IMAGINE giving birth on your own, with no professional help. Imagine choosing to do that. Women do. It's called freebirthing or DIY birth and it's a pretty radical idea. It scares the crap out of me ...
... it's dangerous, and it could be on the rise if new legislation comes into effect.
The Federal Government has given increased rights to midwives - as long as they are "eligible" or attached to a hospital.
... there are some women who reject the idea that childbirth is a medical procedure and want to give birth at home.
They are not a bunch of ... hippies ... It's ... well-educated women, many of whom have had horrific births in hospitals ... that they want their next one in the security of their own home.
... there is a real issue at the core.
... It is ... a public health issue because these women are determined not to birth in a hospital unless it is medically necessary.
That means they have to go underground.
Some independent midwives, who will be deregistered if the laws go through, will sell their services as masseuses or photographers. They will charge a premium and they will give women what they want.
Women ... will be forced to make dangerous choices. If they ... run into trouble, they could be more reluctant to seek emergency help.
... In SA, there is a hospital-based homebirth program, but it is selective. Women have to meet strict criteria and ... be in the right catchment area ... they only do a handful of homebirths a year.
... Of 107 homebirths [in SA], three were stillbirths, two of these were unplanned and the women had had no antenatal care at all ...