No place like home for birth

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FORMER Play School presenter Noni Hazlehurst said it was sad that more women who had low-risk pregnancies were not encouraged to have a home birth.

Noni Hazlehurst is among several women who have spoken in favour of homebirthing in the upcoming documentary 'The Face of Birth'

She described it as a natural, empowering and beneficial experience.

Hazlehurst, who had two home births, said some of her friends were alarmed by her decision, but she said it was a humbling experience.

A DVD to premiere in Melbourne tomorrow features Victorian, national and international medical experts, midwives and academics advocating a woman's right to choose their place of birth.

It comes after the tragic death of a Melbourne woman who died in hospital the day after her home birth.

Melbourne film-maker and actor Kate Gorman, who gave birth at home, said the film highlighted the unspoken aspects of the debate.

She said they were not saying that all women should have a home birth.

In the DVD, titled The Face of Birth, Hazlehurst says she decided to have home births with qualified midwives because she had heard horror stories about medical interventions in hospital.

She said her mother told her that in the UK only pregnant women with complications had babies in hospitals.

Hazlehurst said her son's birth was unforgettable.

"It is a much more peaceful and empowering experience if you can have a natural birth in your own environment," ...

She said the hospital was on standby and the reward was two beautiful and healthy children.

Hazlehurst said there was a place for medical intervention, but if women with a low-risk pregnancy wanted to have a home birth they should not be frightened out of it ...

Noni touches on the safety aspects of home birth: low-risk women, attended by a midwife, and with hospital back-up. Under these conditions, homebirth is a safe and amazing experience for mother and baby.

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