Should You Give Birth in a Public Hospital, Private Hospital, or at Home?

Posted on: 15 September 2015

Becoming pregnant with your first child is an incredibly exciting time in your life. You have 9 months of pregnancy ahead to nurture the growing child inside of you, and then you have the childbirth itself, which for many first time mothers, is an overwhelming prospect. You will absolutely want to make sure that you feel comfortable and looked after when it comes time to deliver the baby.

Along the way, there are many decisions to make, and where to deliver your baby is a decision you will have to make sooner or later. Here is some information to help you with your decision.

Why public hospitals?

Of course, the great benefit of choosing a public hospital birth is that the cost will be completely diminished, unlike a private hospital birth that you have to pay for. For many people on low fixed incomes, this means that public hospitals will be the only choice, but that is not to say they are a bad option at all.

A great thing about being located within a hospital is that if anything goes wrong, there is easy and direct access to the appropriate drugs and facilities to deal with an emergency. Of course, all midwifes and nurses will be thoroughly trained and qualified to give you the attention that you require, but you at least won't have to be relocated to use proper machines if worst comes to worst.

Why private hospitals?

When opting for a private instead of a public hospital, you can expect a different level of care. This means that instead of interacting with various midwifes and nurses from prenatal through to childbirth and the postnatal stages of pregnancy, many private hospitals give you the option to have a consistent care team who understand your individual pregnancy needs inside and out.

Something to note about childbirth in private hospitals is that if your payment options. If you currently have private health insurance, you should be able to have a private childbirth under the terms of the insurance plan, but if not, you will have to cover the whole cost yourself, and there will be additional costs for things like antenatal scans and classes.

You should also be aware that the rate of intervention tends to be higher at private hospitals, leading to a greater number of caesarean sections. In 2009, 28.4% of women in public hospitals had C-sections, whereas 42.5% of women in private hospitals had C-sections. This could sway your decision either way depending on your preference.

Why home births?

You don't have to go to a hospital at all for childbirth, and a home birth is a totally legitimate option. Reasons for choosing a home birth include being able to go through labour in a relaxed and familiar environment where you have more control about how you move around the surroundings, and a general experience of greater control over the childbirth.

Another advantage of opting for a home birth is that once your baby is born, you can also recuperate in familiar surroundings. In a hospital, staff may want to keep you on the ward for a few days when you really want to be back at home and getting on with life with your newborn. And, of course, visits by the midwife to your home following the birth can still be arranged.

Something to consider carefully about home birthing is that you should have stand-by transportation available to take you to the nearest hospital in the event of an emergency situation.

Hopefully this insight will help you decide which option works best for you and your baby. Be sure to contact various locations to learn more before making your final decision.