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  1. #1
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    Default Brisbane birthing options

    Hello all
    I'm currently living in the UK but husband and I were planning on moving to Brisbane (my hometown) at the end of the year. Our plans will have to be moved forward as we've just found out that I'm 5 weeks pregnant and due in November. Does this make it complicated if I have most of my antenatal care here in London and then fly home to Brisbane before 7 months to deliver there?

    I'm also trying to figure out where would be appropriate, my private health insurance here won't transfer so I'll have to go public. Am I right in thinking that RBWH and Mater Mother's are the main options but it depends on what side of the river you live?

    I've seen mention of the Royal Brisbane having a birthing centre but that it's done by ballot.

    I'll luckily be in Brisbane in a few weeks (when I'm 8-9 weeks pregnant) so would it be worth making an appointment somewhere?

    Sorry for all the questions, I have everything planned out for care here in London and I know Brisbane well but just haven't lived there in 8 years so don't know the best options. I'd appreciate any help from any wise mums or mums-to-be.

    Thanks x

  2. #2
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    I would book in to see a/your GP while you're here and asking for a referral to a hospital. Do you know where you'll be staying/living when you move back? Just get your GP to state on the referral that you're currently living in the U.K. But will be arriving back in Brisbane at approx X weeks gestation. They may be able to attend an antenatal booking in history via the phone while you're still in the U.K. Or just attend to it when you return to Brisbane. We will often get late referrals as people move interstate etc and there's usually not too many dramas. If you can, organise to have your full antenatal bloods and a dating scan (if you're wanting one) while you're here. If you're having scans/bloods done in the U.K. before you come over, ask your doctor there for a hard copy to give to your gp here. That way when they send your referral off they'll have all that information. Otherwise they'll just get you to repeat things like blood tests as they'll need documentation of certain things to satisfy Qld health requirements.

    In terms of options, yes RBWH and MMH are your main choices, depending on where you'll be living. In saying that, the catchments are pretty strict for both so if you're not in the catchment area you will likely be referred to another hospital (i.e. Redcliffe, Caboolture, Redlands, Logan, Ipswich, Gold Coast). If you're moving south side and out of catchment for the Mater, the Gold Coast university hospital is gaining a pretty good reputation for maternity. From what I've seen, most, if not all of their birth suites have birthing pools. They are also a tertiary level hospital like MMH and RBWH meaning if you or Bub need specialist care, they won't have to transfer you elsewhere. The RBWH does have a ballot system for their birth centre and it's done by random when you're roughly 12 weeks pregnant. I'm not sure how you'd go though given you won't be in the country for a lot of your pregnancy. What you could do is ask to be put on the waiting/cancellation list for the birth centre/MGP midwives wherever you end up if that's the sort of care you're looking for, as inevitably there will be people who become ineligible for that model of care throughout their pregnancy.

    Hope this helps!

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    Hi OP. Congrats on your pregnancy!

    Just about going public - are you still eligible for Medicare after being away for so long? I know there's a wait to get back on (requiring permanent residency for a time i think), so might be worthwhile investigating sooner rather than later.

    Good luck!

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    Good point @JustJaq. That didn't even cross my mind haha. If you're no longer eligible for Medicare OP you will require some kind of private insurance then to cover your costs to some extent. Otherwise you may end up having to self fund your pregnancy. I would get on to Medicare straight away. You should be able to do this from OS.

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    JustJaq  (16-03-2017)

  6. #5
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    Thank you both so much!! Very helpful. I hadn't thought about Medicare, I still have a current medicare card. I've been back home on average every 12 months, still pay taxes (on investments etc) and have active bank accounts etc so I would hope I would be fine.

    I assume we will be in the Toowong area so in RBWH catchment area. That's a good idea about trying to have a dating scan when we're in town. Will definitely look into that. I would try and ask Mum to organise something in advance but we're waiting to tell my parents in person when we arrive.

    Are either of you able to clarify the different options at RBWH?
    I've always thought I'd want quite a "medical based" pregnancy/birth, just because I work in a hospital and I thought I would feel more at home on a hospital ward than in a birthing pool. I'm beginning to realise there are benefits in both models of care though.

    I really appreciate your info. So excited to be moving home and this just makes it more of an adventure!

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    If you do want to go private you might be able to look at private health here and if you have served the same level of waiting periods ( even overseas) you might still be able to go private. However there is still considerable out lay.. so not sure if you want to but thats an option. We were able transfer out level but I am not sure on overseas cover but worth a shot.

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    Default Brisbane birthing options

    You can still be seen as a general public patient at the RBWH and go through the midwives clinic. You'll have the baby in the birthing suite as opposed to the birth centre and you'll have available to you all the options for pain relief (gas, narcotics, epidural etc). Once you deliver, you'll be admitted to the ward for a night or 2. If you were to go through the birth centre you're usually home within about 6hrs of having Bub.

    As a PP said, you may be able to transfer your PHI over and have your waiting periods waived if you've already served them. I know the RBWH do some kind of intermediate case where you can be a private patient in a public hospital post delivery. Not 100% on all the ins and outs though.

  9. #8
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    Thank you both, will have a better look into transferring PHI. I think because I get mine free as I work at a Bupa Hospital, when I leave I'll obviously give up that benefit. Going private would obviously be great and no problems having to pay the gap but I figured that probably won't be possible. Will look into it though.

    The RBWH Birthing Suite sounds great to me.

    Thank you all for your help!

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    JustJaq  (18-03-2017)

  11. #9
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    I have had a Bub at MMH and RBWH both public and I preferred RBWH I transferred there at 30 weeks due to a mishap with the team at MMH I was having reduced movement they told me all was fine but my gut told me different called the RBWH and they told me to come in 2 hours later at 30 weeks my baby was here and had a heart rate of 70 beats per min they said if I had not listened to my own body I would of lost my Bub.

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    CazJines  (20-03-2017)

  13. #10
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    Just as well you listened to your gut instinct! Glad everything worked out for you and bub. RBWH sounds great. Will hopefully be able to get the ball rolling when we're in Brisbane in a couple of weeks.


 

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