This was the conversation I had with a colleague, this is what she had to say about the issues surrounding homebirth. I am urging open discussion what do you think? have your say!
"Went to a talk by Paul Keating this week - interesting. He talked about "BIG picture" thinking, he related it to his governments initiatives around APEC. I felt it related to us and what is happening now.
It seems to me that women (and midwives) need to consider what they want for maternity care in 5 - 10 years time. Nothing happens quickly - in this state (WA) it took us 12 years of lobbying towards a clear "big picture" goal to get a change in legislation's that meant we could provide a direct entry route midwifery course. This didn't come without some pain.
I can't help but think that this is what is needed now - "big picture" thinking. We need to develop a strategy in which homebirth becomes an option that is offered by mainstream maternity services - like in many other countries. If that means a little pain in the short term, particularly around the impact of the indemnity requirements for national registration on private practice - well that may be the short term price we need to pay. As long as we keep our eyes on the "big picture" I feel we can weather the storm.
We need to grasp the medicare provider numbers and lobby STRONGLY - for homebirth and other models of midwifery care to be part of mainstream maternity services. One we have more runs on the board (yes I know the evidence is there already - but we are asking the majority of Australians to make a significant shift in their beliefs) - in terms of outcomes ....... then we launch our insurance offensive.
I think we need to acknowledge that these are interesting political times for women and the midwifery profession - and we need to focus our energies in battles we can win - and then when things are progressing launch our next offensive.
My dream is that my sons and their partners will have greater access to a range of maternity models in which to birth their babies".