What I wish everyone knew before conception was their choices of care when pregnant.
In Australia we have free access to health care at the hospital, which is amazing! However, this may not be the best model of care for some women and families. In my experience this is the case for MOST people. But they didn't know anything else was out there or they were uneducated on the difference between all the different types of care.
I watched my brother and his partner go through this. I was educating them before they even conceived, but they didn't really think about it until they were pregnant. So when this exciting day came they did the norm-
- GP appointment to confirm pregnancy
- GP appointment to have dating ultrasound
- GP then sends your information to hospital (if you have a good GP they will request the MGP)
- Wait until 16-20 weeks before hospital will then start the appointments
This is already halfway through your pregnancy. Most women say they feel alone and isolated through these early stages. Unsure if things are normal, what to do, what to expect, what to eat, what to avoid etc.
By this time when starting to have the hospital appointments at 16-20 weeks, you realise you are seeing different midwives and doctors each appointment, having to retell your story to the practitioner in front of you. Some women may feel that this is not what they want and it could be too late to seek for a Private Midwife.
Private Midwives are midwives that work in the community. They will do all appointments in your home or at their clinic. You sign up to the 1 Midwife for the whole duration of your pregnancy (possibly birth and postnatal also). You create a trusting relationship with your midwife and this is considered the GOLD STANDARD OF CARE.
~ In fact, in New Zealand, this is their publicly funded standard of care; FREE ~
In Australia, unfortunately this is not the case. And Private Midwives are an out of pocket expense, with rebates through medicare.
When you know of this option of care early in your pregnancy or pre-conception, you can plan for this expense. I encourage families to do their 'shopping' of private midwives or other options of care before signing up to any form. There are many different options that you may not even be aware of yet. And being aware early can having you feeling set up and ready to choose and pay for this when the time is right.
I used to see many people unhappy with the system that is in Australia, and I assure you, there are other options when you choose to ask questions and look outside the box.
Please reach out if you want help to know your options and find your desired care option near you.