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 rivals many European institutions. Family-friendly Cape Town has excellent maternity wards and specialists.
Pre natal classes
Most of the private hospitals in Cape Town offer anti-natal classes which you will be expected to pay for. Devora offers amusing evening classes for mothers and fathers-to-be in Milnerton or at the Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont. Alternatively, contact your nearest baby clinic or contact the hospital where you are having your baby.
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 your policy. Many policies will not pay pre-natal or birth costs until you have been a member for 10 months.
Top private hospitals:
Cape Town Medi Clinic, Hof Street
Tel: +27 21 464 5500
Kingsbury Hospital, Claremont
Tel: +27 21 670 4000
Constantiaberg Hospital, Plumstead
Tel: +27 21 799 2911
Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Pinelands
Tel: +27 21 506 5111
All of these have excellent reputations, and offer exceptionally high standards of maternity care. One’s choice 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.
There are two main options open to you when having a baby in Cape Town: midwife or gynaecologist. Whichever you choose, your midwife or gynaecologist will remain the person in charge of you and your baby's care throughout the pregnancy and will be present at the birth so there is very reassuring continuity of care.
If you choose to go with a gynae, you will be seen on a roughly 6 to 8 week basis until the final stages of your pregnancy and scanned at each visit. If you choose to go the midwife route, you will be seen as regularly but they do not have the equipment for scans. You will be referred to a gynae for your 12 and 22 week scan and if the midwife has any concerns.
Both the gynaecologists and midwives are affiliated to hospitals so you might decide to choose which hospital you want to have the baby in and then find out about the gynaes and midwives at that hospital.
The trend for maternity nurses is becoming much more popular in South Africa and is far cheaper than in the UK, for example. Many of the nurses who work on maternity wards work as maternity nurses when off duty. Either contact the hospital where you are having the baby or one of the baby clinics listed below.
Once your baby is born, you will be assigned a paediatrician in the hospital. They will be recommended to visit over the first few years, but you can also make regular visits to the baby clinic of your 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.
Bonita at Cape Town Medi Clinic
Tel: 021 464 5648
Alex Turner at Kids Clinic Camps Bay
Tel: 021 438 0028
Thula Baby Centre
Tel: 021 434 2614
Birth Options in Wynberg
Tel: 021 683 4568