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Birth Blog

Your 10 Different Maternity Care Options Compared

Did you know there are 10 different Maternity Care options to choose from?

When you fall pregnant there are going to be many decisions you will need to make. One of the first is what type of maternity care is going to be best for your family.

Picture this:

Me: OMG there are 2 blue lines!! I’m pregnant!! Off to the doctor I go. Hello doctor! I’m going to have a baby!

Doctor: Why that’s wonderful news. What kind of birth do you want to have? 

Me: What? What does that mean? Don’t you just ask me ‘public hospital or private hospital’?

Doctor: Goodness no! That’s a ridiculous question to ask! It’s not as simple as that. I’d like to get to know you and then explain the 10 different options you could investigate before making a decision to suit you and your family. Here is a brochure with information and a table comparing all your options.

Me: Well, thank you! I’m going to have a good think about what I do want for this birth and what might be the best option for us.

Can you imagine?! We can only hope that one day this is the reality. Until then, we have put together this guide for you.

We have given a description of the 10 different maternity care models available in Australia, and then compared 18 areas. Please note, not all models are available in every State.

The options are:

Private Hospital & Obstetrician 

You seek out a specific Obstetrician to provide your pregnancy care within a private hospital. Private hospitals are generally smaller than public hospitals and don’t always have the facilities to handle high-risk women or newborns. When it comes to birth, a midwives cares for you with intermittent support from the obstetrician. Post natal care is delivered by midwives.

Private Hospital & Obstetrician attached to Public Hospital

You seek out a specific Obstetrician to provide your pregnancy care. Some public hospitals have a section that is run privately. You therefore have an Obstetrician with the benefit of the facilities of a larger hospital should they be needed. When it comes to birth, a midwives cares for you with intermittent support from the obstetrician. Post natal care is delivered by midwives.

Public Hospital – Midwife

You have all your pregnancy care at a public hospital by a midwife working that shift. The majority of the time you won’t have met this midwife before. This is the same for the birth. Post natal care is delivered by midwives.

Public Hospital – Known Midwife

You have all your pregnancy care at a public hospital by either one midwife or a very small team of midwives. When you give birth, you will know or have met your midwife before. (Also called: Caseload, Midwifery Group Program (MGP), One on One, Continuity of Care). Your known midwife delivers your post natal care.

Home Birth – Private

You seek out a specific independent midwife to provide your pregnancy care. She delivers your care either from your home or her clinic. When it comes time to birth, she comes to your home and tends to you until after the birth. Your known midwife delivers your post natal care.

Home Birth – Public

Some public hospitals offer homebirths which are covered by Medicare. A midwife from the hospital will provide your pregnancy care. Pregnancy must remain low risk and you generally need to comply with hospital guidelines to qualify. When it comes time to birth, she comes to your home and tends to you until after the birth. Your known midwife delivers your post natal care.

Birth Centre

You seek out a midwife to provide your care in a small, free standing (generally) centre for low-risk women. You have all your pregnancy care by either one midwife or a very small team of midwives. When you give birth, you will know or have met your midwife before. Your known midwife delivers your post natal care.

Shared Care with your GP

Your pregnancy care is provided by your normal doctor at their clinic along with some appointments at the public hospital you’ve chosen to have your baby at. When it come to birth, your care will be provided by a midwife you haven’t met before. Post natal care is delivered by midwives and your GP.

Public Hospital with a Privately Hired Obstetrician

Your pregnancy care is provided by an private obstetrician within a public hospital. You may choose this if you want to birth in a public hospital with access to NICU but want an obstetrician to provide your care. When it comes to birth, a midwives cares for you with intermittent support from the obstetrician. Post natal care is delivered by midwives.

Public Hospital with a Privately Hired Midwife with Admitting Rights

You seek out a specific independent midwife to provide your pregnancy care. She delivers your care either from your home or her clinic. When it comes time to birth, she comes to your home and tends to you until you decide to transfer to hospital. She continues to provide your care until after the birth of the baby along with a hospital midwife. Your known midwife delivers your post natal care.             

To download our Comparison Chart, enter your email address HERE and it will be sent out immediately.

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