Tuesday, November 27, 2012

hospital stay.

When you have a baby here in Australia you basically have two options as far as hospital deliveries go- to deliver at a public hospital or a private hospital. All permanent residents and citizens receive healthcare benefits from the government but everyone also has the option of purchasing additional private healthcare as well. Now I certainly don't know the ends and outs of these options but my basic understanding is this...

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With private healthcare you can choose your doctor, hospital and usually the timeframe in which you would receive treatment. This option usually incurs additional charges to the patient but they have more choice overall and are often able to receive treatment sooner for non- life threatening procedures then if they were to go through the public system.

If you go through the public system you are not given a choice of doctor, hospital or timeline but the treatment is free. If your condition is not time sensitive (like getting your tonsils out for example) you are put on a waiting list until they have the capacity to treat you.

With both of these options you get the same level of care but often in the public system you are discharged a bit sooner, are put in a room with other people and sometimes have to wait for treatment. Nothing that would affect your level of care but just might make your hospital stay a little less comfortable.

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All that being said, after much discussion, we decided to choose our doctor and deliver at the closest hospital to our house- Northwest Private Hospital. And I have to say now that it is all over, I am very, very happy with our decision! The midwives and nurses were so helpful, the hospital facilities were wonderful and both Lachlan and I were looked after very well. It was great!

So how do you choose a hospital and/or doctor?? Depending on where you live and the type of health insurance you have, a few things you might want to consider would be:

Location- how quickly can you get to the hospital? From your house? From your work? Will parking or traffic be an issue? Remember that the entire 9 months leading up to delivery you will probably be traveling to the hospital for all of your check ups and scans. Will you have to pay for parking or fight traffic for every appointment? We chose a hospital that was 10 minutes from our house and directly on my route to work. I would schedule all my appointments for first thing in the morning and drive to work as soon as I was done. Parking was never an issue and I was usually in and out of there in ten minutes.

Size: Will you be delivering at a large hospital or small hospital? Does the hospital have all of the resources you might need? NICU? Lactation Consultants? Midwives? FOOD?? Northwest Private is small hospital that specializes in maternity care. They had all of the things we were looking for in a hospital along with the small hospital feeling of not being one of 3,000 patients. All of the nurses and midwives were extremely friendly and helpful when it came to any questions we had about Lachlan, feeding, my recovery, etc. They also recently updated all of their maternity rooms which was an added bonus if you ask me :)

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Birth options: How do you want to deliver and what is your plan for pain relief? Do you plan on having a natural birth? Water birth? Epidural? Do they have showers or a bath tub available for you to use during labour? Are you allowed to have people with you in the delivery room and if so, how many? What happens if you require an emergency Caesarian? Where will they take you? These are all good questions to ask yourself and your doctor when making decisions. Some birthing suites don't have certain pain relief options available to mothers so it is worth checking out before hand because the last thing you want to find out when you are in labour is that they don't have what you want where you are delivering!

Doctor: After choosing the hospital where we wanted to deliver, I started researching all of the OBs in search of someone I thought might be a good fit for us. Some things you might want to consider will be your preference for a male or female doctor. Do you prefer someone who is warm and fuzzy or someone who is straight to the point? How available are they to you and will they be the one who actually delivers your child? If not, who else could be delivering your baby and do you have a chance to meet them before hand? We were very lucky in the fact that Lachlan decided to come on a weekend that our doctor was on-call. It was nice to see a familiar face and have someone deliver our baby who had been around for the entire pregnancy. We knew and trusted him which gave us just one less thing to have to think about that day. Plus, he is pretty sarcastic and was good at keeping the mood light... Or as light as you can considering the circumstances!

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In the end, the decision is yours to make. Maybe you only have one hospital or one OB where you live. But asking all if the questions before hand will certainly help relieve some of the uncertainties on one of the most unpredictable days of your life, giving you and your partner time to concentrate on what is really important- your growing baby!

All that being said- if you live in the Brisbane area and are looking for a wonderful, small hospital to deliver your child, I can't recommend Northwest Private Hospital enough. Great doctors. Wonderful midwives. Private rooms. Eatable food. Bad phone reception... But overall a terrific experience!

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1 comment:

  1. Michelle - loving the photos of that cute little guy! Congrats to you and your hubby on the growing family.

    I also wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! Thanks for sharing fun content and awesome photos, too! :) http://www.buckheadbettyonabudget.com/2012/11/liebster-award-some-fun-facts.html


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