’s free and you still receive high-quality care
• Intervention rates are lower than those in private care
• Direct access to obstetricians and other specialists, such as anaesthetists and paediatricians, often with around-the-clock availability

Cons:
• Unless you are in a midwifery program, it’s not always possible to see the same doctor or midwife each visit
• Appointment waiting times can be long
• You have no choice in your care providers during labour, unless you are in a midwifery program

PRIVATE SYSTEM:

Pros:
• You can choose your own obstetrician
• You will see your obstetrician at every prenatal appointment
• You are more likely to have a private room and/or double bed (depending on demand) -
• Your partner can often stay overnight with you

Cons:
• You are not likely to know any of the midwives who support you during labour
• Of all birth options, private hospitals have the highest rate of interventions, especially c-sections (some private hospitals have over a 50% c-section rate)
• You will still have additional out-of-pocket costs, which vary from a few hundred to several thousand dollars

HOMEBIRTHS:

Pros:
• You choose your own care provider throughout pregnancy, birth, and the post-natal period, so you are guaranteed to be in the presence of someone you know, trust, and like, at all stages of your care
• Your prenatal appointments are often in your own home, and your midwife will usually spend as much time with you as you need
• You form a close bond with your midwife, and her care is very nurturing and holistic (physical and emotional support).
• Of all birth options, home birth has the lowest rate of intervention

Cons:
• The average cost of hiring a private midwife is between $3000 and $5000. Clients of private midwives who are Medicare eligible can receive Medicare rebates on antenatal and postnatal care.
• Currently, private midwives cannot attain public indemnity insurance. The government has agreed to an exemption for this insurance until 2019, but private midwives must practise under certain guidelines. This means some women might find it difficult to hire a private midwife – for a VBAC, for example.
• Epidural is not available at home, so if you decide you need one, you must transfer to hospital.

BIRTH CENTERS:

Pros:
• More comfortable and less clinical environment than a hospital
• Midwifery-led care in birth centres is covered by Medicare and is free. The cost of care by a private midwife or doctor in a birth centre may be claimed through a private health insurance fund.
• Lower intervention rates with a midwifery model of care
• You will get to know each of the midwives on the team during your pregnancy, and be familiar with the midwife who provides labour support.

Cons:
• Restricted to women who are deemed as having a low risk of complications
• They take only a certain number of women, so you need to book in very early in pregnancy.
• Birth centres are governed by the policies of the hospital they are attached to. If your situation becomes high risk (during pregnancy or labour) you can’t choose to remain in the birth centre; your care will be transferred to the attached hospital

This is a well-researched article with lots of great information, so please share with anyone you know who wants to have a baby or make sure you have a read if you want to know about how our birth system works.




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