Birth review not acted on


One-third of the recommendations from a review into the safety of homebirths have not been acted on, including calls for a more robust investigation of baby deaths ...

The report blames limited resources for the lack of progress on meeting the 2008 review's 24 recommendations, with no evidence of progress in eight of them.

The Health Department ordered the audit a year ago, after its expert committee ... found the stillbirth rate in homebirths was four times higher than that of hospital births ...

It's not uncommon to find that under-resourcing impacts the adoption of review findings, but it is unfortunate for homebirth that this is the case. Unfortunately, recent events in WA, VIC and SA have painted an unpleasant image of homebirth that is not deserved, and when review findings go unacted on, we are denied the opportunity of improving the public (media) perception of homebirth. The reality is that low-risk, midwife-attended homebirth, with good back-up plans, medical support and a supportive health system, is a very safe, healthy and satisfying way to birth a baby. Recent research from the UK supports the idea that low-risk women who have previously birthed their babies vaginally are actually safer birthing at home than in a hospital or birth centre stetting.

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