Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Australian College of Midwives MEDIA RELEASE

great news in the Budget today, lets hope it goes ahead! this is the media release from National.

Australian College of Midwives MEDIA RELEASE

"Mothers and Midwives Budget winners"

"Today is an historic day for childbearing women and their families in Australia," said Associate Professor Hannah Dahlen, National Media Spokespersons for the Australian College of Midwives.

"Not only has the Rudd Government made the welcome commitment to parental leave to better support families with newborn babies, but they have also provided for:

mothers to receive Medicare rebates for midwifery care,
access to PBS for midwives,
national collaborative maternity care guidelines,
increased access at state level to birth centres,
indemnity for midwives
measures to enhance the access of rural and remote women to maternity care as close as possible to their home community.
A national telephone support service for pregnant women and mothers of newborns
"These reforms will together make it much easier for women living anywhere in Australia - from the middle of our largest cities to remote communities - to access continuity of care by a known midwife" Assoc Prof Dahlen said. "They will also be vital in helping to close the gap on disadvantage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies in partnership with Indigenous people themselves."

Continuity of midwifery care involves a pregnant woman being cared for by a known midwife throughout her pregnancy, labour and birth. It also involves follow up care in the home for up to 6 weeks after the birth of the baby to provide professional support with the all important transition to parenting.

"This is not about substituting doctors with midwives" Assoc. Prof Dahlen said. "Obstetricians will, of course, continue to have a vital role in maternity care. Midwives providing continuity of care collaborate with obstetricians and allied health professionals throughout the episode of care, in response to the individual needs of each woman and her baby."

Research evidence shows a range of benefits when women are cared for by known midwives from early in pregnancy till well after the birth. These include fewer admissions to hospital antenatally, less need for epidurals or for any pain relief, fewer episiotomies, more normal births, reduced need for their baby to be admitted to a special care nursery, more success with breastfeeding, and less vulnerability to postnatal depression or anxiety.

"Health Minister Nicola Roxon is to be commended for listening to Australian women during the recent national review of maternity services and for acting on the evidence that their needs could be better met with greater access to continuity of care by midwives, said Assoc Prof Dahlen

"These reforms pave the way for tens of thousands of women and their families to benefit from continuity of midwifery care while maintaining Australia's solid record of safety for mothers and babies," said Assoc. Professor Dahlen. "The confidence the government has expressed in midwives through these major reforms will be embraced by the profession around Australia."

"Today the government has honoured women and motherhood in this country and recognised that 'the hand that rocks the cradle' does indeed 'rule the world,' and that we as a society need to support women and invest in the future- our children," said Associate Professor Dahlen.

ACM Media Spokesperson, Assoc Professor Hannah Dahlen 0407 643 943

Cheers Pauline

Monday, May 4, 2009

Education Survey, tell us what you want to know?

Hello Midwives and Student Midwives,

Thanks to Sarah Stewart who is currently using this program. I thought I would also try this survey program out. This looks like a great program, we will evaluate it and see how successful it is in getting some feedback from our members and non members. A try before you buy system, I like these sorts of programs.

I am asking you to tell the ACM Education committee what it is you want us to provide for you in terms of your professional on going educational requirements.

Click on this link please: Click Here to take survey

It will only take a few minutes of your time, 10 easy questions, go on, give it a go.

Many thanks for your time. Remember life long learning is a journey, every day brings a new lesson.

Pauline Costins

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Celebrating our Land, our People and our Profession:

Australian College of Midwives WA Branch celebrated IMD on Saturday 2nd May at UWA. There were approximately 60 participants, women, midwives, student midwives, and allied health professionals. Being MC for the day was a challenge, with last minute program changes, and the dreaded IT problems – what a nightmare when technology fails you on these occasions. Just when you think you have it all covered, something else happens; computer not talking to the data projector, then the data projector bulb going, microphone interference and finally the sound not working...............................................................despite these things the day went well. The food was great!

It was a fantastic day, the focus in the morning was on Indigenous Women’s Health and the afternoon included a laughter workshop and a panel discussion on the Maternity Services Review.

To set the scene Justina Smith (Aboriginal Musical Theatre - Noongar Culture) began the session with a beautiful Aboriginal traditional dance, which had everyone captivated.

The welcome to Country was conducted by Kerry-Anne Winmar a Nyungar Yorga Woman. It was all truly fascinating, very spiritual and I was left with goose bumps.

The dynamic Cheryl Hayward(Noongar) presented Aboriginal communities a WA perspective: Points that stuck in my mind were: It was interesting to see that 2.99% of the WA population are Aboriginal and of that 42% live in the Metropolitan area. Also that there are many different Aboriginal languages and Aboriginal people will often read your body language first then listen to your words. Most importantly there is no one single Aboriginal culture. Lastly the word ‘Noongar’ ‘Nyungar’ can be spelt differently.

Unfortunately the Aboriginal elders were unable to share their birth stories with us today due to illness, this was disappointing but these things do happen. On the note of birth stories, it is good to see that the Noongar women are getting together and collating these stories from the elders and the women who have birthed on the country so that they will be able to be passed on and kept for prosperity.

Lesley Nelson presented her Masters on Analytic Epidemiological Study- Indigenous Health then with and Karen Kruit, presented the proposed Maternity Group Practice for Aboriginal Women. They have done some incredible work so watch this space.................. to see how they progress.

The last session before lunch was presented by Dr Heather Hancock 'Making a difference for Aboriginal Women'. Heather reminded us that International Midwives Day is a day of celebration for midwives to celebrate what an important role we play in the process of pregnacy, labour, birth and giving women and families informed choices. "we are indeed so honoured and should feel incredibly humbled".
Heather also highted aspects of the Maternity Report that related to Indigenous women. "changes to support the expansion of collaborative models of care, improved access for rural and Indigenous mothers". She also reviewed health statistics for
Aborginal Women and infant mortality, and discussed issues surrounding,cultrual differences, fear,risk, co-existing issues, choice and strategies. Heather ended with the need for Midwives to be happy in their life & work. An inspiring presentation.

The most important thing on these days is to get the catering correct and I think we did this well. UWA did a great job. The food was excellent; present very well, nice moist orange poppy seed cake and fresh fruit for morning tea served with fresh brewed coffee (that’s very important for me, none of the instant rubbish). For those who don’t like coffee, a good selection of teas were available together the old favourite, water.

After lunch was the presentation by Johnson & Johnson for Midwife of the Year Award WA winner - This was won by
Marion Cavanagh, SJOG Subiaco.
Unfortunatley Marion was unable to attend due to being sick. Congratulations Marion from the ACM WA Branch, well done.

The Laughter workshop was the most unpredictable in terms of knowing whether the participants would stay for it. As it works out the majority of people did stay and appeared to enjoy it. I personally don’t like this sort of thing, but as I liked the rest of the program so it was worth just doing it. I still can’t say it is my cup of tea, but did enjoy throwing the tantrum without any consequences.

Saving the best for last was the Maternity Review Report panel discussion: The main areas covered were National Registration 2010, Indemnity Insurance for Private Midwives, Medicare number, and the need for midwives to come together to achieve better outcomes for women.

Great to see the students attending the day.

It is time now for midwives to become political, pro-active and take our profession forward. We are in an era of change, with the recent Nurses & Midwives Act 2006, the Nurses & Midwives Board change of name and the Maternity Report that recommends that midwives play a more active role.

This is the time for all midwives to spread the word, send letters to our politicians and generally educate the public on the role of the Midwife.

Thank you to everyone that attended and made this day a tremendous success.


"You are a midwife, assisting at someone else's birth. Do good without show or fuss. Remember to be Happy and Joyous" Heather Hancock