Thursday, October 22, 2009

More irrefutable evidence of safety in homebirth



[Note: The letter scanned has been reduced in size to fit one page, without removal of any substance. Click on the pic to enlarge it.]

A couple of months ago a request was sent to the Victorian government’s perinatal data collection unit on behalf of MIPP, requesting that a performance indicator analysis be undertaken of actual homebirth cases and planned homebirth cases (ie including those transferred to hospital) in the past 5 years of data.

For those who may not understand the principles behind performance indicator analysis, you can read up on it http://www.health.vic.gov.au/maternitycare/progs.htm#perform In essence it’s an attempt to make valid comparisons using retrospective data.


Of the approx 1000 women who planned homebirth in the 5 years 2003-2007, 170 were standard primiparae. These mothers achieved a 6.5% caesarean rate, which compares favourably with the Statewide public hospital rate of approximately 15%, and the Statewide private hospital rate of approximately 27% for standard primiparae in 2007-08 [Source: Victorian Maternity Service Performance Indicators, 2009].

The 30 women who were assessed under the performance indicator criteria for vaginal birth after caesarean (vbac) all achieved vbac! This compares with the Statewide public hospital rate of 30% and private less than 20% in the 2007-08 report.

This report adds to the already large body of evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of private midwifery practice in Victoria.


Let’s be encouraged to stay strong in a very difficult time.

1 comment:

Julie said...

what was the infant mortality rate for these 170 planned homebirths - or for all planned homebirths in Victoria in recent years? How can we find out? I have a feeling that it is lower than the 7.1 per thousand reported by Bastian 1985-1990; and lower than the 4.75 per 1000 reported for all Australian births in 2009. According to Pesce of the AMA, the infant mortality death rate for homebirths must be 28 deaths per 1000 because he claims the homebirth death rate is 7 times higher.