Thursday, April 30, 2009

To the editor Bunbury Mail

I am pleased to report that the Southwest Midwives have responded promtly to this article.

It would be most benifical if we as midwives responded to the editor regarding this artile with our point of view: ''

To the editor,

What a biased view on home birthing this article is.

However, have you considered that when problems occur in more rural hospitals such as Margaret River or Manjimup what it must be like to have to be transferred by ambulance to Bunbury with a hospital midwife as your escort? This is no different to an independent midwife needing to transfer a homebirth, if necessary, into hospital. The risks are no different; they are in fact they are same as rural hospital, which of course we know are safe for women with low risk factors during their pregnancy.

Do you really think women who plan a home birth choose to put their lives or the lives or their baby at risk?

These women should be respected and supported with their choices, they don’t go into home birthing blindly. These women are usually well educated and well researched. In WA there is a free home birth service provided by the Community Midwifery Program, which is metropolitan based service and endorsed by the Health Department.

Most of the medical people who state home births are unsafe are because they have been on the receiving end of a private midwife hospital transfer. Do they pass the same judgement calls when a hospital to hospital transfer occurs, I very much doubt it.

However, many more women have an amazing birth at home trouble free.

What the South West needs is BETTER birthing options and choices for women, such as a known Midwife and a Birth Centre, which the last Government offered to provide. However with the change in government this no longer occurring, the South West should have the provision of a Community Midwifery Program so that women in the SW can access the same choices as the women of Perth.

Most people who are scathing of home births have never had the privilege to be present at a home with a woman and her family during labour and birth. I am sad to say they will never get it because they have to open their eyes and their heart to see. They have to believe woman can do this unassisted.

Angela Jordan

Time for Bunbury Midwives to respond!

The Bunbury Mail headline written by Kaitlyn offer reads "More women risking Bunbury homebirths"This headline is just purely 'scaremongering' and in light of the recent release of the governments Maternity Services Review Report, which suggest that women should have improved choice, and expanding the role of the midwife.

I think the article endeavors to present a balanced view, however, it does not at any point have the view of 'the midwife' it does consider the view of the obstetrician.
In light of the Maternity Review I think it is time the media recognised the value of the profession of 'midwifery'(hence we have the Nurses & Midwives Act 2006) and sort the opinion of the Southwest Midwives or the Australian College of Midwives to further balance this article. It is sad to see that an obstetrician is negating the woman's' right of choice and slamming this as 'putting her baby at risk'. This woman has made an intelligent, informed choice of how she would like to birth her baby and this choice should be respected not criticised.

The article goes on to say that
"Between 2003 and 2007 there were 70 homebirths recorded in the South West by the health department, up from 13 performed in 2003 to 20 in 2007.....and that there were no deaths from homebirths in the South West between 2003 and 2007". Did the Dr quote the amount of traumas associated with a birth in the hospital?
So please explain to me why then have these women put their babies at risk? oh that's right
Bunbury's gynaecologist Dr Ron Jewell said mothers were putting themselves and their babies at risk.

With what evidence is the Dr basing this statement on?
“People are looking at their choice rather than safety,” Dr Jewell said. Dr Jewell has not once commented on the services or the ability of the very professional midwives of the Southwest, where is his attempt to be collaborative with his colleagues?
All midwives are trained to be able to recognise the abnormal and deal with any emergency that may arise.

Thank goodness the the trusted consumer, Bunbury mother Megan Pelusey disagrees.

Mrs Pelusey gave birth to her first child Georgia at home in 2006 and with baby number two on the way her family is preparing for another homebirth with the help of a trusted midwife, her husband Marcus and Georgia, 2.“I’m a private person and it’s a nice way to have it in your home and this time my two year old will see it all,” Mrs Pelusey said.

Mrs Pelusey said she felt women with low risk of complications could have safe homebirths when supported by a midwife with the right equipment.
“I had continuity of care with my midwife, I had regular visits throughout the whole pregnancy, (the midwife was there) during the birth and I had after birth care and you still see a doctor anyway,” Mrs Pelusey said.
She said she was not nervous about complications.
“The midwife has all the right equipment like oxygen if it is needed and we are not very far from the hospital if something happens.”

I must say I am sadden by this article, the headline, could have been a more positive one, 'Homebirths successful in the Southwest', 'More women choose midwifery led care in the Southwest' - but I guess it just may not have the same impact.

I urge the media to give midwives a fair go! find out what it is we do? don't just take the word of an obstetrician, this is about collaborative work, we can and do work together, let midwives provide continuity of care, give women the choices they want!, it really is not to much to ask for.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

International Midwives Day Celebration on Saturday 2nd May 09

The Australian College of Midwives WA Branch invite you to attend our celebrations at UWA:


International Midwives Day
Saturday 2nd May 2009

“Celebrating our Land our People and our Profession”

This promises to be a day to remember - Inspiring presentations - A good laugh
Great food
Johnson & Johnson Midwife of the Year Award presentation
Spot prizes and raffle

Maternal and perinatal outcomes for Aboriginal women are grim. Can we truly make a difference for Aboriginal women – Heather Hancock believes we can!

Nyoongar women share their amazing stories of birth in their communities

After lunch it’s Joyologist Bronwyn Williams – a guaranteed laugh and life changing workshop

The Maternity Services Review Paper…..its time for us to find a voice and a way forward …come and debate the issues with our presenters, leading health professionals including Graeme Boardley, Robyn Collins, Janice Butt, Wendy Candy and consumer Debbie Slater.

For Registration Brochure click here

PLEASE consider coming along and bring a friend too!

Aboriginal spirituality and the land

A powerful explanation of the spiritual connection of Indigenous people to the land can be found in a publication of the now abolished ATSIC [13]:

We don't own the land, the land owns us. The land is my mother, my mother is the land. Land is the starting point to where it all began. It's like picking up a piece of dirt and saying this is where I started and this is where I'll go. The land is our food, our culture, our spirit and identity.
—S. Knight [13]