What is a maternity package?
If this is your first baby, you’ll be getting a lot of information thrown at you and it can often be overwhelming. A maternity package can make the logistical side of things much easier. Hospitals combine the cost of your stay, the delivery of your baby, and extras into a package price that you can pay for in advance. It also includes essentials like meals, amenities and your postnatal aftercare services.
How can you choose the right package?
When you’re looking at hospitals and the packages they offer, think about the birthing experience that you want to have and prioritise that when making a decision. Some questions to ask yourself might be:
- Do I have a limited budget in mind?
- Do I have any dietary requirements?
- Do I have any other layout requirements such as having a bathtub in the room?
- Do I need a single room or space for a partner?
- Do I require any specific services, such as a lactation consultant or massage therapist?
- Do I want any extra amenities like celebratory meals?
- Do I want any specific tests carried out when the baby is born?
If you can decide what elements are most important to you, it will help you eliminate packages that aren't suitable to your needs. Most hospitals also offer complimentary maternity tours where you and your partner get to explore the maternity ward for yourselves.
What is a maternity tour?
A maternity tour is a great way to view a hospital’s maternity facilities and decide if you feel comfortable and excited to have your baby there. Some hospitals offer group tours, and others will offer individual tours, usually when booked in advance. During the tour, hospital staff will show you around the maternity ward and the different rooms on offer, and answer any questions you have about the packages and facilities available.
What do you need to do to book a package?
The administration process for booking a maternity package is generally straightforward. Pre-registering for admission is something you can do very early on in your pregnancy, confirming your intention to have your baby with your chosen hospital and giving you plenty of time to get organised. Once you have completed a tour and selected your package, the hospital will walk you through any paperwork and confirm your booking.
It is important to remember that babies are unpredictable and childbirth may not always go as you expect. Costs vary between vaginal and caesarean deliveries, and other elements like forceps-assisted birth or anaesthesia can affect your overall package price. You will need to be flexible about this and ensure that you budget for any unforeseen circumstances. If you have any questions about the financial aspect of the maternity packages on offer, the hospital maternity team will be able to go over those with you.
What about your partner?
If you want your partner to stay with you overnight, you should expect to pay more for your package. Not every hospital offers this service, so make sure you check before booking anything, and specify as soon as you register that you want a room with space for a lodger. Note that there may not be food provided for your partner, so you will need to confirm this with the hospital and make other arrangements if not. The maternity menu is usually designed around postnatal health and well-being, often including confinement recipes, and is usually not created with partners in mind.
Is there anything else you should consider?
Every hospital will have their own policies and procedures, especially around things like visiting hours and overnight guests. When choosing a maternity package, weigh up all of these factors and decide what is most important to you. Just be aware that any last minute changes like swapping rooms or extending your stay will usually incur an additional cost. However, if you plan in advance and budget for any unexpected surprises, you will find that a maternity package makes your childbirth experience easier to manage.
To learn more about the facilities offered at Parkway East Hospital, book a maternity tour and get a first-hand experience of the maternity services available.
Article contributed by Josephine Ng, customer relations senior executive at Parkway East Hospital
Todd, N. (2019, January 16) Your Hospital Packing List. Retrieved 14 Mar 2019 from https://www.webmd.com/baby/hospital-packing-list