I am often asked what the difference is between the private and public options for pregnancy and birth.
Private care generally affords women:
- Choice of care provider
- Choice of place of birth – home, hospital (public or private)
- Greater comfort and a more personalised service
Public care options often mean:
- a midwife or obstetrician will be assigned to you; you will not be able to choose your care provider
- Choice of place of birth is limited. Homebirth is only an option at a minority of hospitals and women generally have to go to the public hospital that is closest to their home
- Services cater more to the immediate physical needs with little appreciation for the emotional and mental journey of pregnancy and birth.
- Services are standardised by hospital policies. The same policies will apply to all women birthing at that hospital with little scope for movement.
The good news about medicare-eligible private midwifery care is that families are able to claim Medicare benefits for the care that is received from a private midwife. This rebate will significantly bring down the prices for private midwifery care, making it an affordable option for women wanting to birth in hospital with a private midwife, or at home.
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