Monday, September 14, 2009

Home or Hospital?

Channel 7 Sunday Night's program has just done a feature on Homebirth. To see the video footage visit

Anna's birth of Ben is just beautiful. The lack of midwifery voice and the latest research is disappointing.

This is however is one of the better portrayals of homebirth in mainstream media.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Homebirth Rally 7th Sept 09

Here are a few photos we took of the Homebirth Rally in Canberra today the 7th of September 2009. There were thousands of people who braved the cold and the rain to campaign for the rights of homebirthing women.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Annoucement by Homebirth Australia

Dear homebirth supporter

This afternoon we were sent through a joint communique from Australian Health Ministers.

Below is an excerpt from the communique


Health Ministers agreed to a transitional clause in the current draft National Registration and Accreditation Scheme legislation which provides a two year exemption until June 2012 from holding indemnity insurance for privately practising midwives who are unable to obtain professional indemnity insurance for attending a homebirth.

Additional requirements to access the exemption will include;
  • A requirement to provide full disclosure and informed consent that
  • they do not have professional indemnity insurance.
  • Reporting each homebirth
  • Participating in a quality and safety framework which will be
  • developed after consultation led by Victoria through the finalisation of the registration and accreditation process.

These provisions will only apply to midwives working in jurisdictions which do not prohibit such practice as at the date of the implementation of the scheme.

ABC News link
Homebirth midwives get indemnity exemption

This only makes our rally even more necessary. An exemption for 2 years just isn't good enough. Do we REALLY want to go through all this again in 2 years time? It's simply a bandaid solution and will be the demise of private practice homebirth midwifery. This bandaid will take us past Nicola Roxon's term of office, therefore in 2 years time it could be someone else's problem to deal with and it could be someone who we will yet again have to heavily lobby and educate so that they can be up to scratch with the issues at hand.

So what does this give us?
A framework that must be abided by in order to be eligible for exemption from insurance, which is led by Victoria. We have been told by Nicola Roxon's office that this is due to Victoria leading the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. However, we have concerns that Victoria may also lead the development of a framework within which private practice midwives will have to work, in order to be eligible for an exemption. Some members of Maternity Coalition and Australian Private Midwives Association recently attended a meeting with the Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews and they reported back that "The Minister summarized the implications that the current Bills before parliament will have for women and midwives. He stated that midwives cannot continue uninsured as they are and that if they wanted to work it would need to be as part of a team at a public hospital providing homebirth".

He was asked whether he recognized the right of women to choose place of birth and what they would do in the instance of July 2010 if the issue is not resolved, "Well they will be faced with the difficult choice of choosing from what is available".

We have grave concerns that this will be the beginning of the end for private practice homebirth midwifery.

On radio this afternoon Nicola Roxon alluded to the fact that during the 2 year exemption, data would be collected and hospital based programs could be developed or a suitable indemnity product found. This gives us absolutely no confidence or guarantee and we are exceedingly worried that this will be the death knell of homebirth.

We have no insurance, yet again dismissing consumers of homebirth as so small in number that it doesn't really matter.

We have no funding, yet again financially disadvantaging women who choose to birth at home with a midwife.

Our message at the rally remains very clear.


See you in Canberra

Warm regards

Homebirth Australia

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Home birth with midwife as safe as hospital birth

Patricia A. Janssen PhD, Lee Saxell MA and colleagues
August 31, 2009

Outcomes of planned home birth versus hospital birthThe debate about the safety of home births continues in the literature, professional policy and practice. This study looks at one health region in British Columbia and compared outcomes of planned home births attended by registered midwives to planned hospital births attended by midwives or doctors.

Here we have another example of research in the support of homebirth. This latest study found that women birthing at home had less interventions such as epidurals, forceps, vacuum extractions and caesarean births and they also had less adverse outcomes such as haemorrhage and infection. The researchers found that baby's born at home were less likely to suffer birth trauma, need to be resuscitated and less liley to have meconium aspiration. More proof of what we already known - HOMEBIRTH is a safe option for women.

Full article

COMMENTARY: The safety of home birth: Is the evidence good enough?