Having a baby in Brisbane
So you are having a baby. Congratulations! Along with the excitement of finding out you’re pregnant can come a nervousness about the decisions that you will need to make. Determining the type of birthing experience you will have, as well as where you will have your baby are some of the first considerations you need to make.
The different birthing options available in Brisbane when you are having a baby include
- a public hospital
- a private hospital
- a birth centre
- a home birth.
Mums of Brisbane have put together some information for you on each of the options. As well as what services are available in the area.
The benefits of a public hospital are that you can access free but still very high-quality care. Public hospitals also give you access to specialist doctors and services as well as access to a specialist baby care unit if required.
If you choose to deliver through the public health system, the hospital at which you deliver will depend on your current residential address, as catchment areas apply.
Your doctor will give you a referral to the relevant hospital in your area. There is the chance you could have a choice of which public hospital that you attend if there is more than one in your area.
After you have been referred, you should get in touch with the hospital and ask about what maternity services they provide. Most of the hospitals in Brisbane are well-suited to deal with a high-risk pregnancy if needed.
Depending on the hospital, you may have several options to choose from for your maternity care.
Types of care
Routine care – in this case, you may be seen by any doctor or midwife at the hospital.
Midwife care – your care is provided by a midwife or group of midwives. You will need to check with your local hospital as to whether this option is available.
Continuity of Midwife care – you are looked after by one particular midwife throughout your pregnancy and when you give birth.
GP shared care – you will need to check with your GP if they offer this service. In this scenario, your care is shared between your GP and the doctors and midwives at your local hospital.
Private midwifery care – you can arrange to have your own private midwife who provides all of your care including when you have your baby and for up to 6 weeks after the baby is born. You must check that the midwife you want to go with has admitting rights to the hospital you plan to deliver at. You will be responsible for the cost of private midwifery care whilst you are in the public hospital.
The public hospitals in Brisbane include:
- The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH)
- Mater Mothers’ Hospital
- Logan Hospital
- Redcliffe Hospital
- Redland Hospital
- Caboolture Hospital
- Ipswich Hospital
If you have private health insurance you can either choose to have your baby at a private hospital or give birth in a public hospital as a private patient.
Most health insurance providers require you to have held a relevant policy for 12 months before they will cover your costs. Even then you will still be out of pocket for some expenses. With the average out-of-pocket expenses for a private health pregnancy and birth ranging from $2,445 to $8,355 after Medicare rebate (according to NIB figures in 2015).
The benefits of private care include being able to choose your own hospital, obstetrician or midwife. A private room is also a reason people prefer a private hospital. As your partner may also be able to stay overnight to help you adjust to life with a newborn.
The type of care options available are:
Private obstetric care—your care is provided by an obstetrician specialising in caring for women with complicated pregnancies. If you would like to be cared for by a private obstetrician in a private hospital, you will need a referral from your GP.
Private midwife care—you are looked over by a midwife, or group of midwives, at a private group practice or hospital. In this scenario, you may be able to choose to have your baby in a hospital or at home.
The private hospitals in Brisbane include:
- Mater Mothers’ Private Hospital and Mater Mothers’ Private Hospital Redland
- North West Private Hospital
- The Wesley Maternity Unit
- Sunnybank Private Hospital
- St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital
Acting as a home away from home a birth centre has more of a relaxed and homely atmosphere than a traditional maternity ward. Water births may be an option here.
You will only be accepted to give birth at a Birth Centre if your pregnancy is deemed to be low risk. The same midwife or a small number of midwives are likely to provide you care throughout your pregnancy.
There is always a high demand for this service, so you need to book in as early as possible. To be considered for a place let your doctor know so you can get a referral.
- Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
Being in familiar surroundings can help you to feel more relaxed during labour.
You will need to have a straight-forward and uncomplicated pregnancy for this option to be considered. As you will not have fast access to additional services or there is the possibility that you will need to be transferred to hospital if complications arise during the birth.
Finding out you are having a baby is an exciting time in your life. Having a conversation with your doctor about your options can help you to determine which option is right for you and your circumstances.
*Please note: this is general advice only. Mums of Brisbane is not recommending any of these options and you should only make decisions regarding your medical care with your treating medical professional.*
Wondering what to pack in your hospital bag? You can read what a Brisbane Mum recommends here And we have a handy downloadable list below, just print and stick on the fridge, sorted.
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Katie is the Managing Director and Editor at Mums of Brisbane. She loves reading, sleep and exploring, not necessarily in that order. Most days will find her drinking coffee, trying to keep up with the kids, and praying they will sleep. She lives with her husband and three children in beautiful Brisbane. You can read her story here.