Saturday, April 4, 2009

Safe natural birth under threat

[prepared by a group in central Victoria]

Safe natural birth under threat
New government policy is looking to remove womens' access to private midwives. Local supporters of private midwives recently came together in a letter writing workshop and are planning further actions.

Ilana Solo says “My children were born with support from private midwifes - one in a hospital and one at home in Campbells Creek last month. The continuous support I received went far beyond the support offered by the hospital system and helped make both births safe, natural births.”
“My midwifes were with me throughout the pregnancy and stayed for the whole birth. There was no going home at the end of the shift. They also helped me for an extended period after the birth.”
Drummond based private midwife Sally McCrae believes that many women could have better birth outcomes with the support of a private midwife. She attends the births of about 25 babies each year. In her 30 years of practice, she has seen many changes.
“I spend many hours with the family prior to the birth listening to them and gaining their trust. I am able to tailor the support I give to birth each baby safely and as naturally as possible.”
“Australias ceasarean rate has doubled in the last ten years and is much higher than world health organisation reccomendations. If women are denied the choice of private midwifes, we will move one step closer to losing the skills of safe natural birth.”
Continuity of care and homebirth are nationally funded in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and The Netherlands. Studies have shown that this model delivers good outcomes for the mother and the child and reduces the risks of postnatal depression and other post birth complications.

This media release can be used as a template in other settings

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