From $40 to $6,820: 12 women on exactly how much it cost to have a baby.

We know you can't always plan when you have a baby, but once you find out you are pregnant, you will need to make some decisions about your antenatal care and birthing options.

The average cost of having a baby in Australia can range from a few hundred dollars for scans, blood tests and hospital parking, up to thousands of dollars for obstetric care and private rooms, depending on if you go private or public. 

We asked 12 women to tell us about the costs involved with their pregnancy and birth

Here's what they had to say.

1. Julie spent $2,100*.

"I went public and I couldn’t fault the care I received. I did shared care with a local GP and midwives at the hospital. My only out-of-pocket expenses were the non-invasive prenatal testing scan (NIPT) at $495, the 20 week scan at $163, three women's physio appointments for pelvic pain at $600, and some shared care appointments with my GP for $35 (out-of-pocket) per visit. The most surprising thing was it cost nothing for four nights in a private room in hospital after an uncomplicated birth."

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 2. Abbie spent $6,820.

"I had my both of my babies in the private system. I gave birth in two different hospitals but had the same obstetrician. For my second baby born in the Cabrini hospital in Melbourne in July 2022, I spent $4,500 on the obstetrician for all antenatal and postnatal care. 


"There were two ultrasounds at $350 each, a four-night stay and hospital costs came to $670 (excess plus co-payment), an epidural was $600, and the paediatrician $350. We also had to have top hospital cover for $450 per month (not included in the total above). I was very happy with my decision and would not change anything."

3. Anna spent $640.

"I had my second baby nearly four months ago in a public hospital in Melbourne as we are lucky to be zoned to one of the best in the country. Honestly, I probably spent the most on parking!

"I had to pay about $40 for my iron infusion, $100 on medication after discharge (I had an elective c-section), and I paid for three ultrasounds prior to being under the hospital's care which probably totalled about $500. All of my echocardiograms for both myself and my baby during pregnancy were all covered through the hospital, as well as additional ultrasounds and monitoring. I also got COVID at 36 weeks and was sent an oximetry probe free-of-charge with the hospital calling me daily to check in. I feel so very fortunate to have all of this provided with such wonderful care!"

4. Ele spent $350.

"Parking at the hospital for each midwife appointment was one of the most expensive parts! At least $15 each visit.* I remember the 12 week scan and blood tests being quite expensive, approximately $200 after rebate."

5. Shauna spent $200.

"I just had my third baby about three weeks ago and I spent around $200. That was for the 12 week ultrasound/blood work for genetic testing and discharge medications. I did however save around $5,000 to cover bills and expenses for when I'm on maternity leave and the paid parental leave runs out."

6. Jennifer spent $3,200.

"I went private for a baby I had a month ago. I spent $500 on obstetrics fees ($120 per visit for approximately 10 visits and $70ish refunded per visit). There was the obstetrics management fee at 27 weeks for $2,000 and three scans for approximately $700 (12 week scan, $200, 20 week scan, $200 and the Harmony/NIPT test - $300). If I had gone public, I think I only would have paid for the NIPT test."

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7. Whitney spent $580.

"I had twins via the public system three weeks ago and only paid for my six-week scan which was about $180 and the harmony test which was about $400. All my other ultrasounds were done monthly at the hospital so they were free. I saw the same obstetrician at the hospital at each monthly appointment and that was free as well."

8. Anita spent $340.

"I paid $40 for an iron infusion and I also paid to have the Harmony test (approximately $300). I chose to use a midwifery program in a public hospital and birth centre which was completely funded by Medicare. 

"I had the same midwife throughout pregnancy and birth. There were no hospital appointments as she visited me at home for prenatal care. She was on call and with me for the birth in the birth centre and she visited me on and off for almost two weeks once the baby was born to make sure we were settled. Even my ultrasounds were bulk billed in a local clinic, but I don’t think this is the norm." 

9. Tahnee spent $676 in 2022 and $40 in 2020.

"I had my second baby via a midwife group practice through a public hospital in Queensland and gave birth in May. The costs included a 20 week scan for $150 ($237 in total with a $87 medicare rebate), and the 12 week scan for $176 ($237 in total with a $61 medicare rebate). There were also three doctor's appointments at $76 each and one for $122.

"By comparison I gave birth in South Australia in 2020 and the total cost was $40 for an iron infusion after the birth as I had a postpartum haemorrhage. This was also through a midwife group practice at a public hospital."

10. Hana spent $1,000.

"My second baby cost about $1,000 in 2020. That was for three ultrasounds and the harmony test. Everything else was covered by Medicare in the public system, including a private room!"


11. Jessica spent $130.

"I only paid for a six-week and 12 week scan and blood tests which after rebates totalled about $130 out of pocket. I also paid for a few parking fees for my midwife appointments at the public hospital and that's it! Great care, but I was low risk."

12. Rach spent $5,450.

"I went private, as I expected a complex pregnancy/birth (and I certainly got my money's worth!). It cost $500 excess to cover two hospital visits, $500 for the Calm Birth course, and $3,600 obstetrics management fees, (but I only paid $50 gap for the last four appointments). All my scans were bulk billed. (You don’t have to go where the referral is! You can shop around to find a bulk billing one!)

"My only other out-of-pocket expenses were $500 for the pathology gap while in hospital and $300 for my husband to stay at hospital for the two weeks I was there."

For more articles on the topic:

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos (mostly of her outfits), follow her on Instagram and  TikTok.

Feature Image: Getty

* Based on an average of 10 antenatal appointments.

** Some costs are approximations.

Some names have been changed for privacy reasons.

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