Having a Baby in Australia

(17 Posts)
AppleCocoon Wed 21-Mar-18 02:53:14

I'm thrilled and excited and (most of all) panicking!

This is a much longed for pregnancy but it now feels like everything is happening too soon.

I don't have any friends or family here (other than my husband) so I don't have anyone to talk to about this. How does pregnancy work in Australia? Who do I see? When do I see them? What is normal and what isn't?

I don't know if I am eligible for medicare and my health insurance has a one year waiting period before it will cover me for pregnancy. Does anyone have any idea of how much this will cost (in Sydney if it makes a difference)?

As I said, I am thrilled but panicking because I don't know how things work here and feel very out of control!

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sunbunnydownunder Wed 21-Mar-18 03:59:38

Congrats, What visa are you on? What nationality? Medicare covers most things except for some of the scans. If you are PR you are covered. If you are on a 457 and UK passport holder you the reciprocal agreement covers everything that an Australian would be covered for. If you are Irish you are covered for hospital treatment so once you are able to be you need to do all your appointments through the hospital clinic.
1st thing you do is go to your GP and confirm the pregnancy, they will tell you the next steps depending on public or private. If private you can opt to have your baby in which ever private hospital your chosen Obstetrician works at, if public you go to the hospital that you are in catchment for.
I had my last baby here in Perth 16 months ago. Even though we have insurance we opted to go public. I did all my check ups with the GP until I was transferred to the local clinic as I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes so had to go under the care of the Hospital. I had a scheduled csection. This was my 3rd baby so I knew what to ask for and what to say I didn't want. Be aware that going private even with insurance your still out of pocket around $4000.

beingsunny Wed 21-Mar-18 05:00:07

What visa are you holding, I was on a 457 when I had my son six years ago and I went through the public hospital at Randwick midwife only group.

You have an option of midwife, shared care: go and midwife or private which I believe you would only need if you were considered high risk.

AppleCocoon Wed 21-Mar-18 05:44:19

Thanks for such speedy responses!

I'm on an international student visa. My husband is Australian. We are going to find out if his insurance will cover me or if that will invalidate my student insurance and therefore my student visa. I am in the process of applying for PR but apparently that takes ages so I don't want to factor that in.

We are basically working on the assumption of worst case scenario (ie - fully private). I had assumed I would need fertility treatment to get pregnant so that it happened on its own is wonderful. The 'fertility savings' have just been renamed the 'birth costs'.

I have my first appointment with a GP tomorrow.

I have loads of questions
- all the normal pregnancy stuff plus some 'older mum' stuff
- what happens when - what's considered routine as far as antenatal care is concerned here - basically what happens and when (and where and with whom)
- hospitals versus birthing centres versus whatever else there may be
- the 'expat' stuff about how insurance works in this country and who is responsible for my care and how do I make payment (one big fate bill or a bill for each scan or doctor or midwife involved).

I'm concerned that I am going to have information overload in the appointment tomorrow and not remember either the questions or the answers so if anyone can help fill in the blanks now (or over the next few weeks) I would really appreciate it.

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NightCzar Wed 21-Mar-18 07:50:39

As far as I understand the insurance you have to have on a student visa is just a condition of the visa. Like speaking good English if it's not your first language. It's a tick in a box. Using a different insurance company would not invalidate your visa.

I would go to a Medicare office after you've spoken to the GP and ask what you're eligible for, as depending on where you're from it can be different. The GP won't necessarily know all the details of which country/ visas etc.


chloeb2002 Thu 22-Mar-18 19:21:21

As long as you are from the uk and have reciprocal healthcare you are covered.
My first dd was born in Sydney I was on a working holiday visa, then a medical visa... long story.
I wouldn't. Personally have a baby privately. The out of pocket costs are significant.
I have top private health insurance and still had my other kids in the public system

AppleCocoon Thu 22-Mar-18 20:53:29

I was told quite clearly that I was not eligible for medicare by someone who, frankly, should know.

After reading everyone’s comments above and doing some serious googling, it turns that I can, in fact, get medicare. Yippee! I’m off to the service centre this weekend to get that sorted put. Thanks, ladies!

I saw my GP yesterday for thirty minutes. That was a shocker - a doctor who didn’t rush me through the door. She was lovely and gave me a list of what happens and when in terms of scans, tests etc.

I’m likely to be at the Royal Prince Alfred or Canterbury, if anyone know anything about those hospitals?

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chloeb2002 Fri 23-Mar-18 21:09:02


You will be just fine.
RPA and Canterbury are both good.
Really you will be well looked after.
I've had. I complaints having my babies here. My second child had major.. I mean major .. issues from 28 weeks. I was in an Mri scanner, reviewed by fetal medicine, new plans drawn up. At no point would I have ever known I was on reciprocal health care.
Even once he was born, he had every test done, without a passport, nonone in fact questioned his entitlement until he was about 3 months old when they finally said oi we need a passport for him! Which we got.
Really enjoy your pregnancy!
Relax. Don't stress!

smellsofelderberries Sat 31-Mar-18 13:55:51

I gave birth at the RPA and it was fantastic. I actually moved to Sydney late in my second trimester and the medical care I received there was far above and beyond anything I had in the U.K.! Congratulations!!

rugbychick1 Sat 31-Mar-18 13:59:08

Doesn't Medicare only cover you for emergency treatment? Unless it's changed in the last few years

Raisinbrain Sun 01-Apr-18 01:13:25

I had a baby in Manly (NSW) in 2015. Everything was covered by Medicare except for one of the four ultrasounds I had (around $100-200. no idea why the other three were covered, it's a strange system) and there also was a prescription I had to pay for ($40).
We don't have health insurance, we are british citizens with permanent residency in Australia.

Scotinoz Wed 04-Apr-18 14:11:52

I had 2 babies in Aus, albeit under private insurance. Girlfriends went through the public system though and were very positive about it.

I found post natal care to be good. Child and maternal health services were very accessible. In my area you were allocated a 'mother's group' after the babies were born; there was about six organised sessions (a different topic each time) then we were encouraged to meet socially. I have some great friends from my group 😀 There was also drop in sessions for vaccinations, although you could get them done by the GP too.

AppleCocoon Thu 05-Apr-18 03:12:18

I’ll be getting medicare sorted out on Monday so I can confirm then which of the various policies I have heard is correct. I couldn’t do it sooner because of pre-existing travel plans.

It is great to hear the positive experiences people have had.

Chloeb, I hope your child has fully recovered now. It must have been harrowing to go through.

Thank you all for the congratulations! It is both exciting and terrifying at the sane time!

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HoppingPavlova Thu 05-Apr-18 03:22:01

Doesn't Medicare only cover you for emergency treatment? Unless it's changed in the last few years

No idea where this came from. That's never been the case from inception in the early 80's to now.

Maybe you are confusing it with eligibility? Not everyone is eligible for Medicare - you have to be a citizen, certain types of residents, visa's etc?

LadyCassandra Thu 05-Apr-18 13:11:12

Raisinbrain I had DS2 at Manly too! DC3 due in July, going back before it closes.
I had DS1 in UK, much preferred the care here, particularly the postnatal care. They still have nurseries in the maternity wards here!

Raisinbrain Sat 07-Apr-18 07:02:01

@LadyCassandra the midwives at manly hospital are so so lovely 😊 good luck with DC3!

AppleCocoon Tue 10-Apr-18 10:18:03

Medicare covers 'medically necessary' treatment. There are a few exceptions but basically I'm covered for most pregnancy related expenses.

Next steps - get an ObGyn and choose a hospital. Public versus private.

Any recommendations?

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