After church today, we invited the Kirkies over to our place, got them to Mother-Sit for us, and then literally slipped out the back door for our secret tour of the Calvary Hospital.

Apparently, every Sunday at 2.30pm, Calvary Hospital holds a tour of the public maternity ward and facilities. The tour for private health services starts at 3.00pm. Among the throng of tracky dacks-clad preggos (seriously, there was only one other woman wearing respectable jeans, and she spent heaps of time in England, so didn’t count), we opted for both tours. Didn’t learn that much about the differences between private and public healthcare, but did get a flash-forward to month 6 of our baby journey and tried to picture myself similarly garbed.

Call me UnAustralian, but – no.

I digress. As far as I can tell, these are the only differences between public and private hospital care.

Public: You get looked after by an assortment of midwives along the way.
Private: You stick to one obstetrician and/or his midwives. The obstetrician may or may not be there to deliver the baby. (He’s supposed to, but we hear anecdotally that they pop their heads in for 5 minutes. Fat lot of help, that.)

Public: You share a room with at least one other. Usually 3 others. But if you have a C-section, you get a room to yourself.
Private: You either share a room with your husband, or stay in a single bed room yourself. There’s also an option of an Executive Room (read: kinda posh!), but there’s a wait list.

Public: Birthing ward has no attached bathroom
Private: Birthing ward just next door has an attached bathroom.

Other than that, the healthcare is almost the same. The question to ask is if the differences are worth forking out an extra $5,000. I still cannot decide.

On a completely unrelated note, I had a sneeze this evening and felt the most awful stabbing pain on my left. Disconcerting, but I googled about it and the verdict seems to be:

  • Normal: the uterus is stretching, the round ligaments around the uterus are also stretching and under stress, and surrounding nerve fibres get irritated.
  • Not so great: could be indicative of an ectopic pregnancy

Conclusion: best to talk to the doctor.