There are many options when having a baby for your maternity care, how did you arrive at your decision to hire a private midwife?
My partner and I have private health insurance and I assumed I would birth in a private hospital. It wasn't until I became pregnant that I discovered that to birth in a private hospital you have to be under the care of a obstetrician. That wasn't the path I wanted to go on, I was also a low risk pregnancy so I started looking into what else was available. When I heard about private midwives I knew that felt right for me. Some of the reasons that contributed, were private midwives low intervention rates, building a relationship with a midwife over the pregnancy and having that trusted support during pregnancy, birth and 6 weeks post birth.
Can you describe the care you received and what it practically encompassed?
I began seeing my midwife when I was around 14 weeks pregnant in her clinic My Own Midwife at Burleigh on the Gold Coast. My local GP had done a blood test to confirm I was pregnant and ordered an ultrasound to check dates, so I took them with me to the first meeting. The first appointment was all the information about what care I would receive and the out of pocket costs of having a private midwife, almost all appointments have medicare rebates. From then onwards I saw my midwife once a month, where we would have discussions about preparing for birth, my diet, how I was feeling, caring for a newborn, breastfeeding, having a toddler and a newborn etc. She ordered ultrasounds and blood tests as required, and checked my blood pressure, and the foetal heartbeat and growth etc. There was no need to see any other carer during my pregnancy. Later in my pregnancy I saw my midwife fortnightly then towards the end, weekly. The same midwife I saw all through my pregnancy was my birthing midwife at the Gold Coast University Hospital in the birth centre. Then after the birth she came for 4 home visits for the first week to our home in Pottsville. Then we saw her once a week in her clinic until 6 weeks post birth.
A lot of people may think that having a private midwife means your planning to birth at home, what was your experience of having a private midwife?
I gave birth in a hospital with a private midwife who I had developed a relationship with and felt comfortable with which felt the most supportive option for me.
What were the benefits of having a private midwife?
The benefits for me were that over time, you develop a relationship with your midwife, they get a feel for you and how you want your birth to go. For me I didn't have a set plan of what I wanted to happen, it was trusting myself and whatever felt right at the time and being supported in that. Over the pregnancy if I had questions or any symptoms that came up I would text or call my midwife. Mostly for me in both my pregnancies the main benefit was feeling supported and heard.
Were there any down sides to this type of care?
There weren't any down sides for me.
Marcella, pictured above with daughter Audrey, 7 weeks old.
What was the stand-out quality from having a private midwife for you and your family?
We had someone that knew us. To arrive at the hospital in labor and know who was going to meet me there. took away some anxiety I felt about giving birth to my first baby.
Having your own midwife to discuss medical information as well as how you are feeling about pregnancy, birth and having a baby, and everything else in between were the distinguishing qualities.
Interested in finding out where to find a private midwife that works in partnership with a hospital?
Deeply Nurturing Blog
The Deeply Nurturing Blog serves as an online magazine, full of articles, interviews and stories relating to pre-conception, pregnancy, birth, caring for babies, transitions, raising children, relationships and women's health. By and about everyday women who are inspiring by their simple everyday choices in taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing.