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  1. #1
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    Default Birth locations - How far would you travel? How do I choose?



    My Dr has said that it is time to start thinking about where I might want to have my baby. As it will be my first, I am a little unsure about how this all works!

    I have private health cover (inc Maternity services).

    From what my Dr says, I have 3 realistic options for the birth.... I haven't called any of them, and as I am new-ish to the area (moved from city), I haven't been into any of the Hospitals so I don't really know what to expect

    I'll summarise below... well the little info I know so far!

    Option 1: Hamilton Base Hospital. Closest at around 70kms away. Public hospital. I can also be treated as a private patient here, but I have heard that there is little difference. No idea how to find out who their ob is? Or whether they even have a full time ob on site! Around 200 - 250 babies are born here per year. My Dr suggests that this may be my best bet if I want to take advantage of my health cover.... but I have read an unhappy mother's account of her birth here.

    Option 2: Mount Gambier & District Health Services. Next closest at 85 kms away, and is interstate. Public Hospital with about 80 public beds and 20 private beds. Has level 2 Obstetrics (whatever that means!) and a neonatal nursery. I've done the least amount of research on this one!

    Option 3: Warrnambool Base Hospital. Furthest away at around 100 odd kms.... but based on internet research alone, it seems to be my preferred option. From what I have heard, They do not offer private services for maternity patients though. Seems like a nice new hospital and over 700 babies are born there each year.

    How do I really choose? Do I need to book in to go and have a look at them? That's a few days travelling around I'd have to do, as they are all in different directions!

    Do I even worry about private care? Is it that big of a deal? (Although I'd like to get some value out of my health insurance!)

    Is 100kms too far to travel in labour? Haha, I can just imagine my hubby's horror if I gave birth beside a road. I think he'd die of shock!

    First ultrasound is tomorrow so once I finally get to see that everything is OK, I think it's time I begin to start some sort of planning!

  2. #2
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    What's the roads like? at 100km/h on a highway its an extra 18 minutes from Hospital A to Hospital C.

    Worst case scenario you call an ambulance.

    Also if you look hard enough there will be a horror story to find about every hospital in Australia.

  3. #3
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    Hamilton gets very good reviews from my friends. I can find out the name of ob's for you if you like.

  4. #4
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    I'm booked into Warrnambool (currently 24 weeks) and they don't do tours as such they said. Though apparently you can just pop into the ward and have a look if its not too busy.
    I'm now looking at having a homebirth though, so don't think I'll ever see the maternity ward.

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  5. #5
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    How far from Portland are you? Just to throw another option in for you.
    I have heard good things about Portland hospitals maternity care.

    Sent from my U8860 using The Bub Hub mobile app

  6. #6
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    Are there any private midwives in your area? They come to you, and you don't have to travel anywhere in labour. win win.

  7. #7
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    Hi
    I had my son in Mt Gambier in may last year and found it a really different experience to my first birth in Adelaide.
    They have eight rooms two are private single rooms the other six
    are double rooms.
    Partners can only stay if you are private. We had to travel 80 odd kms as our local hospital didn't birth before 36 weeks so made a long haul for my husband to drive daily to visit.
    I'll tell you the good and bad points as I saw them.
    Good
    The midwives were fantastic much better then Adelaide
    I had a premmie and was there for over two weeks and even after I was discharged I got to stay as a boarder to be with my son.
    The paed doctor was really good.
    Bad
    I wasn't overly happy with my delivery but as he was born at 35 weeks I figured it best to trust the doctors. (I wanted a vbac but they were very against it)
    My husband had to go home daily.
    They had a really strange rule that babies were only allowed out of your room in there cot you couldn't carry them you even had to take there bed to bath them.(don't know if this is a new rule but when I had dd we carried her around especially to settle at night so you didn't wake other babies)

    I would definetly research all the hospitals particularly if you want your partner to stay as driving daily that distance can be very tiring and dangerous especially at night with wildlife.
    Hope that helps but if you go to the mount I would definetly go private as the rooms were much nicer and even though the midwives tried hard to keep me from rooming with other people I did have to share a couple of times and you don't get much sleep or privacy.



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  8. #8
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    I had my son in mt gambier last year. As far as the midwives go, I couldn't fault them. I hated my dr (but I already hated him prior to him being my dr, but due to complications I had no choice). It was crazy busy when I was in, every bed was in use, but from what I was told that's not the norm. If it's busy like it was when I was there then their is no guarantee you would get one of he private rooms anyway.

    With regards to the babies in cot rule, I had that when I had my first 11 years prior in a different state, it's simply a safety thing, they don't want mums to trip and fall while holding baby. That said, the midwives didn't really care what I did in my room, as long as I followed the rules outside (I was co sleeping a fair bit, they just kept sticking their head in and checking he was ok)

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the input & sharing your experiences. Hearing your first hand experiences is reassuring.

    trustno1: I'm about 40 odd kms from Portland. My Dr has suggested I don't use Portland... but I think he has something against the hospital!

    Another thing I should note: I have no reason to believe that I'll be a high risk case... but in the event that something goes wrong, I'd like to avoid being flown to Adelaide or Melbourne. Not sure if that impacts on which Hospital to choose?

    I think I will have to make a few phone calls & trips to have a look at the hospitals. I'm pretty relaxed about the whole scenario, so I'll also ask my hubby how he feels about it all. As some of you have raised, he is the one who will have to travel back & forth!

  10. #10
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    My SIL is due in Apr and lives between warnambool and Hamilton. She is going to W'bool as she has heard too many horror stories from Hamilton. One of the OBs there is Caesar happy.

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