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An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in Melbourne, Australia

Submitted by BBG

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Melbourne

How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?

5 months ago

Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...

My experience was fantastic. I was 5 months pregnant when i arrived in Australia. I was referred by a local GP for the 20 week scan which was amazing and around $100 or so after the medicare rebate. This was entitled to us under the reciprocal agreement with britain (and other countries), as we are british citizens. We were able to take away a recording of the scan on DVD and photos. Had the baby at RWH(Royal Womens Hospital) in melbourne - a non-private hospital, which had been renovated and in a new building from 3 months before. So all equipment, beds etc were new. This was all under medicare so i did not have to pay a cent - only had to pay for medication I took away with me after the birth.

Went in via ambulance (we had Ambulance membership and would advise everyone to get this whether or not they are pregnant!) Delivery room was HUGE with sofa, sink, computer and desk, attached ensuite bath, shower, toilet etc. Much better than you could ever imagine in NHS system (for those of you who are Brits reading this!). was given the gas, thats all I had. Was able to use the bath and shower as much as I wanted for pain relief which was great. Even used the gas while in the bath! After the birth, given a private room with a double bed, sink basin, nappy changing area, wardrobe, side tables and a semi-ensuite bathroom (shared in between my room and the next). Staff were all excellent, went in monday morning, came out Wednesday evening as I had a vaginal birth -(else you stay longer).

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How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?

Was seen at the hospital as we were so new to the area and also lived local to the hospital so rather than be managed by my local doctor I went in every couple of weeks or so to see the hospital doctor. Which doctor I saw was not my choice although I could have preference of having a female doctor.

If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?

I was really happy with my experience and can't think if anything that I would do differently!

If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?

Have the baby in the RWH in Melbourne! The breatfeeding advise and help is also fantastic. They even have a clinic for you to come in afterwards if you think you need more help with it!

I also want to mention that unlike the lady who posted having a baby in Sydney and was refused her visa on the grounds of her pregnancy and not able to have a chest x-ray, I was also not able to have the x-ray in the UK being 3 months pregnant when we applied for the visa (March 08). However, this was never mentioned as a problem and I received my temporary visa with no issues at all. I simply had the chest x-ray 2 months AFTER the baby was born in Australia. Plus - being a British citizen, I am entitled to have all the cost paid for me by the Australian medicare system yet that didn't deter them from giving me the visa.

By the way - if you are a 'temporary resident' and have a baby the baby will not be an Australian citizen so not entitled to Australian passport. They will be issued a temporary visa. The baby can get it if you stay here until he/she is 10 years old though.

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