Choose the right birth for you and your bud­get

Your Pregnancy - - Contents -

At some stage dur­ing your preg­nancy you have to de­cide where and how you’re go­ing to give birth. It’s im­por­tant to know what your op­tions are, em­pha­sises Heather Pieterse from Pre­to­ria-based Mid­wives-Ex­clu­sive, be­cause the type of birth you have is “largely de­pen­dent on the choice of care­giver and hos­pi­tal/fa­cil­ity you choose”.

Here’s a ba­sic guide­line of what to ex­pect: Most pri­vate hos­pi­tals of­fer vagi­nal births (with or with­out pain re­lief), elec­tive cae­sare­ans, non-elec­tive cae­sare­ans and emer­gency cae­sare­ans.

“The de­ci­sion on the spe­cific kind of birth for each pa­tient is al­ways based on a thor­ough med­i­cal history and ob­stet­ric mon­i­tor­ing by her doc­tor,” ex­plains Marinda Coet­zee, spokesper­son for Medi­clinic South Africa.

While Medi­clinic does not of­fer wa­ter births, other pri­vate hos­pi­tal groups such as Life Healthcare and Net­care of­fer this op­tion at se­lect hos­pi­tals. Pri­vate hos­pi­tals al­ways of­fer the op­tion of an epidu­ral. Other pain re­lief med­i­ca­tion, rang­ing from Entonox gas to

for you

The de­ci­sion on the kind of birth is al­ways based on a thor­ough med­i­cal history opi­ates such as pethi­dine, are usu­ally also avail­able on re­quest.

Not all pri­vate ma­ter­nity wards come equipped with TENS ma­chines as stan­dard, but you will be able to ei­ther rent one via the hos­pi­tal or bring your own. TENS stands for tran­scu­ta­neous elec­tri­cal nerve stim­u­la­tion – which sounds scary but is a non­in­va­sive, drug free method of con­trol­ling pain. The stan­dard prac­tice at pri­vate hos­pi­tals, ac­cord­ing to Marinda, is that your pri­mary care­giver will be your gy­nae­col­o­gist. “Pa­tients are care­fully mon­i­tored by a ded­i­cated mid­wife dur­ing the labour process but the gy­nae­col­o­gist will han­dle the birth,” she ex­plains.

Some pri­vate hos­pi­tals, how­ever, al­low mom to choose whether she would like her pri­mary care­giver to be a gy­nae­col­o­gist or a mid­wife. But re­mem­ber that even hos­pi­tals which al­low mid­wife-led births don’t al­low just any mid­wife: each hos­pi­tal gives a set num­ber of mid­wives “birthing rights” – the right to prac­tice at that hos­pi­tal. “So you would need to en­sure your cho­sen mid­wife

PAIN RE­LIEF OP­TIONS

CARE­GIVERS

PRI­VATE HOS­PI­TALS

BIRTH OP­TIONS

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