Monday, June 4, 2012

Robyn Thompson reflects on midwifery today

Response to the FOI Release by Robyn Thompson

From the heart and soul of a retiring midwife I thank Homebirth Australia for sending this information.
However, for me this is revisiting old ground. For those of us who spent hours with Nicola Roxon, hours and hours campaigning, me as one of Nicola's constituents, and with Julia Gillard living in my suburb, we were there over the years since the MSR and now we are worse off than ever before.

I no longer trust anyone in politics, the AMA, and some within our own profession, with the exception of Sen Rachael Siewert, WA and Justine Caines with her years of political drive and wisdom.

Sadly for me there is no time to revisit old ground. It's time to 'push' forward as it were. It's time to reclaim our rights, reverse restrictive legislation and offensive language imposed on midwives and women by political/medical game playing.

It's time to educate the new political crew, those who don't understand, while and staying strongly resolved to not accepting control of others over our professional practice. It's time to change our tac, and with good leadership to be strongly on the offensive rather than the defensive. Medicalised control of women, babies and midwives is an international issue, not just national. Midwives can rise again, by recognising their professional skills and being proud that our practice is as distinctly different from obstetrics.

Midwifery is a specialty in it's own right, of being 'with women' through the entire maternity cycle, yet linked at times to include the specialty of obstetrics. Medicalised midwives would be wise to revisit midwifery practice being with women (rather than doctors) through the entire maternity cycle. To re-focus their skills on assisting more women to unhindered natural birth. Turn off the machines that go 'ping', that the administrators are 'leased back'. Stop accelerating labour - reduce unnecessary synthetic pain. Stop administering opioids and other drugs that harm babies, offer emersion in warm water for labour instead. Stop rupturing membranes - leave protective forewaters and hydraulic pressure for the baby, intact. Stop attaching women to restrictive continuous monitoring machines, revisit well educated hearing skills, use a Pinnards stethescope, or hand held dopplers or just your ear. Stop the myriad of unnecessary professional rituals that restrict women. Assist women out of the vulnerable horizontal position. Encourage their inner strengths and let them decide how they will birth their babies.

STOP requesting doctors to sign off our practice, say thank you but NO this is inappropriate, we are professionals in our own right, please recognise that. Women and midwives are stronger than ever before about our their human and professional rights. We are strong enough to shift 'big brother' from our lives and do what evolution, education and practice has taught us, and to connect with the specialty of obstetrics when appropriate.

We all have a responsibility to educate women the midwifery way, to go about our business campaigning constructively, refusing to harm women and babies by re-confirming the wonder of the female body and mind. To carry out our business competently and wisely will strengthen our resolve to inform the medical profession, the politicians and others that women and midwives will no longer agree to participate in bodily abuse at any time in the maternity cycle. That we will by consult and refer if the need arises.

Healthier women and babiesbabies’ means confidently shifting control, including control of the dollar, from others', and return it to women.

Thankyou, Robyn for sharing your wisdom.  Joy Johnston

1 comment:

Joy Johnston said...

Dear Robyn
I would like to respond briefly to your challenge to "STOP requesting doctors to sign off our practice, say thank you but NO this is inappropriate, we are professionals in our own right, please recognise that."
I think you are referring to the requirement in the legislation for a collaborative arrangement signed by a doctor, as part of the essential elements for Medicare rebates to be accessible by women in the care of Medicare-participating midwives.
Having a doctor 'sign off' on a midwife's practice is, as you say, unacceptable.
The way some midwives are handling the collaboration determination is to ask the doctor for a referral letter, referring the woman for antenatal and postnatal midwifery services. Doctors are use to referring patients to physiotherapists and dietitians and whoever.
Any doctor who responds to a request for collaboration with a suggestion that she/he would need to sign off on my practice is not suitable for collaboration, imho.