There are many decisions to be made when planning for a birth. These decisions, and the options available to you, depend on a number of factors, including where you live, your medical and childbirth history, your health during pregnancy, your level of health insurance, and your personal preferences.
The Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies has an excellent resource, Having A Baby, which is available online and includes a number of decision-making aids for women considering their birthing options. Their website states:
Options for where to have your baby are quite different from one another. When you choose where to have your baby, you are often also choosing things like:
- where you receive your pregnancy care (e.g., at home, in a hospital, in a community clinic);
- whether you have to travel for birth, and how far;
- who provides your care during pregnancy and during labour and birth (e.g., midwives, doctors);
- what choices you have in how to birth your baby;
- whether 'low intervention' birth is supported;
- whether you have close access to certain procedures or services;
- whether your support people are able to stay with you;
- whether there are out-of-pocket costs for your care;
- whether you have in-home care after birth.
In Queensland, there are four main options for where to have a baby:
- Public hospital
- Public birth centre
- Private hospital
- Out of hospital (e.g., home)
There is no one 'right' place for having a baby, and the best option for you may not be the best option for another woman. Thinking about the things that are most important to you when having your baby will help you to choose the best place for you. You may also like to talk with your partner, your support people, or your care providers when deciding where to have your baby.
The Having A Baby website also has resources for women deciding on birth options, including women with a previous caesarean section, around your choices regarding epidural, episiotomy, positions during labour and birth, and more.
If you are not treated with respect and consideration from your first appointment, whenever that is, explore your options of accessing a different person or service.