Laws distress home birth advocate

Interested in home birth, hospital birth or private midwifery care? Questions or comments? Email Melissa Maimann or call 0400 418 448. Link

KELLY Roche is one mum ‘devastated’ by the ramifications of the Federal Government’s new midwife laws.

Mrs Roche ... gave birth to her son Dylan at home two years ago under the supervision of a registered midwife.

“It was very important to me to have the continuity of care that a private midwife provides, from when conception has occurred, right throughout the pregnancy, the birth and beyond,” she said.

“You’ve got a relationship with your midwife that you would never find in the public or private health system,” she said.

But now, Mrs Roche said, women’s choices would be limited by legislation.

“People are faced with a choice: to have their baby in a hospital, or to use midwives who are unprotected and unregistered.

“It really is devastating. It means there’s less opportunity for people like me to make choices about how to deliver their own babies.”

Mrs Roche said the first birth she ever attended was that of a friend who home-birthed.

“Her experience was wonderful,” she said.

She said other friends had ‘diverse’ birth experiences at hospitals.

Mrs Roche said the negative experiences were usually the result of ‘highly medicalised births’.

With this in mind, Mrs Roche felt she would have ‘more control’ giving birth at home.

“I felt my choices would be respected, but I also knew that if I needed medical help, it was readily available.”

... “My midwife had established protocols with the hospital so that if I needed, she could contact them and they would be expecting me.”

Now pregnant with her second child, Mrs Roche had ‘no hesitation’ in choosing the same process again ...

Midwife laws

*  Midwives will be able to provide Medicare-funded care for the first time ... *  Indemnity insurance will be a registration pre-requisite. *  ... New laws fail to provide for midwives offering home births. *  Framework includes a request for midwives to form a collaborative relationship with a doctor. *  Midwives will require doctor to sign-off to access Medicare insurance and pharmaceutical benefits.

... The new laws will provide midwives the ability to provide Medicare-funded care – but only if they are registered, and to be registered, they must be indemnified.

... To be eligible for a Medicare provider number, midwives will need the sign-off of an obstetrician.

“This provides an opportunity for doctors to have power over a qualified, experienced midwife,” she said ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448