HOME births could be pushed underground in "fragile, secretive arrangements" after a Federal review rejected funding for the practice, an academic says.
A review of maternity services ... has recommended changes to Commonwealth funding arrangements to support a greater role for midwives.
It also suggests the Government provide professional indemnity insurance support to midwives, but rejects Commonwealth funding for home births.
Leading midwifery expert Jennifer Cameron ... said moves to regulate the role of independent midwives in home births was not in the best interests of women.
"The report was very clear in that it did not support reforms that increased or funded women's access to home birth,'' she said.
"Women will continue to have babies at home; removing independent midwives and saying we won't do home births won't solve the problem.
"Most women birthing at home without a trained caregiver do so because they are unable to access midwifery care at home, and are unwilling to use hospital-based services ... Ms Cameron said more women would be "pushed into'' unattended home births.
- I firmly believe that what needs to occue is a reform os hospital birth services so that women with "high risk" situations such as VBAC, breech, twins etc can have natural births in hospital. The Maternity Services Review paves the way for this to happen.