OVERTURNED meeting procedure and a unanimous vote will see Mitchell Shire Council requesting future security for home births in Victoria.
Councillor Kelley Stewart – who has given birth to two of her three children at home – put a motion to council last week seeking written representation to the Federal Government in support of privately practising midwives.
Her call comes as Federal Parliament prepares to debate a new Bill regarding public professional indemnity for midwives, which will potentially exclude privately practising midwives.
... “... no private insurance provider will insure a private midwife, not because it’s a ‘safety risk’ profession, but because there are so few privately practising midwives that it’s not a profitable business,” Cr Stewart said.
“If then they are excluded from this public indemnity, they will basically be banned from practising in Victoria because they have to be registered and insured to work in this state.”
Cr Stewart raised the motion for representation to the Federal Health Minister as a matter of urgent business ... councillors voted unanimously in favour of the motion.
... private midwives were currently the only midwives in Victoria who attended home births.
... “I made an educated, informed choice to have my children at home where I was relaxed, comfortable, my wishes, my needs were listened to and respected.
“But it was not so much the location that was important to me but that one-on-one continuity of care I got from my private midwife.
“I had the same midwife antenatally, during the birth, postnatally. She knew everything about my pregnancy – labour, breastfeeding issues – from start to finish.”
Kilmore mum Lisa Costantin had planned a homebirth for her first child and, although she was transferred to hospital, was pleased to have had the choice.
“Homebirth is not high risk – women have been doing it for years,” Mr Costantin said.
“For any low-risk pregnancy it should be an option.
“I had planned a homebirth but there were complications and when the time came my midwife said I should go and I trusted her.
“You are not going to risk your baby just to make a stand on an issue.”
Cr Stewart said that banning homebirth as an option in Victoria would force women to either go to hospital or choose freebirthing, which without appropriately trained carers could increase the risk to both baby and mother ...