PREGNANT women were being turned away from Bowral Hospital because the maternity ward doesn’t treat high-risk pregnancies, a mother of six has claimed.
The News understands there is only one permanent obstetrician currently on staff after two had left during the past six months.
Several women claim they were told they couldn’t deliver at Bowral because they were considered high-risk and not because of inadequate resources.
... the hospital no longer delivers babies for women who have had caesareans.
Mother of six Kellie Bennett said she was forced to have her first home birth in February after her obstetrician ... left the hospital late last year.
... A GP told Mrs Bennett a few days later she couldn’t deliver her baby at Bowral because the hospital had a no-vaginal birth after caesarean policy.
She was told she would have to attend Campbelltown Hospital, but should be prepared to travel to Liverpool Hospital as Campbelltown had issues with their own numbers and may not be able to accommodate her.
Mrs Bennett’s fifth child was delivered via caesarean in July 2007 with no complications.
Worried about where she would deliver her most recent child, Mrs Bennett arranged to meet Bowral’s temporary obstetrician at the time ... to discuss a plan of action ... She was unsatisfied with the response.
That was the last time Mrs Bennett attended Bowral Hospital.
Bowral Hospital general manager Denis Thomas denied there was a policy of rejecting women with previous caesareans.
... He said Bowral was not equipped to deal with high-risk pregnancies and only catered for women with low risk and selected moderate risk pregnancies.
After obtaining her medical records before her home birth Mrs Bennett said she discovered abnormalities in her previous pregnancies.
She said her fourth child was delivered by caesarean because she was told it was in a difficult breech position but her records show the baby was in normal breech position for a natural birth.
...She added she was told she was at high-risk because of high blood pressure, but her records didn’t indicate that.
“I was upset at the time as I assumed they knew best,” she said. “Maybe women who are told they are at high-risk aren’t at high-risk at all.”
The Colo Vale resident wondered if women were being unnecessary induced and given caesarean births because of the lack of resources at the maternity ward.
.... The birth of her sixth child Matilda on February 27 went perfectly and she recommended home births to other expectant mothers.
... Mrs Bennett said more information on home births needed to be available to mothers if the hospital was unable to look after them.