Total Costs of Pregnancy In Australia
Are you pregnant? Congratulations! Now, what next? If you are wondering what the cost of the whole pregnancy period in Australia is, then you don’t have to look anywhere else! We have brought to you all the details right here.
For any couple, becoming parents is the biggest milestone in their life. The thought of adding a new little member to their family brings happiness and excitement, and a little bit of stress at the same time.
Well, pregnancy is an amazing 9-month journey and it requires a lot of regular visits to the hospital for check-ups, tests, ultrasounds, and whatnot! Right from the moment a woman conceives, she and her partner have to think about all the pregnancy-related expenses.
Read on as we try to break down the answer to the question “how much does pregnancy cost in Australia?”
All About Medicare
As per the official record in Australia, more than 300,000 babies are born annually. Most pregnant women in Australia mainly have two options to choose from for delivering their baby. These are either in a public hospital under Medicare coverage or in a private hospital using a private health insurance scheme.
Medicare is Australia’s publicly-funded health insurance scheme and covers many healthcare-related expenses of its citizens. On average, if we compare the expenses of a public hospital to a private hospital, then because of Medicare coverage, public hospitals are the most affordable option for the entire pregnancy period in Australia.
So how much does pregnancy cost in Australia? Let’s compare the average cost of the whole pregnancy period in Australia with no insurance and with insurance or Medicare coverage. In the first case, for antenatal doctor visits, one has to pay between A$75 to A$150 per visit. The antenatal ultrasound pregnancy cost will be between A$60 to A$280. Most women will be advised to have at least two ultrasound scans during their pregnancy - the first and second trimester scans.
Normal birth and delivery will be A$7000 and a C-Section birth will be much more expensive at around A$14000. If we calculate, for normal delivery the total cost will be around A$7,430, and for cesarean delivery, it will be around A$14,430. This excludes the other hidden pregnancy bills or extra charges.
Pregnancy Costs With Insurance or Medicare
If one has private insurance or Medicare coverage, the cost for antenatal doctor visits will be between A$0 to A$50 per visit. Antenatal ultrasound pregnancy costs will be around A$10 to A$200.
Normal delivery is A$0 to A$5000 and C-section delivery is A$0 to A$12000. If we calculate, under Medicare coverage, the whole pregnancy period costs are almost free of cost and the pregnancy cost with insurance is around A$5,250 for normal birth delivery and A$12,250 for cesarean delivery, excluding other charges.
Let’s compare public hospital healthcare with private hospital healthcare for the cost of the whole pregnancy period in Australia.
Public Hospital Healthcare
In Australia, around 72% of pregnant women choose the public health system for delivering their babies, as hospital costs pregnancy are less. If one has a Medicare card, it covers all their expenses like routine ultrasound pregnancy cost, blood tests, labor and birth care, and even the extra stay days in the hospital.
The pros of choosing the public hospital are many like the on-site availability of specialists such as obstetricians, pediatricians, and anesthetists. The NICU or Newborn Intensive Care Unit facility is free of cost. Also, you get a free one to three home visits from a midwife in the week you get discharged from the hospital, and Medicare rebates cover for additional scans/tests charges.
However, there are some cons too like long waiting times for booking appointments, the possibility of sharing a room with other mothers and babies, not being able to choose one’s doctor or midwife, and limited postnatal care.
Private Hospital Healthcare
Almost 30% of Australian pregnant women choose a private obstetrician and a private hospital. One may wonder how much does pregnancy cost in a private hospital? Depending on their location, the cost of giving birth in a private hospital can vary from A$2000 to A$10,000.
As private hospitals are highly expensive, one can pay for the pregnancy cost with insurance and ensure that it covers the pregnancy expenses. Every health insurance company offers different policies, so one must check their policies carefully and ensure that it covers all the major expenses.
The pros of choosing a private hospital include the option of choosing one’s own obstetrician and midwife, the high possibility of getting a private room, and better facilities and food in comparison to that of a public hospital.
There are some cons too like one has to pay for postnatal care and if either the mother or the baby needs specialist intensive care, they are transferred to another hospital.
Antenatal care means all the preventive measures taken to ensure the sound health of the pregnant woman and her fetus during the pregnancy period. It’s important to make an antenatal appointment with one’s doctor or midwife, as they can answer or solve all their queries and concerns related to their pregnancy like hospital costs pregnancy.
One can book their first antenatal appointment with their GP (General practitioner) or a midwife when one is about 6 to 8 weeks pregnant. First of all, the doctor or midwife will confirm one’s pregnancy and then will do a complete health check, checking the medical history and the family’s medical history too.
They will also give you information regarding ways to reduce pregnancy pain and foods to avoid. Throughout the pregnancy, depending on their reports, one will have to go through regular antenatal appointments until 36 weeks of pregnancy.
In Australia, when one starts antenatal care, they meet three types of health professionals who will be looking after them during their pregnancy period. These are a GP, a midwife, and an obstetrician. Let’s get to know about these three in detail.
GP, Midwife, and Obstetrician
A GP or General practitioner is a medical doctor who treats various health-related general problems. He or she is the first one to meet to confirm one’s pregnancy.
A midwife is someone who has been specially trained to provide support and care for pregnant women during labor and birth. One can ask them about tips to reduce pregnancy pain. Sometimes, they help in delivering the baby too, if there are no complications in a woman’s pregnancy. Moreover, they are the ones who are assigned to take care of the mother and the baby in the first few weeks right after the birth.
An obstetrician is a specially trained doctor whose job is to look after women and babies during pregnancy, labor, and post-delivery. Their services are free of cost in a public hospital, under Medicare coverage but are expensive in a private hospital. Their fees can vary from A$3000 to A$5000. However, one can save on these expenses by paying pregnancy cost with insurance.
The whole pregnancy period can be stressful for most women, being confused about what is needed and what is not. So let’s check out some major pregnancy essentials to have during the pregnancy period. In the first trimester, a pregnant woman should have prenatal vitamins (folic acid), morning sickness soother, antacids, or any kind of medicines prescribed by her doctor.
In the second trimester, a maternity belt is a must-have product, as it will help reduce pregnancy pain. Also, as heels are not recommended to wear during the second trimester, one must buy comfortable shoes to avoid any accidental falling. Other necessary products in the second trimester include bigger size bras, comfortable loose-fitting maternity clothes, pillows, etc.
In the third trimester, a pregnant woman must have maternity bras, sanitary pads, comfortable underpants, extra outfits to wear while going home after giving birth, slippers, etc. For the baby, one must have nappies, clothes, a baby blanket, baby wipes, baby soap, etc.
Medicines are also essential during pregnancy to help reduce pregnancy pain. Doctors recommend using paracetamol during pregnancy to treat mild to moderate painful conditions such as headache, muscular pain, toothache, or fever.
Another important thing to remember is one should avoid using NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and diclofenac, especially after 30 weeks, as they are found to be harmful to the baby. One should always consult a doctor before having these medicines during pregnancy.
Adding the cost of these products will surely change the average total cost of the whole pregnancy period in Australia. One may consider them hidden pregnancy bills, as usually these charges are not covered by any insurance scheme.
Depending on the budget, a couple in Australia has the option to choose from a private hospital or a public hospital for welcoming their little one to this world. Being pregnant brings a lot of challenges, so you have to be prepared for any kind of complications beforehand.
You can talk to your friends or family and learn from their good or bad experiences. Hopefully, this article will give you a brief idea of the cost of the whole pregnancy period in Australia. Wish you a stress-free pregnancy!