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Giving birth in Australia.... Questions...(5 Posts)
We are emigrating to Australia next year. We had wanted to do so a couple of years back but had delays getting our visa and then the economy went crazy and we couldn't/can't sell our house so we are still here. Thing is, we are getting older (obviously) and would really love to try for another baby before we go but have decided we will just have to wait until we are settled in Australia and then if we are very lucky we will hopefully be able to try for our baby.
Anyway, I am just looking for some stories from those of you in Australia - especially Melbourne area as this is where we are headed - to find out what the whole ante natal and birth experience is like over there.
We are currently in Scotland and the way things are here are see GP who confirms pregnancy, attend antenatal clinics and classes up until birth, you are booked in to the nearest maternity ward, you get one scan at 12 weeks and then you head to labour ward when you are in labour and a midwife/midwives stays with you to assist in giving birth. If complications arise, a doctor/consultant is involved and they take it from there. After the birth, the baby is given to you for skin on skin contact and the baby is with you right from the start unless they need special care or treatment etc. You are then put on a ward with lots of other women and babies where you have absolutley no privacy whatsoever and are basically left to get on with it IME. The staff are so busy it seems to be hard to get round everyone. You then get to go home in a day or a few days after the birth depending on circumstances.
What is the whole Australian experience?
It depends on whether or not you go private - my husband is Australian and often jokes we should move back there to have babies!
If you have private medical insurance, frankly, it's insanely cushy. Prenatal care is done by an OB but in some areas you can opt for a MW. Hospital delivery, own room in hospital, and Melbourne is famous as a couple of hospitals put people in an adjacent 5 star hotel where the MWs visit as it is cheaper than a hospital bed (!!!). Husband can stay with you (not the case in Oxford, where we are). There are some MW led centres in melbourne. Generally I would say the disadv of the Oz private system is a very high c-section rate, we know an insane number of people who have had c-sections for the slightest thing...but you can stick to your guns if you don't want one. Just having typed that about the hotel room makes me depressed at the prospect of being back on the ward with baby no 2!
You should see if you can buy the book Baby Love, it's the Oz equivalent of What to Expect when you're expecting, and has lots of info. I think you will be very happy having a baby there!
I know a lot of friends who have had babies in Australia - i would agree with the high c-section rate but have heard nothing but glowing reports as to the Aussie standard of medical care.
I'm in Melbourne! I had DD 5yo in an East London NHS and DS 20mo in Melbourne. I am now 12wks preg.
The way things work here are... Go to GP to confirm pregnancy. Then 12wk scans and blood tests are done. Depending on which hospital you chose to deliver you could have either a midwife lead unit or be solely under the care of an obstetrician(sp?). Your GP will refer you. I can't remember how often my visits to the obs were but it seemed like loads. Scans are done at 20wks. At 28wks everyone has the test for gestational diabetes which I cannot remember the name of - preg brain!!
Big day arrives - you go to the hospital! Continuous care with the same midwife then baby delivered by Obs.
The room I delivered in had a queen sized bed which DH was welcome to stay in also. Just before the birth, extra equipment is brought into the room so if the baby needs oxygen for exmple it is on hand and they don't suddenly rush off with your newborn - this happened with DD and it freaked me out!! I had my own bathroom. I stayed in this room the entire time I was there and compare it to a Traveloge hotel room. The food was pretty good too! The same sized room in the NHS hospital I delivered DD in had 4 single beds!!
I did not have private health care at the time as we had only been back in Oz for 6mo. This was all covered by medicare. I paid about $300 for my visits to the Obs, which I claimed back approx $120 from medicare.
I can't begin to tell you how much 'nicer' it was the have a baby here in Australia. I do live in a new area and the hospital is only about 12yrs old. I just felt that the midwives had more time for me and weren't as overworked as the poor NHS midwives.
I stayed for 2nights/3days and left when I wanted to go home.
I hope this is helpful for you, do feel free to ask any questions you may have but I am off to bed now!!
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