Private Perth Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Matt Thyer offers care at St John of God Subiaco and Mount Lawley Hospitals

Birth rates in Western Australia have hit a decade-low with 31,709 babies recorded born in 2022, with ever so slightly less babies born 10 years ago in 2012. In Western Australia there was a 7.7% drop in births overall between 2021 and 2022. Birth rate has multiple drivers, however a drop of such substantial proportions in the last year is thought to be primarily due to the escalating costs of living, housing affordability in particular.

This of course calls into question the current cost of Private health insurance, Private Pregnancy care and whether this makes cost-effective sense. People will often compare the cost of an iPhone or a new TV to the similar “out-of-pocket” cost of Specialist Obstetric pregnancy care to help put into perspective the “value-based” decision that one must make. The benefits of Private Obstetric care I have discussed below and is by no means exhaustive in detail but outlines the key benefits as I see them.

At the heart of it Private Specialist Obstetric care provides women and partner’s with a highly trained specialist Obstetrician that has trained for at least 6 years in their chosen specialty and who has experience in detecting, managing and treating complicated and life-threatening emergencies for mother and child. Patients that have been there can appreciate this benefit. The Public Hospital system is the training ground for junior doctors and other health providers, so there is no guarantee someone with specialist expertise and experience will attend to you during your pregnancy or delivery.

Obstetric Ultrasound is indispensable in detecting subtle complications to do with placenta and baby before tragedies or life-threatening emergencies occur. Specialist Obstetricians offer a detailed ultrasound review of your baby at each appointment. Unfortunately the Public hospital system simply does not have the resources to enable this level of care for the vast majority of patients.

Private patients have the choice of longer hospital admissions to allow support for breastfeeding and adequate postnatal analgesia. Your partner (or support person) can stay with you during your admission. Outside of visiting hours post delivery partners must leave the hospital. 

Your private Obstetrician will see you early in pregnancy to help set you up for success including ensuring your baby is in the right location and healthy from the beginning. Occasionally pregnancies get stuck in the fallopian tubes (2% of pregnancies) and a substantial proportion will be non-viable or silently miscarry . It is better to detect these complications early so a plan can be made to optimise care and keep you safe from life-threatening emergencies. Dr Matt Thyer prefers to see his patients for the first time just after 6 weeks gestation for this reason.  In the public hospital system patients will be reviewed for the first time by a caregiver after 20 weeks gestation.

Your private Obstetrician will see you at every appointment through to delivery and post birth. Public hospitals cannot provide this continuity of care and opinions and plans can often change from one health provider to the next causing confusion and a lack of confidence in care. 

There is more flexibility around your antenatal appointments with your Private Obstetrician rather than at a public antenatal clinic. It’s much easier to make appointments to suit you and your partner with your private Obstetrician such as early morning or late evenings and where emergencies arise your private Obstetrician will always find a spot for you. Care is more personalised in this way.

Your Private Obstetrician will help individualise your plan for a safe and successful birth. A significant amount of time is invested into discussions around your circumstances and how these may affect your expectations around pregnancy and birth. There are simply not the resources available in the Public system to accommodate or incorporate your desires and wishes to such a degree.

Underlying the quality of service offered by your private Obstetrician is that they are working for you, being paid by you and in this sense responsible to you. This belies a very strong motivation to provide the best possible service to patients.

More important than any other benefit I believe is the trust that develops between a patient and their private Obstetrician over the course of a pregnancy (moreso after subsequent pregnancies). Circumstances can change so quickly in pregnancy and especially during birth, so it is reassuring that you have the private Obstetrician you have come to know and trust in your corner who will genuinely support your interests, fight for your wellbeing and that of your child, and stick with you through the good and difficult times.

Dr Matt Thyer Private Perth Obstetrician and Gynaecologist strives to provide high-value affordable private Obstetric care of a high standard at Subiaco and Mount Lawley St John of God Hospitals in Perth Western Australia. Please feel welcome to enquire as to how Dr Matt may help you through your pregnancy journey.