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Is it worth $6k?


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#1 yoohooyou

Posted 12 March 2014 - 10:50 AM

I had my other babies as a private patient and love the experience of the continuity of care with the doctor throughout the pg and the longer hospital stay, especially with the last babe who was chucking up from birth for two day and it was totally scary.

But, this time I am considering going public mostly to save the $6k it costs in management fees. I also in a really fortunate position where my gyno who was one of the leading OBs in Melbourne is happy to do shared care with me through my local public hospital, but he is no longer delivering babies.

Basically this means I'd see him all the way through but he wouldn't be at the birth, that would be handled by the hospital. Sounds great so far, but my local hospital has a mixed review and a four hour discharge unless I have a need to be in there longer. That seems too quick for me, especially if I've got a baby that is still trying to clear its stomach from the birth. I spoke to the booking in officer today and she said that wouldn't be a reason to stay longer, that should be handled by the nurse visits over the next few days at home.

So its really a what do you think? Shell our the cash or suck it up and save $6K? I'd love other peoples views who have done both public and private (but not a thread on which one is better, they are both excellent!)

#2 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:04 AM

A four hour discharge! Wow. That is quick.

I am really surprised by that policy.

Can someone more familiar with the system tell me if that is typical?

I went public with my second, but ended up having a caesar (kneeling breech) so I was in hospital for 3 nights, and even then it was me pushing for discharge (they were happy for me to stay another day/night).

Now I am wondering what will happen if I manage a VBAC this time around?

#3 Ireckon

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:04 AM

I had all 3 in a public hospital, I have never heard of a 4 hour discharge policy. I had to fight to get out after 24 hours for my second, and that was to see FIL who was dying from cancer.

What if your labour is 24 hrs long and you are exhausted? They are still going to send you packing once you reach your time limit? It just doesn't sound right .



#4 PrincessPeach

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:18 AM

I'm going private for a similar reason. However here it seems to be between 12 & 24 hours & then you are discharged. Even c-section patients seem to go home around the 48 hour point.


There are simply not enough beds available for you to stay unless you are critically ill. My co-worker was sent home before she was able to pee they were that busy. She then had to go back every day for them to re-assess her.

Got to love Qld Health deciding not to fund more staff, when they are desperately needed.

Edited by PrincessPeach, 12 March 2014 - 11:20 AM.


#5 Mondayitis

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:21 AM

It's all 4 hour discharge locally as far as I have heard. I know of a 22 yr old, very upset, but was basically told she must leave. She hadn't even had a sleep post birth.

#6 Beeeeeez

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:29 AM

Wow 4h! I'm going public as a private patient so understand concern about $6K, so far I haven't seen the benefit of it. I guess it all comes down to longer stay after birth and having Ob if things go pear shaped during delivery perhaps?

#7 c.sanders

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:37 AM

WOW! 4hours!!!

do you think you need to be in hospital for the baby to recover? if so, i would stay private...

but if you think you can manage the baby at home if they have similar issue and not be at hospital than you may be fine.

could you potentially hire a midwife or nurse post birth that could assist (post-birth) and than only have to pay a portion of that $6K?

#8 Just Another Cat

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:40 AM

I was going to come in and say that no, it's probably not worth $6000. But 4 hours is crazy, I've never heard of this before. Don't they at least wait till the baby has established BF?

I had both my babies through the public system and it was excellent. I was in hospital for two nights for the first and overnight for the second. Although I never felt like they were trying to kick me out. I also had my own room, as do most of the patients in the maternity ward. I guess I'm just lucky to have a great local hospital.

In your situation I would pay the $6000 and go private.


#9 blueone

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:41 AM

from my understanding and recent experience the '4 hour discharge policy' is the minimum amount of time you have to stay on the birthing ward after giving birth. After that time you are moved to the general maternity ward.

I was made to stay 4 hours in the birthing suite after giving birth. I discharged from the birthing suite at this point and went home rather than going to the general maternity wards where I would have had to share a room.

I doubt someone who has just given birth would be forced to leave hospital all together at 4 hours. but perhaps you would be forced to leave the birthing suite

#10 Feral timtam

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:52 AM

Where is this?

Ipswich hospital where I gave birth had the option of early discharge after 4 hours but most patients stayed in for between 8 hours and 3 days. I actually had to really push to get early discharge with my third and even then they asked that I stay in for a good 8 hours after the birth simply because I'd had complications after giving birth to my first two.

#11 Happy_daisy

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:53 AM

If I was in your situation, I would pay to go private. There is no way I could cope with recovering from the birth, establishing breastfeeding and all the hormonal upheavals in the first few days of having a newborn, along with managing my other children, making sure I was eating regularly and well, and generally fitting back into the household. I know from previous experience that I would be trying to do chores and help out rather than just resting and concentrating on the newborn. I really appreciated and needed the care, support, one-on-one time with my newborn and enforced rest I received in hospital.

#12 yoohooyou

Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:55 AM

I know it sounds crazy, which is why I questioned the midwife for 10 minutes on it! The hospital is just so busy that early discharge is the norm and then support for a few days at home (dom nurse visits daily) and it is only if you are not coping at all or there is something seriously wrong with the baby that it would be more than that. She said that four hours is the time established as it gives them a chance to do the paperwork and you to have a shower. :dry:

Even as a private patient in a public hospital I would get maybe an overnight stay, depending on their intakes. I can certainly understand why they do it, they have no choice and it is just so busy.

But I had real trouble BF last time and it took days for my milk to come in and had to formula feed for the first couple of days as he was starving hungry.

I am conflicted as I love my gyno, would love to be looked after by him right up until the birth, but hate the idea of the hospital. I keep coming back to the fact it is only a few days and for a couple of days you can put up with anything!

#13 kpingitquiet

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:11 PM

I think people are confusing minimums with maximums. Our public hospital has a 6hr minimum stay after a healthy vaginal birth. This is mostly there for experienced mamas who don't feel the need for extra hospital support, or people who want as little medical involvement as possible. Max for staying in the fancy birthing suite is 24 hrs (unless the suite is desperately needed) and if you wish to stay longer they move you into the maternity ward.

C/S in public I had to fill out copious waivers and whatnots to be released 31hrs post-op, at my request. 48hrs was their preferred minimum stay for surgical births and I was considered an early discharge.

#14 kpingitquiet

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:17 PM

explo: I'd speak to a different midwife, or the nursing director of the maternity unit, and compare answers. She may have been talking out her hind end.

#15 Mondayitis

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:21 PM

Yes, to me it sounds like it's the minimum time. But in the case i know, they just said they didn't have the beds, were too full to keep her, she'd had a straightforward dilivery and there was no reason, she couldn't go. They did send MW to check on her daily for a week or more I gather.
Stay till b/f? no way, that almost never happens anymore. Most are gone home long before milk comes in.

#16 lazycritter

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:23 PM

Does the hospital say 4hours in birthing suite then move up to the maternity ward?  I've been public in Vic with all my kids and I stayed two and then three nights with them.  
If there's a vaginal birth, you stay in the birthing suite until all cleaned up including a shower. Then you are moved to the ward.
Surely that's what the midwife meant? I would call and speak to a different midwife to clarify before you make any decisions.

Edited by lazycritter, 12 March 2014 - 12:24 PM.


#17 Mondayitis

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:25 PM

The woman I know gave birth around 2am and was home by 8am when I rang to find out if she was in labour yet.  She told me they said it was quite normal for women to be totally discharged between 4 and 12hours and there'd be no point finding her a bed elsewhere in the hospital.

#18 yoohooyou

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:43 PM

I can talk to a different midwife, but the booking in mid was quite clear - four hours and then home in most cases. I will double check with my dr and see what he says. It was the minimum and maximum stay. This is quite common in my area apparently. I was just really surprised as I am used to the private system.

And even in the private system they give you the option on day 2 to transfer to a hotel (which i never did) so I suppose it is not that different.

I did think though, on the money I save from the OB I could hire a cleaner, pay for a few more weeks of maternity leave and even a pre-baby holiday. Four hours is starting to look good!

#19 gemgirl

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:48 PM

I started my pregnancy as a private patient, then got offered continuity of care publicly (midwife) and took it. I was a high risk patient and got exceptional care. It's hard to compare as I was early pregnancy privately, but my midwife would spend 2 hours with me, while the OB would spend 10 mins with me. Because I was high risk, I got my "own" OB in the public hospital (though did have to see a couple of others. All were well briefed by my midwife, though).

I spent a week in hospital after the birth, and they even suggested I stay two weeks. I opted not to, because interstate visitors were coming. I ended up having daily midwife visits once I returned home. My private OB wouldn't have done that.

That said, if everything goes well they do send you home after 6 hours. But it's rare, to be honest. My SIL had a very easy birth and she spent the night in hospital. That said, I've known people bursting to get home and they are allowed.

If I did it again, I'd go public. I'd ensure I stayed in longer after the birth, but again I'd be high risk, so I'm sure that wouldn't be a problem.

Edited by gemgirl, 12 March 2014 - 12:49 PM.


#20 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:57 PM

I'm surprised how many people haven't heard of the 4 hours. It seems to be pretty normal these days for a healthy vaginal birth. Most people are definitely home within 24hours. Even c sections, a lot of people are out in around 48 hours.

I had 3 public births. They were fantastic. I wouldn't even consider forking out $6000

#21 tothebeach

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

If the 4 hour window is an issue because you don't want to go home to other children, then save the $6,000 and get a hotel room for 2 nights.

Personally, I hate hospitals with the bright lights the bad food and the noise and people waking you up all the time.   I left after 24 hours after my Caesar because I love my own bed and the peace of my own house.   However, a hotel would be a good second option.

#22 hodgepodge

Posted 12 March 2014 - 01:09 PM

To me the possible need for a one night stay in hospital would not be worth 6k.

With the second everything is less scary. I was bored in hospital with my second as he slept and I knew to leave him alone! I wanted to be home, in my own bed, with my own food and to actually nap when the baby sleeps.

If you are concerned about your first needing attention or the cleaning/washing needing to be done then ask grandparents/friends for babysitting and hire a cleaner.

#23 F.E.B.E

Posted 12 March 2014 - 01:32 PM

Two public births and stayed 5 nights (1st) and two nights (2nd).

The two night stay with one night in the birth centre and one on the ward was still considered early discharge.

I find 4 hours pretty extreme! Checking in to a hotel is a nice idea though.

$6k does seem excessive for a couple of nights in any case.

#24 yoohooyou

Posted 12 March 2014 - 02:12 PM

It's not my second child, its my third! I can easily farm the other two out to grandparents for a few days, I just find four hours extreme. With the others I hadn't even stopped vomiting from the epidural in that time. I'll have to check what the actual practice is with the Dr.
Even though this hospital is closer there is a chance I can get into a large tertiary hospital a bit further away and I'd be delighted with that arrangement as they have a min 2 night stay and a fabulous reputation.

#25 FluffyMcFluffins

Posted 12 March 2014 - 02:21 PM

I've left 4 hours after each of my deliveries, even then I was asking to go after 2 hours. I didn't feel like I needed to be there any longer, but they wouldn't discharge me before 4 hours.

I would never pay $6k for private care, but if a longer stay and a private room is important for you then go for it! Go with what ever makes you more comfortable.




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