ALI Hookham of Lismore is due to give birth in five days.
The 28-year-old would prefer to give birth at home but like many North Coast mothers Ms Hookham cannot afford to hire a private midwife.
... Ms Hookham is one of more than 200 women who have signed a petition calling for a publicly-funded homebirth program on the North Coast.
"The community has been waiting, they know it needs to be done and we're keen to hear about their progress," she said.
But Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford denied they had been slow to respond to calls for publicly funded homebirths.
... "We are always influenced by the fact that a particular proposal has community support but we have to be conscious of the safety of the mother, the safety of staff and potential liability issues," he said.
Medicare funding is available for care with some private midwives, and this funding assists with the pregnancy and postnatal care of women who are planning a homebirth. Some private health funds will also cover the cost of the birth.
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