There are two main decisions to make about your care: one is your place of birth, and the other is your care provider.
Sometimes one decision will force another, for example an obstetrician will only deliver babies in a hospital, and birth centre care will generally mean having midwifery care.
But there are many other combinations:
Private midwife – home birth
Private midwife – hospital birth (public hospital as a private patient; private hospital as a private patient; public hospital as a public patient)
Public hospital care – midwives
Public hospital care – obstetricians
Public hospital care – shared care with a GP
and so on. There is really quite a lot of choice when you think about it.
Ultimately, if continuity is important to you, you will need to look to the private system – either obstetrics or midwifery – to ensure as much as possible that your chosen care provider will actually be there to help you in birthing.
The other thing to consider is that midwives and obstetricians, especially in the private sector – will tend to book out early. Some obstetricians will require you to book an appointment as soon as you find out you are pregnant, and will be fully booked at around 6 weeks. For many private midwives, this is the same. Other times, you my find that you can change from the public system to the private system later in pregnancy and a space will be made available for you.
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