Expectant mothers without medical cover will now have access to affordable, personalised maternity care without worrying about being put out of pocket by unexpected costs.

The first of its kind service offered by The Birthing Team with support from PPO Serve, an integrated healthcare management company, aims to deliver an all-inclusive, end-to-end maternity care, in private hospital facilities, for under R20,000.

The service, which is currently available at Netcare’s Rand Hospital in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, includes all consultations, doctor visits, antenatal scans, blood tests and the birth itself. The care plan is based on the unique clinical needs of each patient.

Mothers-to-be book an initial comprehensive screening priced at R1,500 before signing on to the full programme, which costs an additional all-inclusive fee of R18,000, provided there are no clinical complications. The fee includes all blood tests, at least three ultrasound scans and a minimum of eight antenatal visits – six with a midwife and two with a doctor with a special focus on obstetrics.

The birth itself, a normal vaginal delivery, is also covered, as are emergency caesarean sections (when necessary). After birth, there are follow-up visits at three days, 10 days and six weeks, ensuring both baby and mother are doing well.

“To ensure the best care for moms and babies, women interested in joining the programme are encouraged to come in for a scan at 12 weeks. At this appointment, we assess the development of the foetus and we can pick up if the baby has any abnormalities. We can also refer complex and high-risk pregnancies to specialists early on,” said Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and head of The Birthing Team, Dr Howard Manyonga.

As a part of the service, pregnancy and birth are overseen by medical teams made up of midwives, obstetricians and general practitioners. The predetermined fixed price prevents unexpected costs and ensures mothers-to-be are not left seriously out of pocket.

“The Birthing Team patient’s pregnancy is monitored and managed by an experienced midwife, who in turn works with a team of obstetric GPs and specialists to make decisions about care,” said Manyonga.

Due to the proactive nature of the care programme, mothers who are 28 weeks or more pregnant are not eligible. The Birthing Team is also unable to offer the programme to women with certain serious systemic chronic conditions or who are at risk of delivering early.

“Complex cases need to be referred to and managed by specialists working in the public sector. To keep the product affordable and sustainable, we are unable to manage certain medical conditions,” said Manyonga.

Interested mothers should visit The Birthing Team’s Facebook page or call 011 484 0568 as early into their pregnancy as possible to book their first scan.

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