Birth wrangle

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link

A warning from Australia's peak group of obstetricians and gynaecologists that home births carry too much risk to babies and their mothers is completely false, according to an Echuca midwife of 25 years.

The National Association of Specialist Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (NASOG) claims home births, with or without a midwife, are too risky and the government should resist calls to indemnify midwives outside of hospitals.

How can she compare midwife-assisted home births and free births?

Proposed laws ... would require midwives to have professional indemnity insurance before they could be registered.

But such insurance is unavailable for people who work outside hospitals.

Midwife and maternal and child health nurse Andrea Quanchi, who operates Echuca-Moama Midwifery and Parenting Service, said if the laws were passed, said she could possibly face fines of up to $30,000 for helping with home births.

... "Then there will be no regulation of midwifery standards and that is dangerous.

... There was nothing dangerous about home birthing - it was about providing women with choices, she said.

... "If there is an emergency, we transfer them to the hospital ... The transfers run seamlessly ... "

Mrs Quanchi said she didn't force clients into home birthing and had been present at countless hospital births.

"It's not my decision as to where they want to have their baby," she said.

"It can't be their ultimate goal. It's about what's right for them at the time.

"If something goes wrong, we're out of there."

NASOG president Hilary Joyce said Ms Roxon was acting in the best interests of babies and their mothers by refusing to financially endorse the "unsafe practice" of delivering babies at home.

"There are things that can go wrong suddenly in a birth which, if not under specialist care or near medical assistance, can result in an avoidable death or permanent injury," Dr Joyce said.

And far more goes wrong when women birth in hospitals with every machine that goes ping.

That has not been the case with any of Mrs Quanchi's 75 clients, over a 10-year period.

"Home births are for women who have low-risk pregnancies, no complications and have a good back-up plan. They also need to be from a good, stable home environment," Mrs Quanchi said.

"We're not in the danger game of proving a point."...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448