MELISSA McFarlane is devastated expectant mothers could soon be denied the right to the intimate and private homebirths she received.
... Under the legislation, midwives must be insured to join the register but private insurers no longer provide cover for homebirthing and the Federal Government has also refused to subsidise professional indemnity for homebirth claims.
As a result, up to 200 independent midwives could be deregistered from July 2010. If they continue working they risk fines of up to $30,000.
Ms McFarlane delivered three of her four children through homebirths in the comfort and familiar surroundings of her own home.
She said the homebirths of her last two children were an incredibly intimate, gentle and beautiful experiences.
They allowed her children to be present at the birth of their siblings, minimised the disruption to family life and kept her in the comfort of her own home.
"There's no diseases at home ... it was my normal environment, food from my own fridge, my normal air," she said. "I have found it a very gentle process."
... Supporting Ms McFarlane through her four pregnancies was the same midwife, who she said was the utmost professional.
... A Senate inquiry last night found that homebirthing may be driven "underground" if the Federal Government's proposed changes to maternity laws were passed ...