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Am I endangering my chances of healthy baby by going public?

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#51 OutForLunch

Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:39 PM

I think you can only go with what your heart tells you to do, either will give you excellent care as we have some fantastic public hospitals in Australia. But if you're worried and something (god forbid) went wrong would you then blame yourself for not going private and think if you had then a problem wouldn't have occured?
I went private and it is very expensive which luckily I could afford but if I hadn't I know I would have received good care at the public hospital as friends have done.
All the best with your baby, fabulous times await you!

#52 Mis84

Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:44 PM

QUOTE (jules77 @ 16/06/2011, 08:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That is, unless you find yourself a private Ob like mine who believes in 'leaving women to be' in labour and therefore has a very low intervention rate wink.gif

He is somewhat of a rarity in his approach from what I gather though.

Mine too. He also is there from when you get to the hospital and deals with the whole labour, not just leaves the midwives to it. I don't understand why other Ob's don't do this when you go private!

#53 snowhite

Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:45 PM

Public system, especially when they have a midwifery led care, has better outcomes.

Sadly, private obstetrics is riddled with unnecessary intervention.

BTW - even with private OB there is no guarantee that they will be there for your labour. They do have days / weekends off when someone else is covering for them.

#54 Lu-Bell

Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:53 PM

I don't know your situation entirely so son't feel I can really advise you one way or the other. I have friends who have gone public and loved it.
DD1 I had a horrible horrible experience.
Went private next. Loved it. Supported throughout pregnancy, strangely this time high risk. Had baby in 3 hours, supported at all times throughout labour. Even though bub had the cord around her neck. 3rd stage was managed beautifully. My Ob really listened to my fears and respected me in regards to them about my previous labour. I even got to lift my baby once her shoulders were out-so basically I got to deliver my baby myself in the end.  wub.gif  The most amazing experience ever! special care nursery was magnificient and even released bubs to their mums rooms when able to. Got loads of classes and support after. Was not rushed out of hospital to release beds. And the nurses even came back to do their duties if they saw that I was just talking and cooing to my baby as it was important bonding time.
So for me it is private all the way.

I really feel that if you are already carrying concerns go with your instinct. It is important to find an Ob you trust and click with and who respects you. Good luck and in the end you will have a beautiful baby and that is what matters most.

Edited by Lu-Bell, 16 June 2011 - 11:03 PM.

#55 Feral Snow

Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:59 PM

I've had one privately and one public.  The public experience was vastly superior for me in terms of the respect and kindness with which I was treated, the assistance with breastfeeding, the atmosphere amongst the midwives - the private hospital seemed to mostly have agency midwives with only a couple who were actually on staff each shift.  They all had different advice and would contradict each other.  It was quite confusing.

However when I went public I did have a private midwife (I wanted "continuity of care" but was excluded from case-work midwifery due to being classified as high risk due to other medical conditions).  I didn't do the shared care program with the midwife or with my GP, so had all the appointments at the hospital.

When I contacted the public hospital at the beginning of my 2nd pregnancy to book in they were happy to see me at 6 weeks at my request because I needed to be referred to other specialists within the hospital for tests, medication changes etc.  Because I was going public I had chosen to have all aspects of my medical care managed through the hospital during my pregnancy instead of seeing other specialists elsewhere.

When I first got pregnant and had to find a new GP because mine had just gone on maternity leave, I specifically chose one who was a GP/obstetrician because I wanted one who was totally into the whole baby thing seeing as that was going to be a big part of the next few years of my life.  You can find a listing on the RANZCOG website of GPs with Dip Obst. although not all are listed so it's worth ringing around your local Medical Clinics and asking if they have any GPs with this interest.  I wanted one who was actively practising obstetrics now.

ETA: Public hospital allowed me to stay as a "boarder" while my baby was in special care nursery for 5 days, even though they were the busiest they'd been for the whole year that week - they'd had to open up an extra ward which had been being used as storage room previously and there was one mum with a baby in there and two of us with babies in special care.  When I wasn't feeling well one day they were very quick to call a doctor to come and check me even though I was no longer a hospital patient.

Edited by tuesday_nite, 16 June 2011 - 11:11 PM.

#56 peking homunculus

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:03 PM

I went to RPA. I have PHI and was able to book in as a private patient for my hospital stay but using public hospital medical staff. They made it so I paid no gap. Good for the hospital because they got some money from my PHI and good for me as I got a private room without the extra OB costs.

Its a good option if you have PHI

#57 soufgirl

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:03 PM

I went public for the birth of my first (and only so far) baby. It did not even cross my mind to consider going private. I had a first rate experience and will return to the same hospital for my next baby. I have never had a bad experience in a public hospital yet and have not seen a reason to go private, particularly for birth.

#58 canary2010

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:05 PM


At the end of the day, only you can make the decision. If you're feeling guilt about going public than maybe you already have your answer?

Personally, I would always go public, especially after the 'good' bad experience of my daughter's birth in a large public hospital. I had a perfect 'text book' pregnancy and an uneventful quick labour. However my daughter was born with severe problems that are difficult to detect in utero and was unable to breathe and was rushed to NICU where she spent the next month. I can't fault the care she and I received. Had she been born in a smaller facility she may not have made it. For this reason alone, I would now only consider birthing in the biggest and best equipped public hosptials, if only for the immediate access to highest level of NICU if something unforseen should happen again.

I wish you all the best for the rest of your pregnancy and birth!

Edited by canary2010, 16 June 2011 - 11:08 PM.

#59 Hodor55

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:06 PM

I had my 4 kids at 3 different public hospitals in Vic, and was happy with all 3.

Midwife care only, Family Birth Centres.  I had natural births, individual homely room to myself and for my partner to sleep over at 2 of the hospitals, breastfeeding support, friendly midwives, and I would go public again without hesitation if I had another (which I won't).

TBH I have never even considered that going public was endangering my chances of a healthy baby.  I just have a phobia about hospitals/doctors/operations generally, and so preferred the least invasive and most 'non-hospital-like' option.

#60 6plus2

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:09 PM

I can vouch for the public system when I used both for the birth of my twins. I spent a month on bed rest at royal north shore at st leonards and they were outstanding!

I had originally booked into North Shore Private, but they do not take babies under 34 weeks gestation which is why I firstly went to the public.

Then when I got to 34 weeks I was transfered and ended up having the twins there. It was NOT a good experience with the mid wives. They were terrible in every way and the wonderful public nurses were 1000 times better. The privates one were not attentive, did not believe me when I said I was in labour and I was left for 4 hours until my husband ended up calling our OB at 2am in the morning.

#61 Jobrielle

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:10 PM

What early diagnostics OP? Do private OBs really do a lot of extra tests? When I had my DD I had my pregnancy confirmed by blood (No actual numbers, just a yes you are pregnant), a dating scan requested by my GP at 8 weeks because I was not sure of dates, and that was it until the ante natal clinic picked me up. I didn't even have the 12 week scan because my doctor felt it wasn't needed given my risk (I was offered it if I wanted to pay for it privately but I declined). What extra stuff did you need until the clinic gets involved?

FWIW I went public with my DD, never even considered going private and could not have asked for a better experience. A lot of people have their babies completely in the public system, I don't think you are endangering your baby's health by going to a public hospital.

Edited by Jobrielle, 16 June 2011 - 11:13 PM.

#62 2_shoes

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:12 PM

QUOTE (Lu-Bell @ 16/06/2011, 10:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really feel that if you are already carrying concerns go with your instinct. It is important to find an Ob you trust and click with and who respects you. Good luck and in the end you will have a beautiful baby and that is what matters most.

Thanks for your sotry Lu Bell.

I gues because of stories like this I have those doubts. I realise that could be pot luck, and for all wonderful births there could be some that slip through the cracks.

I will go and see an OB next week and give myself a few days to think it over...

Thanks again to everyone who responded, so good to talk to someone...my husband simply tells me "whatever is right for you" but that's hardly helping...

#63 *~Luvmy3~*

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:17 PM

Wow i never realised that by delivering in a public hospital meant your child had a chance of being born unhealthy..... Here in perth the major womens hospital is public... i dont think birthing at a private hospital will increase anything health related with your baby.

IMO private is a good way to see your cash say goodbye with no guarantee of having a problem free birth or a sick baby.

#64 2_shoes

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:19 PM

QUOTE (Jobrielle @ 16/06/2011, 11:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What early diagnostics OP? Do private OBs really do a lot of extra tests? When I had my DD I had my pregnancy confirmed by blood (No actual numbers, just a yes you are pregnant), a dating scan requested by my GP at 8 weeks because I was not sure of dates, and that was it until the ante natal clinic picked me up. I didn't even have the 12 week scan because my doctor felt it wasn't needed given my risk (I was offered it if I wanted to pay for it privately but I declined). What extra stuff did you need until the clinic gets involved?

That's the test I want to do. I am 34 and I am definitily doing the 12 weeks ultrasound as well as the blood test that goes with it. Depending on the results, I might consider further testing. (Praying that I don't need to of course).


Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:20 PM

I haven't read all the responses, so I hope I'm not repeatng what someone else has said. If I had a risky pg, I would go public. Public is where NICU's and high dependency units hare. Most maternity public hospitals have an ICU if something unexpected happens to you. But I'm in Victoria, so I don't know if that is different.

The public system has much more experience with complicated pg's (teenage mums, drug addicts, complex illness, multiple births, deformities - the list goes on - these are not dealt with often, or at all, in the private sector). The private sector is dominated by healthy, wealthy parents (and I would have to include myself in that, but the only reason I could afford private was b/c of a staff discount) who tend to be more likely to litigate if anything goes wrong, hence one reason thye have a higher intervention rate. The other reason, and I know this to be true, as I work in the industry, private Dr's can intervene so that your baby arrives on their schedule - seriously!!!

If you don't care about rooms, food or fluff, go public. Good luck.

#66 crankybee

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:30 PM

Just had my very healthy baby at RNSH PUBLIC. best care, best experience! staff looked after me 100%, very cautious, had baby's well being in mind from day one.

Feel free to PM me!

#67 Bek&H

Posted 16 June 2011 - 11:33 PM

When i was pregnant with my son i was with Manly hospital until i was 34 weeks, i loved it there, the midwives we're all so lovely and supportive, however once i hit 34 weeks my GD went out of control and i had to be transferred to RNS and stay in hospital until i had my DS.

They we're fantastic! My son got stuck on the way down, they we're so supportive and explained everything, i felt completely at ease and confident within their care at all times. They got him out with no dramas, and took fantastic care of him in the nursery over night (he had trouble breathing so was on cpap).

Both my Son and i left the hospital happy & perfectly healthy, even though it was a complicated pregnancy & birth. I couldn't have asked for better care.

So yes, i'd definately recommend the public system.

Hope that helps original.gif

#68 tibs

Posted 17 June 2011 - 12:31 AM

I had to have c-secs both times so went private as I'd rather my chosen ob be cutting me open than a random registrar  unsure.gif

QUOTE (Oceans @ 16/06/2011, 08:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
"BeachedAsBro", if I went private in public, let's say RNSH, would the anaethetician/assistant surgeon fees be no gap? Or will I receive accounts from all attending doctors just like in a private hospital?

I went private in a private hospital and these were both no gap so the health fund covered the lot.  My ob's delivery fee(? for the c-sec) was also no gap and covered.  I guess this depends on your fund though - but in my case it cost me no more than going private in a public hospital would have.  And the private hospital is practically next door to the public with the NICU etc anyway.

Edited by tibs, 17 June 2011 - 01:06 AM.

#69 tibs

Posted 17 June 2011 - 12:48 AM

QUOTE (Oceans @ 16/06/2011, 10:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am not sure I agree that an OB is correct not to see a patient who is not sure what they will do in the end. First of all, people change their minds and change OBs. It happens as evident on this forum. Secondly, the OB I am going to see charges $200 for the first appointment and then $100 for subsequent one. Seeing me 2-3 times to refer me to tests, review them and give me a professional opinion is hardly going to send him broke? Even without the pregnancy management fee, the appointments alone would bring in around $1300 over the pregnancy if I continued. Some OBs charge that for the entire service (not in Sydney, obviously).

Plus, what about the Hippocrates Oath? The duty of care? I just want to see a specialist to do early diagnostics and make sure I get the results reviewed by a reputable doctor...like I said, I don't know any good GP I trust.

But the $5000 pregnancy management fee that they charge at 20 weeks or whenever actually covers managing the entire pregnancy, from week 8 through 40.  So by attending earlier appointments and ditching out before paying the fee you are freeloading.  Maybe it shouldn't be that way and they should charge $500 at each of the 10 or whatever appointments but due to the way medicare and the system works they don't.

#70 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 June 2011 - 01:06 AM

I preferred my private experiences. It is going to depend on what your predicted complications might be I feel.

I was a huge risk for GDM so I put strategies in place with which I felt comfortable to manage that scenario. For me this meant private OB so that I was not shuffled around from a midwifery care program to whoever happened to be there at the time. I wanted continuity of care as there was something like a 95% chance I would end up with an OB anyway. SO I chose the low intervention one I wanted at the starting blocks.

When I moved interstate and had to choose a new OB the best one worked out of a public hospital only and I hated the public accommodations. There is no one size fits all answer. Some women need OBs and if that is you, finding one you trust is your right. If you don't need one or your complication is prem births as it was for my niece then public is likely a better option.

#71 Tan72

Posted 17 June 2011 - 01:41 AM

I had DS & DD privately and due to my DD being completely undiagnosed with her considerable health problems at the private hospital we have chosen public with this bub.  I have to say that I am more than impressed with the care that we have received.  I have mostly seen the same midwife excpet for the times when she has been unwell.  The other midwives has been just as brilliant.  Also these are the women that will be attending bubs birth.  My Ob missed my DD's birth but still stung us $3500 for his fee!!!!

We have selected the public hospital across town from us as it has a NICU attached.  The private/public hospital 5mins down the road (where DS & DD were born) only has a SCN with Dr's in attendance when called in.  My DD had to be transferred to the hospital 30mins away and I couldn't go with her, as I was unwell from a difficult labour.  Broke my heart and I swore it would never happen again.

#72 cheekymonkeysmum

Posted 17 June 2011 - 01:47 AM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 16/06/2011, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That influenced my choice of hospitals too. My usual hospital is 15min away from the nearest NICU, so I chose the private hospital with a shared NICU instead.

That's actaully funny as the hospital which i birthed ds which was public was was great could not ask for anything better was the only hospital with a NICU as the private did not that did not influence my decision as i thought i had a healthy bub but he spent 2 wks in NICU and the nurse's doctor's pediatricians and midwives were great even after i stayed on ward for 2 wks as i was not leaving without my son (i was very scared of losing him as at stages there he almost did not make it though).

#73 R

Posted 17 June 2011 - 03:49 AM

If you have any complications during the birth, trust me, you are going to want to be at a large public hospital. Despite media scare mongering, they have the best staff, equipment and facilities to ensure the best outcome for you and your hub.

If you want to go private, that's your choice, but $5000+ for a hotel room is pretty steep if you ask me. I have private health but chose to go public because I could not justify the cost. I got my own private room and was assisted by a fantastic team of midwives. This did not cost me a cent. I have now had three healthy babies.

In this case, money does not necessarily equate to a better service.

#74 Sarie

Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:32 AM

I've had all 3 of mine public and will this time too. DS1 was stillborn due to placental abruption from my ongoing high BP, the hospital I had DD at looked after me very well, took no chances when at 33 weeks I went into labour and my BP went sky high, they had her out within the hour rather than risking another abruption. I was in a private room for 3 weeks after her birth, and another private room after having DS2, although not always the case but I know at the hospital I go to they always try to get Mothers in a single room if at all possible.

DS2 also choked and turned blue at a couple of days old, he was taken straight to SCN and given oxygen etc, and monitored for a few hours, they really were great and really on the ball.

This time I'm doing shared care with my GP and haven't yet been to the antenatal clinic, only to book in which was late happening so I haven't had to endure the long waits this time which has been great, I go in later this month for a risk assessment with the head OB, so yes, they really do know their stuff and take good care of you, I haven't at least had a bad experience, they were great in QLD after I lost DS1 too.

Good luck making your decision.


Edited by Sarie, 17 June 2011 - 05:34 AM.

#75 2_shoes

Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:12 AM

QUOTE (tibs @ 17/06/2011, 12:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But the $5000 pregnancy management fee that they charge at 20 weeks or whenever actually covers managing the entire pregnancy, from week 8 through 40.  So by attending earlier appointments and ditching out before paying the fee you are freeloading.

Oh for God's sake, freeloading? For some reason I am not going to feel guilty at all if I see an OB a few times and then decide not to continue.

According to your logic, every woman should stick with the first one she sees, always, just so the poor doctor does not miss out on full payment.

Some women I've heard see more than 2 OBs before finally deciding on the one they want.

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