Having a baby in Cape Town
Having a baby in another country can seem like a terrifying thing to do, although expats need not worry. Cape Town and Johannesburg both have private hospitals which are the best in the continent, and which rival many European institutions. Family-friendly Cape Town has excellent maternity wards and specialists.
Prenatal classes in Cape Town
Most of the private hospitals in Cape Town offer antenatal classes which one will be expected to pay for. Alternatively, expats can contact their nearest baby clinic or the hospital where they will be giving birth.
Maternity hospitals in Cape Town
All the main private hospitals in Cape Town have maternity units. Medical insurance schemes cover the cost of pregnancy and birth to varying degrees so it is important to check one's policy. Many policies will not pay prenatal or birth costs until someone has been a member for 10 months.
One’s choice of hospital is often determined by where one’s gynaecologist is based, and how close the hospital is to one’s home. Most hospitals organise tours of their maternity unit on a regular basis so you may want to book onto one of these before making your choice.
Gynaecologists in Cape Town
There are two main options when having a baby in Cape Town: midwife or gynaecologist. Whichever one chooses will remain the person in charge of care throughout the pregnancy and will be present at the birth.
If choosing to go with a gynae, the appointments vary between every 6 to 8 weeks for scans until the final stages of the pregnancy If one chooses to go the midwife route, one will be seen as regularly but they do not have the equipment for scans. One will be referred to a gynae for the 12 and 22 week scan and if the midwife has any concerns.
Both the gynaecologists and midwives are affiliated to hospitals so one might decide to choose which hospital one wants to have the baby in and then find out about the gynaes and midwives at that hospital.
Maternity nurses in Cape Town
The trend for maternity nurses is becoming much more popular in South Africa and is far cheaper than in the UK. Many of the nurses who work on maternity wards work as maternity nurses when off duty.
Paediatrician in Cape Town
Once the baby is born, one will be assigned a paediatrician in the hospital. They will be recommended to visit over the first few years, but one can also make regular visits to the baby clinic of one's choice where the baby will be weighed, measured and receive its immunisations. They also offer help and support to parents and are able to answer numerous questions and offer advice when needed on everything related to babies and small children.