Jump to content

Tell me about your experiences at RPA


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 Fred82

Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:56 PM

I am interested in hearing about the experiences of any lovely EB ladies who gave birth at RPA. The recent thread about the experiences of public vs private reiterates that experiences vary hospital to hospital (or even at different times in the same hospital) but I’m interested to know how people found RPA, including the birth centre.

If you gave birth at the RPA, how did you find the care? What made you choose RPA? How long did you stay for? How did you find your prenatal care?

We live in inner Sydney (RPA catchment) but I’m yet to fully decide on whether to go public or private. Most of my friends have gone private (albeit in different areas of Sydney) and I’m hearing a lot that is worth it for a private room, 5 day stay and the continuity of care of an OB but I feel that they have a lot of negative perceptions about the public system that they haven’t experienced.

To get a balanced view, I would love to get some perspective on the experience within the RPA has been. I have PHI but with OB m’ment fees around $5k to $6k for our area, going private would be the equivalent of 2 months of mortgage payments (my yard stick for everything!) so it’s a big difference which may change mat leave plans etc..

Thanks Ladies



#2 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:01 PM

I went to RPA as a private patient (ie used an OB). For me, that worked really well. The birthing suites at RPA are pretty cool, big deep bath, lots of space, fit balls and mats and whatever else you want when you're in labour. The midwives I had when I was in labour were great too.

Things did go a bit pear-shaped after DD was born, but that turned out to be an undiagnosed illness. Most of the midwives on the ward were just lovely. I was in a bad way so stayed an extra day, no questions asked.

#3 theladybird

Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:20 PM

I went to RPA for both my babies (DD1 was failure to progress from Birth Centre and eventual ventouse delivery in Labour Ward, DD2 was an accidental home birth but placenta delivered at Birth Centre). I loved the relaxed, low key attitude to care given by Birth Centre. I had a private OB with DD1 who would have delivered her in the BC had they let me stay there. The birthing rooms are great and the tubs lovely.

Birth Centre pre-natal care seems to make sense but I didn't really form relationships with any of the midwives, it's luck of the draw whether you get someone you know on shift when you deliver... I've heard that at Royal Womens' you have more continuity with one carer?

Both times I found the maternity ward cold, noisy and pretty depressing with terrible food. Some midwives were awesome, some were not so much. Everyone seemed to have their own approach, on bfing for instance, I was shown at least three "right" ways. I was very keen to get out of there. Having since heard of the hotel at Royal Womens and the new-parent catering at North Shore Private, I feel RPA is definitely the budget option!

But I got 2 healthy babies out of it - that's the main thing right?

#4 Krio

Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:24 PM

I went through the birth centre at RPA. The midwives there are fantastic. Due to some health issues, I had to transfer to the labour ward as I ended up having an elective caesarean. I spent 24 hours on bed rest in the prenatal ward prior. All of the doctors and midwives were wonderful.

While I was a public patient, I used my private health insurance for a private room up on the private post natal ward (I think it may have been either level 5 or 8). The hospital waives the gap fee if you do this and you have the reassurance of a private room. I stayed in 5 nights after DS2 was born. The rooms may not be as fancy as some of the private hospitals but I had a view of the city, complete with fireworks on the night DS2 was born, so it wasn't too unbearable  wink.gif

Edited by Kya, 10 July 2013 - 08:25 PM.


#5 2puzzled

Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:57 PM

I haven't given birth yet but am going public hospital at RPA and through the midwifery group practice/ caseload midwifery program. My allocated midwife has visited me at home and tomorrow night I will meet all 4 of the caseload mudwives. It means I will know them all if my allocated mw is not available when I go into labour. Has been great so far. I have booked a private room if it is available using my phi and the excess is waived, as a PP has said.

#6 mumz3

Posted 10 July 2013 - 09:07 PM

I didnt give birth at RPA,But i spent 2 weeks there on bedrest with a few trips to labour and delivery aswell.

The Nurses, midwives and doctors are fantastic. I was a difficult case and the compassion that the staff showed was second to none.

I ended up being transferred to Liverpool 2 days before giving birth to my premature son and i wish i never left.

#7 Mozzie1

Posted 10 July 2013 - 09:14 PM

I had a horrible time there. My pre natal care was excellent, but my induction, emergency c/s and post natal care were terrible. Staff were too busy to answer my questions, I had to share a room post c/s which meant DH went home, and the midwives were too busy to pass my DD to me for feeds. I ended up dng it myself, which is pretty dangerous 1 day post Caesar.

I felt really traumatised by my birth, which may have happened anyway, but wasn't helped by the hospital being understaffed.

#8 Strawberry freddo

Posted 10 July 2013 - 09:26 PM

I didn't end up giving birth at RPA, but was booked in with the birth centre in 2011 doing shared care with my local GP. Unlike the other posters, I didn't like it at all - we saw a different midwife each appointment, which was to be expected, however every single visit was incredibly rushed and impersonal, on one visit the midwife was literally kicking us out the door whilst we were still asking questions we had written down before the appointment (saying something along the lines of "is that your shopping list? It's very long"). At my 39 week appointment the midwife declared that she couldn't find my baby's head and sent me to the ultrasound department without telling me it was to check for breech presentation (I was just concerned that my baby didn't seem to have a head! How naive I was) and when I returned to the birth centre with confirmation that the baby was breech, and quite upset about it, they shrugged their shoulders and said that I could no longer attend the birth centre, that I would have to attempt an ECV through the labour ward obstetricians and if that failed I'd "have to" have an elective c-section. I left in tears, not that they seemed to care.

Very disappointing. I then changed hospitals at 39 weeks and was very happy I did so! I wouldn't recommend the RPA birth centre to anyone I cared about.

#9 Schnecke

Posted 10 July 2013 - 10:06 PM

QUOTE (Kya @ 10/07/2013, 08:24 PM)
15663142[/url]']
While I was a public patient, I used my private health insurance for a private room up on the private post natal ward (I think it may have been either level 5 or 8). The hospital waives the gap fee if you do this and you have the reassurance of a private room. I stayed in 5 nights after dd2 was born. The rooms may not be as fancy as some of the private hospitals but ...


that was me. public patient in privat ward. no exta $$.
had a bad experience with dd1. hopital appointments during pregnancy were not the best, different doctors every time, all with different ideas. long waiting times. grumpy nurses.had a planed c/s (breech). that was all great until pain relief after did not work and no one picked up on it. could nt move for 3days cos of too much pain. than got a routine check up by a dr and she changed pain meds and within 30 min i could get up. biiiig stuff up!!! also had trouble breastfeeding and didn't get much help there. nurse forced dd on breast, made me so upset. also had to pump, but no oe told me to get pump myself and bring t back ... not that i coud have moved ... and got in trouble for not returning it. not much help, conflicting advise, understaffed, unfriendly nurses. plus i wasfirst time mum not knowing what to expect and very naive.nurses took forever to come. shared room with a screaming bub and a mum that had 100s of visitors. not a happy experience
wouldn't have repeated it if it wasn't for the extra $$$ privat woud have costed.

dd2 was shared care again (seemed much better, maybe cos i knew what to expect and was less naive!!). another c/s, but this time as private in public. got dd2 straight away to cuddle (after weighing etc) skin to skin (while been worked on). i fed her before going to my room - with me in recovery. (was a trial and i was lucky). nurses very nice, friendly and helpful on ward, same nurses most days. they indroduced the night shift etc to me. all very relaxed. was moving as soon as catheter went out. stayed 5 days as it felt lik a holiday (also had an easy baby and a toddler at home).
in the end i have 2 healthy children, don't think much about the way my hospital stays went and who knows if a private hospital/ob would have made the experience/memory any different/better.

#10 libertybird

Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:54 PM

I birthed my first child at the birth centre at RPA. It was in 2007 so things may have changed, but my experience was really good.
I did shared care with my GP and so half my appointments were with my GP, the other half with the midwives, and yes a different one each time, but towards the end of pregnancy you're visiting so often you often get the same person anyway. Maybe having shared care meant that I got to ask my GP everything I needed to and so the midwives were just checking everything was going ok.
In labour I had a doula as well as my partner and I think that also helped to make me feel supported, but the women who attended and helped with the birthing itself were great, especially the midwife who walked in just before second stage and guided me through to the end of it.
As everything went smoothly I tried to get an early discharge (baby had been born just before midnight) but they wouldn't let me leave until I had attended the intro to breastfeeding up in the labour ward the following morning after 9am, and to be honest the sense I got from the labour ward was that it was an entirely different environment from the BC: busy, to the point of feeling a bit chaotic? and so maybe it doesn't always provide that supported quiet environment you're looking for when birthing and in the early stages with new bub.
But its about medical care too of course and I cant really comment on the care or care-givers in labour ward. However, all other areas of that hospital have in my experience been exceptional- my dad suffered numerous health problems throughout the later years of his life and the care he received at RPA was impeccable. Also my son was very sick at 3 months and went through RPA and we were all treated better than I could have hoped. I would trust them under any circumstances on the basis of that.
Best of luck making your decision

#11 epl0822

Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:11 PM

I heard positive feedback about RPA from friends and colleagues before giving birth, and I can see why.

I went as a public patient at RPA. I can't think of any fault with the birth process. They were completely professional and caring. If anything, I felt like they were being overly cautious - which is a good thing when it comes to you and baby's health! The birthing rooms are private and spacious and there is a bath tub for water birth if that's your preference.

My postnatal stay was a different story, however. I lost it after sharing a room with a different woman each night. If I had to stay another night there I think I might have escaped through the window.

Having said this, it wasn't a major issue with RPA itself. I had trouble breastfeeding so the midwives insisted I stay longer. I was only discharged because I was going crazy with sleep deprivation and insisted on going home. When I pressed for a midwife to come, they came within a reasonable (although not quick) time frame. Food is typical hospital food quality; my DH got me takeaways. Most midwives were generally friendly. If I could do my first birth again I would go as a public patient and just pay for a private room myself.

Don't forget if you're a private patient, you're not just paying $5-6k for the pregnancy management fee. You are also shouldering costs for prenatal scans, tests, check ups, as well as additional fees for an anaesthetist or paediatrician should you require their services. So the fee could easily reach a high 4 digit figure.

#12 deenydoo

Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:16 PM

i went to birth centre at rpa in november, if i have another baby it will be at a private hospital with an ob mellow.gif

#13 StopTheGoats

Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:23 PM

I had my prenatal care and labour through the birth centre as a public patient and was transferred to the birthing ward for a vacuum extraction when my son went into distress. I then checked in to the post natal ward as a private patient. I had an excellent experience.

My prenatal care was fantastic and I never had to wait more than 15 minutes for an appt, although I did think that the Birth Centre let their philosophy get in the way of their judgement when I went post dates. If I go post dates again this time I've already said I'll transfer to the obstetrics program. The birth centre is best reserved for uncomplicated pregnancies.

The birthing rooms are modern, spacious, comfortable and high tech. They are basically identical at the birth centre and the birthing ward although the birth centre has nice, fully enclosed private courtyards you can wander about in. Both have big deep tubs you're able to birth in, big showers and double beds.

I'd encourage you to check into the post natal ward as a private patient. The hospital gets a nice payout from your PHI and most of the time you get a private room (mine was huge and had a fold out couch that my husband slept in). I stayed for 6 days and found it like a lovely safe little cocoon. I was supposed to stay for 4 but my milk took ages to come in. The midwives were helpful and the staff to patient ratio was good.

All I paid for was the parking.

I'm going through RPA again for this baby. I'm saving the $6k obstetrics fee plus the rest of the out of pocket expenses though we could easily afford it.

Edited by StopTheGoats, 12 July 2013 - 08:26 PM.


#14 F.E.B.E

Posted 12 July 2013 - 10:02 PM

I went pubic at RPA with baby #2, through the birth centre. Prenatal care was adequate although I did see quite a few different midwives, none of whom were on when I went in to labour.

Labour and birth (in the bath) was great and I had a fab midwife for the delivery. I was left alone pretty most of the entire labour though so some women may not like that for #1 (my husband was there for support).

I stayed the first night in the birth centre which was blissful but my night on the ward was not. I shared with a woman who'd had a c/section and was in a lot of pain with a very unsettled baby. The midwives did seem very busy the night I was there and there were room buzzers going off constantly.

Paying the extra for a private room might be the way to go.

#15 Fred82

Posted 12 July 2013 - 10:33 PM

Thanks for all the replies, super helpful to hear of other's experiences, it's definitely making me consider RPA more seriously. I'd always assumed that I would go private until i started looking into options and started to get very confused... For anyone who has done shared care, how often do you actually see a midwife vs your GP?

I've heard the birth centre books really quickly though so I might see if I can do a tour or similar so I've made a decision for when I get a sticky BFP.

And yes, using PHI for a private room sounds like the way to go, I may as well get some use of it from the last 2 years of premiums.

Edited by NotAnotherCupcake, 12 July 2013 - 10:39 PM.


#16 porkchop's mama

Posted 13 July 2013 - 02:48 PM

I was a private patient at RPA and had a great experience. Had a single room. Bubs was a 24 hour feeder and screamer and the midwives on all shifts were really supportive. Birth suite as fine.  Great staff.

I was out of area and the staff took extra care to make sure I was linked up with the appropriate area ECHC.  

It was easy to get referred for the Paed check up on the ward. My obs referred and bubs was seen without delay.

RPA have the policy of babies rooming with mum.  Some places do take babies for the night if you want.

And RPA is just down the road for my fave cafe in Newtown :-P

HTH

#17 sophiasmum

Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:18 PM

I will preface by saying this was nearly 5 yrs ago!

I had all my babies at RPA as public patient, 2 at the birth centre & 1 at the labour ward. All experiences with staff fantastic. But I have never stayed longer than 3 nights, usually less. Birth centre room was to ourselves, but post natal ward shared with 1 other mum & bub.

#18 StopTheGoats

Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:48 PM

QUOTE (NotAnotherCupcake @ 12/07/2013, 10:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for all the replies, super helpful to hear of other's experiences, it's definitely making me consider RPA more seriously. I'd always assumed that I would go private until i started looking into options and started to get very confused... For anyone who has done shared care, how often do you actually see a midwife vs your GP?

I've heard the birth centre books really quickly though so I might see if I can do a tour or similar so I've made a decision for when I get a sticky BFP.

And yes, using PHI for a private room sounds like the way to go, I may as well get some use of it from the last 2 years of premiums.

You see your GP until 4 months and then you have your appts pretty evenly spaced one for one until your last trimester when its almost excludively Birth Centre appointments. In the last 6 weeks (I think) you go in weekly to the Birth Centre. The Birth Centre will do a few info sessions and classes throughout your pregnancy. You'll get a shared care protocol sheet at your first GP appt with all the appointment dates and details. Make sure your GP is part of the shared care program.
Here is a bit of extra info: http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au/rpa/womenandb...BirthCentre.pdf
You'll need to book into the BC almost as soon as you fall pregnant if you want to have a chance at getting in. You can always cancel if you change your mind.




#19 Subbie

Posted 23 July 2013 - 05:19 PM

I had both babies at rpa in 2009/2012...great exp for me original.gif loved it. So much that I am prepared to pay private fees to go there again at 5k this year with my third bub in oct.

I had private rooms w/ both babies on level 8, big rooms...the post natal care was fantastic. I had a vag delivery first bub, second was breech so csec. The great thing with rpa was with the csec they allowed skin to skin and bub could come into recovery, many syd hospitals dont allow this in their policies so it made my csec experience special.

ive had all my friends go their both private and public, and all positive.

Just remember there will always be someone that has good and bad stories IMO, however RPA does have newish facilities, top level 5 hospital NICU is there so all the facilities are there if needed.

#20 clrw

Posted 23 July 2013 - 07:24 PM

DS was born at RPA. We went through the birth centre. Loved the prenatal care. The appointments always ran on time. Experience on the big day in the birth centre was awesome.

Got transferred to the labour ward and had a great midwife who made sure as much of our birth plan could still happen as possible.

Used private health to book a private room with no gap. Room was great and I could stay as well.

Using the birth centre again this time. Feel so relaxed about everything as I know their philosophy totally aligns to what I want!! Appointments have all run on time to date.

I would have been heartbroken if I have had to go to a different hospital.

#21 kitten mittens

Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:45 PM

OK, this may be a stupid question but I've got no experience with having babies and not too much with health insurance companies, so just remember that when you reply!

For all the ladies who said they used PHI to book a private room, do you mean that you used your general PHI? Or did you still require the extra cover they normally make you pay that covers for example "pregnancy and birth"?

Hubby and I are planning to start trying for our first next year and are looking at whether to increase our current health insurance or not. I'm totally happy to go through the public system in terms of OB and medical staff, but the private room after giving birth really appeals to me.

#22 queeniebird

Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:41 PM

View PostStrawberry freddo, on 10 July 2013 - 09:26 PM, said:

I didn't end up giving birth at RPA, but was booked in with the birth centre in 2011 doing shared care with my local GP. Unlike the other posters, I didn't like it at all - we saw a different midwife each appointment, which was to be expected, however every single visit was incredibly rushed and impersonal, on one visit the midwife was literally kicking us out the door whilst we were still asking questions we had written down before the appointment (saying something along the lines of "is that your shopping list? It's very long"). At my 39 week appointment the midwife declared that she couldn't find my baby's head and sent me to the ultrasound department without telling me it was to check for breech presentation (I was just concerned that my baby didn't seem to have a head! How naive I was) and when I returned to the birth centre with confirmation that the baby was breech, and quite upset about it, they shrugged their shoulders and said that I could no longer attend the birth centre, that I would have to attempt an ECV through the labour ward obstetricians and if that failed I'd "have to" have an elective c-section. I left in tears, not that they seemed to care.

Very disappointing. I then changed hospitals at 39 weeks and was very happy I did so! I wouldn't recommend the RPA birth centre to anyone I cared about.


I hated it too and swapped at 38 weeks. I found it impersonal, cold and the staff rude and nasty.

#23 babysummer

Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:04 PM

Im booked into the birth centre in Jan2014 at RPA. Ive only had one appointment and it felt pretty cold and rushed.

It really concerns me that with something so important as having a child, that the maternity care here is really impersonal.

I want to have a water birth so i was referred to the birth centre however the midwives I did  seedid  not had time to answer any questions so i do not know anything about my birthing options there.

With 8 weeks to go I am freaking out!

#24 Jersey Caramel

Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:51 PM

babysummer - that's strange, because I am going through the birth centre for the third time at the moment and the thing I like about it is it doesn't ever feel rushed for me. There's not much to go through at each appointment so it can be done in 10 minutes, but if I have any questions they have always been happy to spend the time chatting.

Hopefully it was just a one off bad appointment with a rushed or distracted midwife.

I will say that with my first, I don't think I realised that the birth centre is quite hands off, and so you are left to your own devices (with your partner) during labour a lot. They are there to help you if you need it or ask for it, but if you don't then they will assume you're going OK alone. Just something worth being prepared for :). If I was having my first again, I think I'd hire a doula to be with me constantly.

#25 babysummer

Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:07 PM

View PostJersey Caramel, on 06 November 2013 - 03:51 PM, said:

babysummer - that's strange, because I am going through the birth centre for the third time at the moment and the thing I like about it is it doesn't ever feel rushed for me. There's not much to go through at each appointment so it can be done in 10 minutes, but if I have any questions they have always been happy to spend the time chatting.

Hopefully it was just a one off bad appointment with a rushed or distracted midwife.

I will say that with my first, I don't think I realised that the birth centre is quite hands off, and so you are left to your own devices (with your partner) during labour a lot. They are there to help you if you need it or ask for it, but if you don't then they will assume you're going OK alone. Just something worth being prepared for :). If I was having my first again, I think I'd hire a doula to be with me constantly.

Thanks Jersey Carmel

Hopefully it was just a one off, I start regular visits from tomorrow. This has just been a different experience for me. This is my second child in 13 years, my 1st baby was born in NZ where i had my maternity doctor and got a list of midwives to choose from, I found the perfect midwife who stayed with me through out the whole pregnancy and both my doctor and midwife were at the birth.

I would only visit my doctor when needed and midwives only did home visits so you wouldnt need to travel so much, my midwife even picked me up to go to hospital for the birth. I felt really close and comfortable with both my doctor and midwife and their was a sense of trust and I knew 100% i was in good hands & safe.

So to go from seeing any midwife who is on duty has just been a bit odd for me, I feel a bit lost in the process of it all, but hopefully again all goes well tomorrow, I have all my questions ready & am looking forward to it!!

Edited by babysummer, 06 November 2013 - 05:26 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 
 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Viewed Articles

 
Advertisement
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.