Starting a family is such a big decision. Not least of all is deciding on how you will manage your pregnancy and where you want to have your baby.
While you obviously don’t need private health insurance to have a baby, you will need it if you want to have your baby in a private hospital and keep a lid on the cost of private treatment. Because of waiting periods for pregnancy hospital cover, you’ll need to have hospital insurance with pregnancy cover in place at least 12 months before your baby is due.
You’ll also benefit from private health insurance if you want a private obstetrician or midwife monitoring you during your pregnancy. The benefit of this is you’ll see the same person for your check-ups in his or her consulting rooms. The alternative is a ‘shared care’ model of care as an out-patient at hospital or with the GP.
The choice of having your own obstetrician and continuity of care is one of the main advantages of private insurance during pregnancy. Many women feel more comfortable seeing the same person and knowing their pregnancy is being managed by a specialist.
You can’t choose your doctor in the public system. So it’s likely you’ll see a number of different doctors and midwives during the pregnancy. And there’s no guarantee any of them will be the one who delivers your baby.
How can you decide if private health insurance is right for your pregnancy? Here’s some questions to think about.
- Do you want to see the same specialist throughout the pregnancy?
- Do you have a specific hospital in mind for the delivery?
- Do you have a birth plan in mind?
- Do you want a private room in hospital?
- Do you have any health issues that could impact the pregnancy?
Talk to your partner and your friends who’ve had children. While everyone’s experience is different, it can help to seek the opinion of people you trust.
Finally, consider the period immediately after your baby is born. At a private hospital you’ll have 4-5 days to recover before you head home. That’s valuable time. Nurses caring for you and your baby while you get your strength back and get some all-important rest. Whereas public patients are usually discharged shortly after giving birth.
You can find out more and compare your health care options in the public and private systems in Your Pregnancy, Your Choice.
Becoming a parent is an exciting journey that never ends! We hope you enjoy every moment – including from the moment you learn you’re pregnant.