Thursday, June 25, 2009

WHAT? No more homebirth

Ok, I usually reserve this blog for all things crafty and design related. But this I just had to post. And in theory it IS to do with creating...just the human being kind.

Homebirth is no longer just under threat in Australia, if two new bills introduced on Tuesday to parliament by Health Minister Nicola Roxon are passed, then Midwives will no longer be able to attend home births and will be deregistered if they do, and those women who engage a midwife to attend a homebirth will run the risk of a fine ($30,000!).

How can we take away that choice from the very small percentage of women who choose to birth their babies at home? It seems crazy to me, especially since I can tell you first hand what a wonderful experience it is to have a natural birth with no unnecessary medical intervention, in the comfort of your home, with loving family support around AND the knowledge and experience that private practice midwives bring. And studies throughout the world have shown that birthing at home is one of the safest places for Mum and baby!

I had two midwives in attendance at the home birth of my son in 2007. My waters broke early and I had a very slow start to labour. Three and a half days later, after acupuncture treatments for induction, lots of time on the fit ball and encouragement and support from my partner, my mother and my two midwives, I delivered a beautiful, healthy, 9lb 2oz baby boy. In contrast if I had been in the medical model at a hospital, my labour could have been hurried along artificially (and do you know where they obtain that hormone from, I hear it's not from humans!) which can be just the beginning of a whole array of interventions.

Don't get me wrong, if you feel safer birthing at a hospital then that is your CHOICE, unfortunately some women don't and it should also rightly be their CHOICE to birth their babies at home with the aid of a skilled, privately practicing midwife (or two!). I fear for those women who feel so passionately about this they will birth at home anyway, without the aid of a midwife.

So I ask you to please join in the cry from many women in Australia who feel the sadness and dismay that this proposal brings. Write to your local paper, lobby your local members, inundate Minister Roxon with your emails, and tell them all that WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA IN 2009 DESERVE FREEDOM OF CHOICE WHEN IT COMES TO BIRTHING THEIR BABIES. Nobody should be telling us who we can and can't engage to help us care for our health.

You can read about Nicola Roxon's announcement here and her email address is nicola.roxon.mp(at)aph.gov.au

See some more about home birth at this website.

And there will be a rally in Canberra on the steps of Parliament House on the 7th September 2009 more details are here.

And should you need more convincing please go and hire the DVD of Ricki Lake's documentary "The business of being born", it may be about America's health system but it's totally relevant to what is happening here in Australia too.

Thanks, down off my soapbox now. I'm going to give my boy a hug.

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