Homebirth Service at Casey Hospital

Interested in home birth, hospital birth or private midwifery care? Questions or comments? Email Melissa Maimann or call 0400 418 448. Hospital-based homebirth services are sometimes criticised for being too restrictive in terms of inclusion / exclusion criteria. Women considered unsuitable for hospital-based homebirth programs include women with high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, previous caesarean section, previous shoulder dystocia, previous postpartum haemorrhage, over 42 weeks, under 37 weeks, baby thought to be too big or too small, prolonged rupture of membranes and so on. Although these programs are considered to be too restrictive, "risking out" most women, I often remind myself that these policies are no more restrictive than the policies of countries such as the Netherlands, and as we know, the Netherlands has a 30% homebirth rate.

We're at the cusp of a very exciting time in maternity services. For the very first time, midwives will be given medicare provider numbers and women will be able to claim medicare benefits for midwifery care. This opens up the option of homebirth to women by increasing their access to midwifery care. However, for whatever reason, homebirth is still seen by some as being something that only "hippy", "alternative" or "crazy" people would do. My experience is that the women who birth at home are generally tertiary educated, in their mid- to late 30s, professionally employed (or business-owners) and defintely not crazy! I am a very strong advocate of homebirth and although I provide a private homebirth service, I support hospital-based services because they promote choices for women and provide a sense of legitimacy and acceptability of homebirth. Hopefully more women will a) know they they have an option to birth at home and b) take up that option. Homebirth truly is a most beautiful and amazing way to birth a baby.

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GIVING birth at home was a relaxing experience Sarah Quinn says.

The Hallam mother was the second to take part in Casey Hospital’s new home-birth pilot program ...

The Southern Health 12-month initiative provides 50 mothers with free midwife-led pregnancy, home-birth and antenatal care in the hope its success will make it available through the public system.

Ms Quinn, 21, who gave birth to her second child Tennille at home on July 8, said the experience was much better than her first child’s hospital birth.

“I felt much calmer and completely in control of my own body,” Ms Quinn said.

“I was surrounded by people I love, including my other daughter. It was a wonderful experience.”

Professor Euan Wallace from Casey Hospital said many pregnant women considered “low-risk” preferred home births because it provided a more positive transition to motherhood.

“Many women feel that labouring and birthing in their own home gives them a stronger sense of control,” Prof Wallace said.

He said studies had found home-birth was as safe in low-risk women as giving birth in a hospital but provided more satisfaction ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448