Visit my website to learn more about my services. The International Definition of a Midwife, as accepted by FIGO, ACMI and the International Confederation of Midwives:
A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational programme, duly recognised in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery.
The midwife is recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife's own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventive measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.
The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women's health, sexual or reproductive health and childcare.
A midwife may practice in any setting including in the home, the community, hospitals, clinics or health units.
What is a Private / Independent Midwife?
A private (independent) midwife is employed by families, not hospitals. This is a very important distinction for you as a pregnant and birthing woman. As a consumer of midwifery services, having an independent midwife ensures that you have choice and control over your labour and birth.
Independent (private) midwives are accountable to their profession: to the Code of Conduct (ANMC), Code of Ethics (ANMC) and the Nurses and Midwives Board. However, we are not bound by hospital policy. We follow guidelines established by the Australian College of Midwives Inc (ACMI), in consultation with our clients and are guided by the needs of our clients.
Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancy and birth. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises midwives as being the most appropriate professionals for healthy pregnant and birthing women. Midwives are educated in all aspects of normal pregnancy, birth and postnatal care, and importantly, we are also educated in detecting complications and accessing obstetric care if needed.
As a private / independent midwife, I value the relationship I develop with you during your pregnancy. I like to spend time with you through your pregnancy so that you feel safe and comfortable with me at your birth. I focus on labour and birth preparation and childbirth education, ensuring that you approach your birth with confidence.
Why have midwifery care?
A recent study presented several advantages to midwifery care. The study was very large, involving 12,276 women. Women who had midwifery care were:
Less likely to be hospitalised during pregnancy Less likely to have an epidural Less likely to have an episiotomy Less likely to require forceps or a ventouse birth
They were more likely to:
Have a normal vaginal birth Feel in control during labour and birth Breastfeed
You can expect to pay between $4,000 and $5,000 for private midwifery care, whether you are having a home or hospital birth.
Why does it cost so much?
Fees for professional services reflect my qualifications, experience and commitment to you and your family.
I am not of the opinion that private midwifery is expensive. Please consider what other professionals and trades people charge for their services and their level of on-call commitment and responsibility.
Or, to look at it from another angle, how much money may you spend on a holiday? How much does a computer cost? And how long do these last you? Private midwifery is an investment in you and your baby, after all. And you deserve the very best.
Despite this view, some women ask me whether I will provide reduced services such as no postnatal care, one or two antenatal visits, a late booking, and so on, in order to reduce the cost. If I provided less care, I would not be able to maintain a safe record of care: either I would have to book double the number of clients each month (and risk missing your birth) or I may miss signs that things are not going well with your pregnancy or birth. All of this can compromise your care. I prefer to provide a comprehensive service and the women who book with me see the value in this approach. I am in the business of providing a premium service that is also the best value midwifery service in Sydney.
But .... if you want to know how the figures add up .... Private midwifery consumes a whopping 86 hours of a midwife's time. And that's before we include:
On-call - 24 / 7 for 5 weeks around your due date Phone and email consultations Research Administration time Attending related appointments with clients Professional consultation on the client's behalf
Private midwifery services are comprehensive, and private midwives spend many hours with women and their families, building a strong relationship during the pregnancy that carries through to the birth and beyond. This provides an advantage to you during your birth - having a familiar face who knows you, your family, your wishes, your beliefs and so on. As you can see, the service provided by a private / independent midwife does not compare easily with other maternity services in terms of continuity of care, hours of contact, follow-up and availability. When you choose private midwifery, you are choosing gold standard service.
When midwives provide this level of service, it is impossible to book more than two or three clients each month. I could see women in a clinic setting for 30 minute appointments in business hours - that would eliminate travel time and consultation time - but I know that you're after a service that really meets your needs.
Financial Hardship I would rather you don’t let money be the deciding factor for getting the support you need. Call me to discuss a flexible arrangement.
Although I will never compromise on the high level of care that I provide, some areas of the service can be modified to reduce the price. I believe you will benefit from a service that gives you what you need, at the right price. Please note there is only one booking per month available to women who are experiencing genuine financial hardship.
Visit my website to learn more about my services.