Monday, October 26, 2009

Homebirth Awareness Week: Celebrate or Commiserate?


Monday October 26 2009

Contact: Justine Caines 0408210273

Homebirth Awareness Week: Celebrate or Commiserate?
Minister’s Weakness and Bureaucrats ignorance continues

This week marks Homebirth Awareness week. Homebirth Australia fears that this time next year Australian women will not have the option of homebirth.

“It is hard to understand the hysteria around homebirth in Australia. Our maternity hospitals are full to the brim, many of them churning women out conveyor belt style and yet this is considered safe, hardly! said Justine Caines Secretary of Homebirth Australia and mother of seven home born children.”

Mainstream Australian maternity care is not about women, women are rarely consulted in the development of services, they are the main player and yet they have been silenced by practitioners who insist they ‘know better’ said Ms Caines.

Homebirth on the other hand is different. Women make decisions about their care, they invite a midwife into their home, rather than be forced to meet the needs of practitioners and organisational convenience which happens when giving birth in a hospital” said Ms Caines

“The outcomes from homebirth are also considerably better*. Women experience more personalised care and fewer interventions, they also enter motherhood happier and more content.” said Ms Caines

Something that is considered a normal reasonable choice in the U.K, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Canada is under threat of extinction in Australia. Bureaucrats advising the Minister do not even understand homebirth and they refuse to seek information from key stakeholders

“Asking an Obstetrician about homebirth is like seeking advice from a midwife on caesarean surgery.” said Ms Caines

“Health Minister Nicola Roxon plans to fund midwifery care under Medicare, something sorely needed. She has however excluded homebirth. She did this against all evidence and the express wishes of the women of Australia across two enquiries, one that broke a Senate record on the number of submissions received.” said Ms Caines

The question remains; Will politicians continue to be more responsive to those with deep vested interest in maternity services? It is time to step up and listen to women, the very people for whom these so called reforms are proposed.” asked Ms Caines

Also see previous posts:
More irrefutable evidence

Safe Maternity Care

Homebirths in Victoria 2007

1 comment:

Joy Johnston said...

I agree with Justine's appraisal of the current situation. Yet even though the Minister is weak and her bureaucrats are ignorant and her policy is deeply flawed, the government has the authority to do as it pleases.

A woman who misses her menstrual period today, and who has conceived, will be due to give birth around late June to early July next year. If that woman is considering homebirth she may find that she is confronted with a whole new set of problems that have been brought on by our government's bumbling efforts at reform.