How much does it cost to give birth in a private hospital in the UK?

The United Kingdom is one of those countries that offer free maternity care to its residents. Maternity care might not sound very important, but when it comes to pregnant females, it is indeed one of their basic rights. Prenatal and postnatal care is very critical for well being of both the mother and her baby.

Many people around the world are unable to get good maternity care and one of the basic reasons is lack of finances. However, in the United Kingdom, free maternity care is provided to residents under National Health Services . Though free, it still is top class and all the amenities related to prenatal and postnatal care are provided.

Cost of giving birth in a private hospital in the United Kingdom:

One can either go to a private hospital under national health services or can opt for a private hospital not related to National Health Services. The package also varies from hospital to hospital along with the extent of maternity care and services are chosen. However, it generally costs around $6000 per night.

Here is a table summarizing the cost and services available at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital, a private hospital in the United Kingdom:

Type of service Natural delivery (service availability) Cesarean delivery (service availability)
Midwife booking appointment Available Available
Hospital delivery including labor Available Available
Routine pre-admission blood test Available Available
Theatre fee Not applicable Applicable
Induction (optional) Applicable Not applicable
Postnatal accommodation One night Two nights
Accommodation for partner Available Available
Complimentary breakfast for partner Available Available
Newborn baby check (payable directly to pediatric consultant) £300 £300
Routine medication and dressing Available Available
Extra night stay £950 £950
Instrumental surcharge Applicable Not applicable
Anesthetics / epidurals £950 £950
Gift pack for parents (Mustela) Applicable Applicable
Physiotherapy advice session Applicable Applicable
Total amount £5000 £6100

Cost contributing factors:

Several factors contribute towards the final cost of birth and maternity care. Knowing these factors can help one cut the total cost. These are as follows:

  • Type of delivery.
  • Hospital chosen.
  • Hospital stays.
  • Hospital birth or birth at home.
  • Hiring a private midwife.
  • Lab tests.
  • Premature birth.
  • Anesthetics fee.
  • Obstetrician fee.
  • The extent of postnatal care required.

Hiring a private midwife:

You can also hire a private midwife along with receiving maternity care from National Health Services. Hiring a private midwife will cost around £2000 to £5000. You might want to hire a private midwife if the mother needs special prenatal and postnatal care. In other cases, if you want to give birth at home, then you need a private midwife to assist in the baby’s delivery. Both mother and baby can be later shifted to a hospital if extra care is needed.

Mix and match maternity care:

Mix and match maternity care is where you receive National Health Services provided maternity care and also add in the private care. Many people do this as it costs less than going to a private hospital. In this way, extra care is provided to the pregnant female and also to the baby after birth.

Another advantage is the option of a private room making your hospital stay easier. Hiring a doula is one of the most important features of using private health care. Doulas are trained professionals who are neither health care workers nor midwives but they are trained to support expectant and new parents. They provide emotional support preparing you for the new chapter and helping you adjust to changes. Their fee depends on your region, their experience, and the duration of their work. It can cost between £800 to £2000.

How to choose between private and public health care:

When it comes to choosing between private and public health care, it all narrows down to priorities, budget, and the level of comfort you want. Giving birth in a private hospital, though expensive, is a relatively smooth process when it comes to care and access to services.

Women giving birth under National Health Services might have to wait longer for their turn. They can also have only a specific number of gynae appointments and midwives for only a very short period. There is also a specified number of ultrasounds. If you want 3-D and 4-D scans, you definitely need to go for the private hospital since National Health Services do not provide these.

Therefore, when choosing between private or public medical care, it to better to go for the private one if you can afford it and have a complicated case. This will save you from waiting long for your turn and being only entitled to a specific number of scans and appointments.

Private health insurance versus National Health Services:

In the United Kingdom, some people also avail private insurance. Here is a comparison between private insurance maternity plans and National Health Services:

Type of maternity service/care Private insurance cost National health service cost
The obstetrician and gynae fee £3000 - £8000 £0
Prenatal ultrasound £1100 £0
Birth and normal delivery in hospital £1500 - £6000 £0
Birth in hospital via c-section £7000 - £8000 £0

Pros of giving birth in a private hospital:

  • Good care.
  • You can decide the delivery method.
  • An unlimited number of scans.
  • Availability of 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds.
  • Doulas are available.
  • A midwife can be hired for as long as you want.
  • Less waiting.
  • More appointments with your gynecologist.
  • Private room.
  • Less waiting for the turn.
  • You can choose your obstetrician.

Cons of giving birth in a private hospital:

  • Quite expensive.
  • You will have to pay whopping sums for each type of care.

Conclusion:

If you are pregnant, you need to first visit a general practitioner who will then send you to a hospital. Analyze your budget and look into all of your options. If you need care 24/7, it is better to hire a private midwife. Join parenting groups to get tips on how to deal with prenatal and post-pregnancy stress. Mix and match is a rather good option if you have an uncomplicated case. You can have your private midwife and any number of scans. If you keep calm during this period and utilize all your options wisely, you are indeed going to enjoy this big change in your life.