I don't care where you give birth
- May 09, 2018
- & Amelia
- As long as you have a choice- and that YOU have made that CHOICE!
Last weekend you may have seen my posts across social media about a rally I attended #MothersForMidwives… (if you haven’t then get looking) it happened in locations across Australia and I was lucky enough to be at the Sydney one- with about 150 other passionate birthy people.
When a woman gives birth – she needs to feel safe, secure, supported and relaxed. This is how our bodies need to be in order to effectively work in birth. Some women feel that the best place for them is home- this may not be your cup of tea and that is fine- you maybe choosing to birth elsewhere…BUT for the women that choose to give birth at home- it is becoming more and more difficult in this country to do.
There are many difficulties facing our privately practicing midwives (PPM) in this country and their hands are constantly being tied with more and more unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy- which feels like a personal vexatious attack on them and the women they are trying to support. Mostly these privately practicing midwives support women to birth at home, by providing a gold standard of continuity of care, time and patience that often isn’t available for those choosing to birth in other systems available.
It should not matter what your postcode is- you should be able to CHOOSE to birth how you want. In rural areas- where there is limited availability of 2 private midwives to attend homebirths (which is now required). It is more and more difficulty to have a homebirth- if you want one.
Pat Brodie (Professor of Midwifery) OAM spoke about how 40 years ago- (when I was being born)- she was at a similar rally to thisone on Saturday and protesting the same thing?
Seriously in nearly 2 generations are women still not being listened to? Are we still fighting for autonomy over our bodies and rights in birth- it just has to stop! #enough
- Every woman deserves the right to choose where she births her baby.
- Every woman deserves to feel safe and supported wherever she gives birth.
What type of a country are we living in where other people are making decisions about women’s bodies and their babies? I don’t have a daughter-(yet). But I worry for the next generation- all the girls in my sons’ class and my beautiful niece- will she no longer have a choice of birthing place? If we do not keep up this fight- then that could be her reality.
Even if you don’t want to birth at home- that’s ok.. lots of people don’t …but lots of people do and any woman should be able to choose. Please sign the petition below as you never know your daughter or niece may want to and by then it may be too late and she may not have a choice.
I am on the committee for Homebirth Access Sydney, a Sydney based charity that helps connect homebirth mums and midwives and advocates for the rights of homebirthing mothers. We NEED memberships to carry on this work- even if you are not a homebirther or don’t want to home birth- you can still support us.
Memberships are only $30 for the year (a week’s worth of coffees) to ensure that advocacy work and awareness continues and the protection of the rights of all birthing women are upheld.
Homebirth Access Sydney- https://homebirthsydney.org.au
Also, check out these wonderful organisations that are advocating for change in protecting our birthing rights.
Maternity Consumer Network – https://www.facebook.com/maternityconsumernetwork/
Homebirth Australia – https://www.facebook.com/homebirthaustralia/
Homebirth Consortium Australia - https://www.facebook.com/HomebirthConsortium/
Birth Time Documentary – https://www.birthtime.world/
Below is the statement from Homebirth Australia that was read out at the Rally.
Amantha put it perhaps more succinctly than I can :)
For more videos and footage of the rally check out the above links.
Statement from Homebirth Australia:
As we gather here on the International Day of the Midwife 2018, Homebirth Australia wishes to thank and celebrate each and every homebirth midwife. Thank you for your tireless service to women and to their families, for holding the space for birth, for women, as they walk through this transformational journey.
Thank you to all of you here today. You have answered the call and turned out to support our midwives. It's often challenging to get to these events, and we are grateful that you are standing up to be counted. Thank you also to everyone who has been involved in these national rallies today - to everyone who has spoken, helped with the set-up, the social media, the photography. Thank you to all those who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes all over the country these past few months to bring these rallies together.
Homebirth Australia echoes the demands of Homebirth Consortium Australia - the demands of the more than 1600 of you who have signed the petition that has been presented to the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia today.
We are calling for an acceptable solution to the ongoing professional indemnity insurance issue, which has been unresolved for nearly a decade. Our midwives put so much of themselves on the line - they deserve to have the same level of indemnity that other health professionals enjoy.
We're calling for the deletion of the requirement for two health professionals to be present at a homebirth. This mandatory requirement was brought into the Safety and Quality guidelines for PPMs with no community consultation. This requirement has decimated homebirth, particularly in regional areas and this requirement is rejected by the homebirth community. The Nursing & Midwifery Board should consider these rallies the community consultation they never engaged in.
We're calling for the mandatory collaboration requirements that tie a midwife's practice, and a woman's choice to an obstetrician or doctor's permission to be removed.
We're calling for an apology for the recent, heavy handed audit into homebirth midwives - an audit the likes of which no other group of health professionals has been subjected to.
We're calling for a commitment that the time and resources of our homebirth midwives won't be senselessly wasted like this again.
We're calling for a full inquiry into the increasing pattern of vexatious reporting of homebirth midwives to AHPRA. Midwives have an ethical and professional responsibility to advocate for women. There is a culture in our medical system that fails to fully recognise women’s sovereignty over their own bodies, and this culture then uses AHPRA notifications to punish midwives for providing care to women who make choices outside medical orthodoxy. Midwives shouldn't fear losing their registration because a third-party objects to the informed choices her client has made - this has to stop.
The next twelve months are going to be a challenging time for homebirth in this country. There is going to be much in flux in the media, and in policy. There is a significant amount of work to be done, and Homebirth Australia will be asking much of you as we work to push back on the forces constantly seeking to take our choices away. It is necessary for every homebirth family in the country to be engaged in political activism, otherwise in a few short years we will be wondering what happened to our right to choose homebirth.
These are challenging times, but also exciting times and we are seeing a huge groundswell of community activism around the country. Please ensure you join Homebirth Australia, and your local homebirth association so that you can stay connected to your local homebirth community and keep informed with what is happening in your area.
Thank you again for being here today to support our midwives as we take this message to AHPRA. We will keep raising our voices until they listen.