You’re Pregnant! CONGRATULATIONS!
This is where the fun begins! Choosing your model of care and care providers for your pregnancy is one of the most important things you will ever do. It can be the difference between having a beautiful, supported birth or ending up dissatisfied and possibly traumatised by your birth experience.
Whilst in years to come you may not remember your care providers as such, you WILL remember how they made you feel. You must first decide on what sort of birth YOU want. Go for a tour, meet the caregivers, ask lots of questions and do your own research. Are they a good fit for YOU? Do they support the type of birth YOU want?
Remember, it’s YOUR right as the birthing woman to change providers at ANY time throughout your pregnancy, even when you are in labour!
With that said, below are your options in Perth;
If you have a low-risk pregnancy, you will be referred to the Public Hospital in your catchment area, you will see your GP who will refer you from about 20 weeks for appointments. You may not have the same midwife throughout your appointments – you will see whoever is on duty for that day and once you birth your baby, you could be home after 6 hours.
Public hospitals located in the Perth Metro area are linked below;
- Armadale Health Service
- Bentley Hospital
- Fiona Stanley Hospital
- Joondalup Health Campus
- King Edward Memorial Hospital
- Osborne Park Hospital
- St John of God Midland Public Hospital
Which Public Maternity Hospital will I be referred to? Click here
Cost for Birthing in a public hospital – free
“Birth is the beginning of life; the beginning of mothering, and of fathering. We all deserve a good beginning”
Dr Sarah Buckley – Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Family Birthing Centre – there are now two in Perth. The newly opened Fiona Stanley Hospital Family Birthing Centre and King Edward Memorial Birthing Centre. Birthing Centres offer a home-like setting, they promote upright/ mobile labour, they are equipped with a birthing pool, balls, and other tools to support you in labour. You will see the same group of midwives through your pregnancy so slight continuity of care is there. It’s available for low risk healthy pregnancies.
There are exclusions and spaces can be limited – these can be found here –
Cost for Birthing at Family Birthing Centre – free
“to change the world, we must first change the way babies are being born”
Michel Odent – French Obstetrician and Childbirth Specialist
Community Midwife Programme (CMP)
Birthing with CMP can mean either at home or a Birthing Centre. You apply with the CMP and will usually have an answer within a few weeks. You are allocated the same midwife from beginning to end so continuity of care is there. If for some reason your allocated midwife cannot attend your birth, they will have their back up in place which you more than likely would have already met. Plus more information can be found here. There is an inclusion criteria, please see here for more details. Cost of CMP – free
Independent Midwife (IM)
You engage the services of an Independent Midwife and birth in the comfort of your own home. This is a great option for women who have been excluded from the Community Midwifery Programme for various reasons. Some IM’s also have admission rights to certain hospitals so if you require a transfer, they can still be your caregiver.
Some Independent Midwives of Perth are linked here –
Cost for an Independent Midwife – $6,000 – $8,000 this includes all your pre-natal and some post-natal appointments. IN some instances, Medicare will cover some costs, but you would need to check with them.
Freebirth is gaining more popularity these days. Like a homebirth but with no medically trained personnel to assist. Trust in the process, trust in your ability to bring your baby earthside. There is a myth that “free birth” is illegal in Australia, however, that is not the case.
Cost to free birth – free
You can attend any private hospital you want to, no matter where you live, providing you have had Private Health Insurance for at least 12 months. You would usually choose your Obstetrician then see your GP for the referral for your chosen OB, and as long as they have availability in their calendar, you would then see them for all appts, they would send you for your scans which you pay for (a little is claimable from Medicare), you also pay their management fee at around 26 weeks which can range anywhere from $1,800 to $3,000.
Private Maternity Hospitals located in the Perth Metro area are linked below;
- Glengarry Private Hospital
- Joondalup Health Campus
- St John of God Mt Lawley
- St John of God Murdoch
- St John of God Subiaco
Cost for Birthing in a Private Hospital – $2,500 -$6,500
Engaging the support of a Doula could be the difference of a great birthing experience or a not so great one. Research has shown that birthing women who have Doulas are less likely to have interventions, they’re more relaxed and also have lower caesarean rates!
Doula’s are not medically trained, they are simply there to support the mother and birth partner. They will offer you information to make your own informed decisions. They are not there to replace the Midwives by any means. They will not conduct any medical procedures or give medical advice. They will purely be there for the mother and birth partner to make sure the mother is educated in all her options. They can also be a great means for debriefing your birth.
Cost for a Doula – $1,000-$2,500
“whenever and however you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life”
Ina May Gaskin
Whatever model of care you decide to go with, please remember you have choices. The care providers work for you, not the other way around! DO your research and if at any time you are not comfortable with what’s happening or being said to you, speak up, and/ or find a new care provider who supports you. You only get one chance at this birth. You want to remember it for all the right reasons, not the other way around.