Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NEWS RELEASE from Homebirth Australia

Contact: Justine Caines 0408210273

Budget Does not treat all Mothers Equally

Tonight Health Minister Nicola Roxon has made a landmark decision to enable midwives to work in their own right, providing women with care during pregnancy, labour and birth and the very important post-natal period funded under Medicare.

“The ability for women to choose a midwife has long been denied them. We applaud Minister Roxon for listening to women” said Justine Caines, mother of seven and secretary of Homebirth Australia.

“In the past successive Governments have put the needs of the powerful medical lobby ahead of Australian mothers. This pandering has resulted in rural maternity units closing, women accessing private health insurance paying huge gap payments and sadly too many women recounting their care during childbirth as traumatic, sometimes violent.” said Ms Caines

“Women and their families have been crying out for support. We believe that a fundamental step has been taken to bring maternity care back to women and local communities. We understand the reform process will take some time but can see major benefits ahead.” said Ms Caines

"Sadly, Minister Roxon has left some women out in the cold. Women who plan to give birth at home will not be able to access funding.” said Ms Caines

Mothers will make thousands of decisions for themselves and their babies. Such a pivotal decision about where and with whom they share the intimacy of birth should not be being dictated by others.” said Ms Caines

"Recent media reports reported on tragic events after births at home without a registered midwife. Conversely a landmark study from the Netherlands released recently of over 500,000 births proved homebirths to be as safe as hospital birth.” said Ms Caines

We have a long way to go to meet the Netherlands where their culture respects and supports natural birth and understands that in many instances birth is a normal life event, not a medical emergency. Over 50% of consumer submissions received by the recent federal review of maternity services were from women seeking the choice of homebirth. said Ms Caines.

"More and more women who give birth in hospitals are experiencing trauma. Some even suffering post traumatic stress disorder, something experienced by soldiers in war. It is these women, when unable to find a homebirth midwife that sometimes choose to give birth alone rather than face the trauma again." This is unacceptable. Said Ms Caines.

For interviews/photos with Homebirth mothers and babies please contact
Justine Caines on 0408210273

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