295 responses to “Free for all”

  1. Janet

    Thank you for writing this. I’m rendered speechless by the hatred and the lying. Your friends love you. <3

  2. Patrice London

    Please know that not everyone believes the lies. You are loved and appreciated more than you know.

  3. Corina

    I am disgusted by the treatment this couple & yourself have had to endure.

  4. Rachele Meredith

    Love to you Lisa. I am simply gobsmacked by the lies and the feeding frenzy. And the fact that some blogger would take the time to photoshop dirt onto a photo of you then ridicule you…. mind blowing. You were on holiday at my place when that photo was taken, we were having such a lovely time, who could have ever imagined it would be used like that! Those who know you know what an honest and transparent woman you are, and how much integrity you have. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel as to ridicule grieving parents or to take a well baby from his mother hours after birth. So much love to you. xx

  5. Sonja MacGregor

    Stay strong Lisa! I have been with women who have gone through this shite with DoCs twice now. I would never in my wildest dreams have believed that a hospital could be so pathetic to go to such lengths to punish a woman and her baby, to call those evil baby snatchers who don’t really care about the welfare of the baby, just their own power to do what they want. The women need you to stay strong and you have many midwives who are thinking of you often and sending love and strength.

  6. Concerned

    Lisa, the doctors can’t pinpoint a time when brain infarctions occur like you state( ie 30wks). I know this from personal experience. The mother of the child in her stories states that doctors told her that it could have happened at conception, or at anytime during the pregnancy/birth but she does not like you say it happened at 30wks.

  7. Shawna

    Lisa, thank you for writing this. I wish this could be put on the front page of every newspaper. I know in truth there was no basis for them taking this baby or for the court orders, but can you clarify what reason they sited? What risk did they perceive this baby being in?

    My heart is aching, but more than that I am angry for this family who felt their hands were tied into compliance, for you and your family, and for all the people out there that think that because they don’t want a homebirth this issue doesn’t concern them. How very wrong they are. As you’ve said, this is an issue of bodily autonomy. This is the right of the family to make their own decisions without government intervention.

  8. Juli Townsend

    Shocked beyond belief, Lisa, but in absolute admiration of your strength. Hang in there. Good has to overcome and it will. You have so many who are backing you, more than you can imagine.

  9. Rain

    Lisa, if this is all true as you write then you must stop attending births! It’s not worth an innocent baby being separated from it’s mother because you happened to be at the birth! I often speak out against what I see as your decision to push your cause over the health and welfare of the individual baby you are caring for in the moment. Do your battle now without endangering others! Maybe everything they say about you is a lie or perhaps it’s exaggerated half truths and I am wrong. However, now it is clear you mere presence at a birth could lead to a child being removed from it’s mother’s arms. If you continue to attend births and this sort of drama continues to follow you it will not help midwifery or women and children ANYWHERE in this world. Be an activist, speak out, write a book, make a film, give workshops…use your current fame for something constructive. Please don’t attend anymore births right now! Please don’t use innocent babies as political tools! That’s exactly what you are doing by attending any birth right now! If you feel you and your family must be martyrs to this cause then so be it, but don’t drag these new little souls through it with you. I don’t care if their parents begged you to be there it’s not right! That poor baby. You must have begun this journey because you loved women and babies. Stop and realize your presence at these births is not positive. Even if you believe it is through no fault of your own you must stop. :(

    1. Meg

      So if a woman calls Lisa and asks her to attend their birth she should refuse? Don’t be absurd. You claim to be a birth activist, so surely you can comprehend the notion that it is the right of every woman to choose her birth team for herself, not the right of the state to deny women the care they want / deserve.

      Activist my arse.

      1. Elizabeth A

        “So if a woman calls Lisa and asks her to attend their birth she should refuse? ”

        Yes.

        My right to choose my birth team does not trump a midwife’s right to be on maternity leave herself, have plans to leave town the month that I’m due, work only for women who plan to birth within a certain radius of her home, have committed herself fully to other clients, take time to pursue further training or care for her family, or comply with the provisions of local law. Nor do I have the right to demand that a midwife work outside her comfort zone, and attend me during labor even though she has reason to believe that there is a higher than usual possibility that I will experience complications she does not have the skill to deal with, that are likely to injure me or my baby.

        Lisa is currently undergoing legal investigation. She seems to believe that mothers she has attended are being targeted for harassment by law enforcement. She has surrendered her license to practice as a midwife. If someone calls her and asks her to attend a birth, she would best serve that person, right now, by explaining that she has suspended her practice for the time being, and is not available.

        I think a lot of people would rather search for alternative care early on than have to deal with this nightmare after checking out of the hospital, or have to scramble for alternative care if the investigation results in a judgment preventing Lisa from attending.

        Lisa would also be best off for the time being if she didn’t give law enforcement more to investigate. I would be very surprised if her lawyers haven’t advised her to stop taking clients.

        1. Tina

          I am sure Lisa is well capable of answering for herself but your lack of spelling ability “Concerned” may be off-putting ?
          In my understanding as a follower of political machinations of the birthing world in Australia, Lisa’s relinquishing of her Registration as a Midwife coincided with the changes in Policy from the Australian College of Midwives where Homebirth was not recommended for so called ‘High Risk” pregnancies which has since been endorsed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). This was well known as being in the works more than a year or so ago and many of us, Midwives or Student Midwives have had to make a choice… stay with the system, or step out. Lisa is one of the most skilled birth attendants who has extensive experience and skill with so called “High Risk” or what may be called variations of “normal” in birth and is internationally acclaimed and recognised as an Expert Midwife/Birth Attendant for these situations… your insinuation that Lisa gave up her Registration because of any impending Coronial Inquiry is uninformed.

          1. Concerned

            Thank you Tina for pointing out my spelling mistakes. I will try to ensure no further mistakes.

            Tina have you also “stepped” out from being a Registered Midwife due to the College’s position?

          2. Tina

            Thank you ‘Concerned’ for replying, and I know I’m a little OCD about the spelling thing on posts and blogs as such between people who don’t know each other.. Lisa even mis-spells things now and again but so do I… but I forgive her (and myself) because I know her.. and I know she (and I) are hugely intelligent.
            I am not in a position to step outside of the system right now as I am coming to the end of 4 years hard slog to gain my Registration as a Midwife but it feels bittersweet as I would have ‘the system’ include homebirth for all risks and for Aboriginal women to birth ‘on country’… who knows where this will lead me.. probably not practicing in Australia….

  10. Kari

    This story really upset me. I feel sorry for the poor baby that the hospital so brutally mistreated and for the mother and father, it must have been so traumatic. I hope things work out for you as well Lisa, I have faith in you and your abilities as a midwife. It’s stories like this that make want to avoid the hospital system even more.

  11. tarabrae

    I absoloutely disagree with Rain. Supporting women as they grow and birth their babies IS constructive. Don’t stop doing that. None of the midwives I know personally would put their personal needs or beliefs ahead of the welfare of a woman or baby that has asked for their support. Some of them have supported women at great risk to themselves, both personally and professionally.

    Rain, you don’t need Lisa at a birth to come to the notice of DOCS. You simply need to follow through on your right to birth where you choose, with who you choose. What happened to this family is not, unfortunately, because Lisa was there. It was because they made choices that are considered “unsafe” or questionable, despite the data that shows otherwise. And like in this case, families are bullied into consenting to medical treatment that is unwarranted and that they don’t agree with. And like in this case, those families are put through the trauma of having the threat of their baby taken from them based on unfounded concerns only to have no further action taken, and no apology either. It happens in SA. It happens in NSW. It happens in QLD. It happens all over Australia, even at births Lisa *didn’t* attend ;) It’s politically motivated in some cases, and ignorance in the others. If you want to blame someone for causing such trauma to these families, put the blame where it belongs – on the people who wish to make women conform, who wish to restrict women’s choices, and who wish to abolish the right of women to make decisions about their own bodies and health care. Lisa falls under none of those categories.

  12. tarabrae

    I absoloutely disagree with Rain. Supporting women as they grow and birth their babies IS constructive. Don’t stop doing that. None of the midwives I know personally would put their personal needs or beliefs ahead of the welfare of a woman or baby that has asked for their support. Some of them have supported women at great risk to themselves, both personally and professionally.

    Rain, you don’t need Lisa at a birth to come to the notice of DOCS. You simply need to follow through on your right to birth where you choose, with who you choose. What happened to this family is not because Lisa was there. It was because they made choices that are considered “unsafe” or questionable, despite the data that shows otherwise. And like in this case, families are bullied into consenting to medical treatment that is unwarranted and that they don’t agree with. And like in this case, those families are put through the trauma of having the threat of their baby taken from them based on unfounded concerns only to have no further action taken, and no apology either. It happens in SA. It happens in NSW. It happens in QLD. It happens all over Australia, even at births Lisa *didn’t* attend ;) It’s politically motivated in some cases, and ignorance in the others. If you want to blame someone for causing such trauma to these families, put the blame where it belongs – on the people who wish to make women conform, who wish to restrict women’s choices, and who wish to abolish the right of women to make decisions about their own bodies and health care. Lisa falls under none of those categories.

  13. Concerned

    You also haven’t mentioned the death of the twin that has been reported. You say that the press is telling lies, but are you providing a balanced view as well? Please be accountable in your practise.

  14. Sarah

    Firstly – It makes me feel so completely ill reading this and thinking of this happening to my own baby, being reduced to an onlooker and having my rights refused at every turn – this can never be in the interests of mother or baby!
    Secondly- Rain; obviously Lisa’s presence at births is creating drama and conflict, this she is fully aware of, but who then? Who will support these women – or will they be left without a midwife, without a doula, be left to the pressures of the system with no one to advocate for them or be a shining light of reason…. The women who choose to have Lisa involved with their births (I have twice) are entirely aware of the situation and take full responsibility over their own actions – this is bodily autonomy.

    1. Rain

      It’s very sad these mother’s aren’t supported to birth vaginally and naturally in the hospital! I understand that, but it’s extremely emotionally and developmentally damaging for a newborn infant to be taking away from it’s mother and put into government care. More damaging then a hospital birth and maybe some of you are so extreme in your views at this point you honestly believe being born in a hospital is worse then being taking away from your mother at birth and put into government care. If that is what you all believe then I can not relate to you at all. I personally think someone has to start thinking about these babies in the middle of all this drama. Lisa, should be involved in anyone’s birth right now. It sucks for the women who want her there, but it’s better for babies!

      1. Concerned

        Totally agree with you Rain.

        1. Icarus

          Are you people actually serious? Of course it is extremely damaging for the baby to be separated from the mother at birth. How the hell is that Lisa’s fault and what sort of morals do either of you have that you will shoot the messenger? This story reads like something that would happen in a police state. Australia used to be the lucky country and we ought to be fighting to keep it that way.

          “All that is required for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing”

          What are you guys going to suggest next, we rescind the apologies to native aboriginals because those mothers brought the stolen generation on themselves? Or how about talking Nancy Wake’s achievements down because if it wasn’t for her all those Jews wouldn’t have died trying to leave occupied France?

          I am so serious – I don’t want to live in a police state and this story horrifies me as a pregnant mother, having already refused numerous treatments and had pressure for medical interventions. If this happened to me I would be calling the media myself and inviting them into the hospital – noone would be taking my baby away from me, I assure you of that.

          One thing I definitely won’t be doing is blaming my independent midwife. You guys really need a hard look at yourselves. As to the deaths being investigated – here’s a red hot tip. I think the parents of the child might have a little bit more skin in the game than you people OR the media – who just want a story, trust me. If they don’t want it investigated and they don’t blame Lisa it’s pretty easy for me to pick a side since I wasn’t there, and they were. And it was their baby!

          Your arrogance frightens me. This is how Nazism took over a country. Please, just think about the full implications of what you are suggesting is an appropriate reaction to outrageous behaviour by DOCS – and the hospital – before you say anything else.

          Whatever happened to “First, do no harm?” If we can’t trust our hospitals to hold to that we’re in trouble and when we allow babies to be psychologically damaged and manhandled within 24 hours of birth we’re in trouble. And shooting Lisa down won’t fix that trouble – in fact, it will make it worse. The measure of any society is how it treats its children. This story makes me ashamed. I certainly don’t want to be one of those who stand by and let it happen. Not because I believe in home birth, but because I want to believe in my country.

      2. Janice

        “but it’s extremely emotionally and developmentally damaging for a newborn infant to be taking away from it’s mother and put into government care. More damaging then a hospital birth ”

        Sure, sure. And the PTSD/PND rate is what again? There are many babies with broken mothers and broken homes due to the lack of access to private midwives in and out of hospital. The answer is not putting babies into foster care, but initiating visiting rights and *real* mandatory reporting of hospital malpractice for midwives.

  15. Rain

    On another note, can you please clear up the misinformation surrounding the taxi transfer baby death story? Did you call and ambulance instead or where is the confusion coming from? Did the baby indeed die or is that not true either? I’m open to hearing your side as the only one I hear is what is reported by the news.

  16. LeahGem

    Omg I am devastated from reading that :(

  17. Danielle Martin

    Much love to you and your family Lisa xx

  18. jfairy

    Rain your argument is as valid as the one that suggests that women can avoid being raped by dressing sensibly. Classic ‘blame the victim’ thinking that completely fails to identify & address the cause of the problem.
    And have you also sent a letter off to the hospitals in Adelaide offering maternity care asking them to explain the over 2000 babies that die every year there?

    1. Rain

      I’m not talking about the women I’m talking about the babies! I want women to home birth but there are other midwives then Lisa out there! Lisa shouldn’t be attending births right now because it’s dangerous for the emotional well being of the newborns! If her just being part of this baby’s entrance into the world could mean it’s ripped from it’s parents arms and taken by the government then Lisa needs to stop attending births for now! It’s not blaming anyone it’s stating the facts! It’s not worth it for these babies to be put in this sort of situation! There are other ways for Lisa to keep fighting for her cause!

      1. tarabrae

        Rain, I’m not sure what research you’ve done, but if you had done much at all, you would know that there are many midwives in Australia facing the same kind of persecution and denigration that Lisa is. There are many midwives out there that have handed their registration in rather than practice in a way that compromises the care of women and babies. There AREN’T, in many cases, other midwives out there.

        You are doing exactly the same thing that doctors and policy makers are doing – proclaiming that YOU know what is best for women and babies, when it should be the woman who decides. You are using the “Dead Baby” card to try and manipulate Lisa and other women into behaving as YOU see fit.

        If your concern is for these babies, then please, do your research, and recognise that your opinion isn’t the deciding factor. If all you hear about Lisa’s birth work is what is in the news, then you are very much illinformed. You say the information being presented is convincing you that Lisa is a murderer (really?!?), but you also acknowledge you know very little about what has happened. As a doula, as a birth activits, fact checking should be your friend. Try some.

        @ concerned – not sure where you are or what you know, but midwives who practice independently here ARE held accountable in their practice by both the law, and by professional organisations. Would you care to elaborate at why you think Lisa is not being accountable in her practice?

        1. Shawna

          Excellent points tarabrea. Really spot on. And Rain, although I don’t delude myself into thinking I can change your views would you at least consider this?? You say you’re not concerned with the women, but with the babies. Those babies will one day grow up and have their own babies and on and on….all of those generations also deserve FREEDOM OF CHOICE. And by you living in fear of doing anything to piss off the authorities just for the sake of ‘saving the babies’ is actually hurting their future. As others stated, what happened is wrong and it’s not Lisa’s fault or the mother’s fault. It’s the system that’s done wrong by this child.

          1. Concerned

            Shawna, I don’t feel Lisa is being accountable for a few reasons-

            I see floors in some of her statements on this blog. A few things make no medical sense and I believe show a lack of understanding about things ie how antibiotics work etc.

            She took on a client with a history of an emergency c/s for a VBAC. End result a shoulder dystocia that the midwife student( who was there in a capacity as a friend not Midwife) actually freed the baby as Lisa was unable to do so. Rather than taking responsibility and being accountable for taking this on she has fought there even being an inquest. Lisa has said the baby would have died regardless of where the birth took place so what does she have to fear from an inquest? Instead she has made a song and dance about it being an attack on home birth when it is actually looking at Lisa’s practise as a midwife.

            Some of her blog entry’s seem inconsistent with other sources, ie mothers version differs to this current entry, no mention of the deaths of babies.

            From a few comments on this blog I also get the impression she is still attending births, but is not registered as a midwife. Therefore the health commissioner is correct in investigating this.

      2. darling

        Actually Rain you said this just a few short scrolls ago “It’s very sad these mother’s aren’t supported to birth vaginally and naturally in the hospital!”

        It is very clear you dont want women to homebirth, any homebirther can see this, people know bullshit dressed up as ‘support’ dribbled from the corner of a persons mouth when they see it.

        Your claiming that Lisas involvement is causing babies to be ripped from their parents arms is in total contradiction to the hospitals/ DOCS reasons for removing that baby [im sure theyd run a mile from what you are accusing them of], which were completely unfounded in the end. So are you saying that the hospital or DOCS is removing babies from their mothers because Lisa Barrett is involved in their births, because that would be illegal for them to do so & would prove the barbaric nature of Australian Hospitals & the government organisations that support & care for our families.

        Perhaps what youre really saying is that the current medical & family services that women are forced into in Australia are showing that at any point they are more than happy to abuse their power & traumatise mothers, babies & families to prove a point; not because it involves the necessary care of a human being but because you & they have held some kind of kangaroo court in your own heads & convicted a woman of killing babies….im pretty sure there is a word for that too…it starts with ‘def’ & ends with ‘amation’.

        I agree with you completely as would every woman & parent i know that it is dangerous for babies to be removed from their mother & treated as this one has been, perhaps you could be just as passionately vocal towards the people who are doing the removing & explain how they are hurting innocent & healthy newborns?

      3. Meg

        It is not up to YOU to decide who a woman will ask into her birth space, it is up to the woman. Any woman hiring Lisa would be well aware of the witch hunt that is occurring, so she is making an informed decision and that is her right!

    2. Hearmeroar

      My first born and I were nearly killed in an Adelaide public hospital. We were put at risk by busy staff who simply did not care…intervention after intervention for no reason except they were busy, until it became an emergency…I wish I had had someone so passionate about protecting the lives and choices of mothers and babies as Lisa.

    3. Sharon

      I dont know where you have got your “statistics” from jfairy for baby deaths in Adelaide maternity hospitals but you have extremely over exaggerated by quoting 2000!!!!!!!
      and Lisa just because some people may not absolutley agree with you, you have no right in calling them “bitches”

  19. lily

    Any educated person in this state,country,knows how biased and pathetic our media coverage is,its not even worth an iota of ones attention. We as women understand how the media is victimising Lisa and homebirth,how her fight isn’t just to birth babies but a fight for womens choices,to be allowed to have our babies at home without fear.
    Personally,I wouldn’t even wipe the local media print with my arse. Yes Lisa at this present time you are a hot topic,they are making you a scapegoat,don’t give up,ever,you are what is proud and strong about women,I and all my friends support you,love your work though we’ve never met you.

  20. C-C

    Rain, I can’t help but feel you just ‘short skirted’ Lisa. Lisa if only you didn’t wear that short skirt, you’d never have been attacked?! Lisa is NOT responsible for the choice of the Hospital to exploit the situation and punish this mother/her baby/her partner/Lisa. Their actions were wrong, the responsibility to act in this way, lies entirely with them.
    If as you say the hospital decided to use this family just to persecute Lisa – can you in the same breath even hint that responsibility for such a disgusting act, falls to Lisa?! Honestly?!
    The hospital did this, the health system continues to use Lisa to kick around in the media because it suits them. This is their choice and we must be responsible for our own choices. These are their actions, and we can only be responsible for how WE act, not what motivates others to act. The choice to act lies with them alone.
    It’s also important to recognise the disparity of power between Lisa and the hospital, hospitals are empowered to use things like DOCS and the Police against women in a way Lisa is not. They choose how and when to use that power, and in this instance (and in many others) it seems they chose to under-represent their concerns to this family, not attempt further conversation on the point or try a more gentle intervention, not attempt a humane inclusion of the mother in the child’s removal, but rather just spank them with permanent consequence and traumatise them forever. In no way, is Lisa responsible for that lack of professionalism. None. They had choices, they made them. If they made these choices simply to persecute Lisa – they have no right to make such huge HUGE life altering choices and claim they have any hint of an investment in human welfare.

    I also think the women who decide to birth with Lisa are aware of the hostile climate she faces…? If not, they certainly will be more informed than ever about how far the health system will seek to punish them. No mother will hire Lisa if they feel she will act in a way that does not best protect her interests and the safety of her baby. Also, why would you suggest Lisa hold workshops or make a movie if you think she is so base and crass as to use babies just for political promotion!??! “I believe you are the sort of person who would drag little souls through crap – hey make a movie!” – are you serious?!?!

    It is just so dangerous to shift responsibility for this situation on to ANYONE but the health system.

    I was at a birth where the hospital staff seized on homebirth transfer, and with a concerted dedication, traumatised an entirely compliant mother and father using their child to do so – up to and including using the police force and DOCS to further the powerplay. The hospital removed their child but had to release the baby once the Dr’s concerns were proved entirely unfounded…just as they were when they discharged, just as they were from the moment the child was born and right through every half arsed check that Dr did. Pity there was no police to rip him from his home, separate him from his children late at night and make him defend his choices in a room with guards on the door. I can only hope his incompetence affords him such treatment one day very very very soon. The only difference would be that he entirely deserves it. Twice a day.

    I’m not a midwife, the midwife who attended that birth was not Lisa. Turns out the health system is following their own agenda for any homebirth transfer and are happy to treat babies as cheap pawns in the process – it’s like roulette, transfer and just hope you don’t get staff high on a grudge who’ll ruin your life. The hospital I was at were chomping at the bit trying to force medical procedures on an entirely healthy newborn, that all their own notes and all the information given at the time entirely contradicted! Their choices, their responsibility, but hey – no consequences for them! No media coverage, no public outcry.

    I was pregnant at the time I attended this birth, the transfer and the subsequent forced removal of the newborn (for reasons so horrifically misrepresented every professional involved in the fallout was unhappy and amazed at the extent of the lies). I was planning a homebirth, my second homebirth. I realised at that point that if I had to transfer I would do so under extreme suspicion, reluctance and caution. Having seen what the hospital was prepared to do, I was in fact too afraid to transfer…but I couldn’t plan a homebirth without accepting transfer as part of my responsibility should the need arise, so with much discussion I resolved my panic but had to accept my fears as legitimate.

    HOWEVER my birth plan changed to ‘discharge as soon as the baby is safe and well and never NEVER return home – always go to an undisclosed location, with no mobile contact whatsoever – contact no one’. See? I’ve learnt my lessons from hospitals. My baby would just be a headline grab or something to poke with needles and deprive of contact until I’ve been punished enough. I spoke to various friends and family who work in the hospital system, social welfare and even with the Police. I explained the situations I had witnessed and each of them was disgusted. Sadly none of them work in Maternity. In fact the care and generosity of spirit I frequently witness in hospitals seems to exist anywhere but the Maternity Wards.

    Lisa, I love my midwife and I feel I am done having children now – but if I was in a different situation I would trust you to be my midwife. If a hospital transfer ended the way I’ve seen it end and the way it ended with the family you discuss above – full responsibility would fall to those with that power and who abused that power. Even given these outcomes, in fact BECAUSE of this new climate of violence and abuse hospitals have decided to embark upon, I’d want to hire you twice as fast. I’d want someone who knew going in, what could happen.

    Huge huge huge love and support to the family. It breaks my heart to read this happening more often and to know it will continue to happen.

    1. Rain

      Why are you all talking about Lisa only! This isn’t about Lisa this is about this baby who was taken from it’s mother! Lisa isn’t the true victim here the baby is! Lisa can still fight without having to be playing tug o’ war with the authorities with a baby :(

      1. C-C

        Rain are you all right?? I wrote a novel sized comment in which I talk about

        - Lisa
        - the parents of this baby
        - the family of this baby
        - myself (at length and the violation -I- feel)
        - other parents
        - other babies
        - other hospitals
        - other Drs
        and many others.

        I am not sure if you are refusing to engage with the many points which discredit yours for either lack of conviction or using a tactic of pretending at being simple minded…? Perhaps you are just being very genuine in your representation and this is the best comprehension of the issues you can manage.

        1. Rain

          I read your novel sized comment. Though you have refrained from out right childish insults and choose to “civilly” insult my intelligence, I still got the message very clearly. Lisa is not just a midwife any more. She is a political figure and as a political figure she must decide how she will present herself. I personally think still attending births, and causing so much friction that by even “babysitting” at birth means the newborn is taking from it parents, is an incredible selfish political statement to make. It is exploiting the child on everyone’s part…Lisa’s and the authorities. If it makes you feel better to brush me off as a simpleton go ahead.

  21. Virginia Maddock

    Lisa I am so sorry for what these evil people are putting you and these innocent mothers, families and babies through. It is absolutely shameful and confirms why we choose to avoid hospitals as much as possible.
    Thanks for coming to the ACM rally – it was nice to meet you in person, if only briefly. I would’ve liked to have spoken to you more but was rather preocuppied and a bit stuck for words to be honest. Stay strong. I hope that the truth will reign eventually.

  22. Amy Hourigan

    Holy crap Lisa!!! I am shocked and appalled, thank you for sharing this otherwise I would be none the wiser to the injustices occurring behind the scenes. If there is anything I can do please let me know. Love and strength to you, may justice prevail xx

  23. sheridan

    Lisa, not everyone believes the lies. Those who take the effort to look into it properly can soon see the truth and if you want a homebirth in this country you have to take a lot of effort to look into it because its not easy to come by. The media is trying to sell papers, they don’t care about women or babies or birth, they are just trying to create headlines. I feel very sad that someone who does so much for so many is being criticised. You don’t deserve this, you are a wonderful dedicated midwife and if you lived near me I would definitely have you at my homebirth. The haters will always find something to hate. I wouldn’t let any of them near me or my baby that’s for sure.

  24. Louisa

    I am just speechless to read this. I was a HB trf that ended in a CBAC because the OBitch refused to straighten my baby’s head so she could decided through my pelvis, the OBitch stated from the very first moment she walked through the door that she wanted to c/s.
    And we wonder why women are staying home and going unassissted and babies and mothers will die because they are too scared to go to hospital. How stupid. Egos should be shelved for the benefit of mothers and babies (and families) everywhere.

  25. Sarah

    Any serious cultural shift is not without it’s casualties and sacrifices – and those at the forefront of change, challenging perceptions and long held ‘truths’ will always be at the highest risk of personal sacrifice. I’m not suggesting that I would sacrifice my own child to prove a point any more than Lisa would use a family or baby to support the tireless work that she does. However, as a current client of Lisa, I have made my choice that in this instance, supporting Lisa and continuing with my plans to have her present at my next birth may in fact have a higher purpose – this is not about proving any point or using my baby as a political tool but I would be niave if I didn’t at least hope that continuing to birth our babies normally, the in the privacy of our own homes with our choice of care provider would in some way demonstrate to all women that having a baby is not inherently risky but is actually a completely normal and uncomplicated act. The more we focus on the risks, including any ‘risk’ associated with birthing with Lisa, the more we perpetuate the lie that birth is dangerous and by not fighting against this lie, aren’t we in fact saying that it is true?

    The media, the politicians, the misinformed bloggers will not stop until they have ruined lives. We CANNOT leave this fight up to Lisa alone. Lisa, you are the single bravest person I know and I and my family are beyond honoured to have birthed with you in the past and are excited to be doing it again soon! I don’t need to justify my decision to anyone but I, along with all who know and love you do need to keep fighting in your corner.

    1. Shawna

      Perfectly stated Sarah.

    2. Matt

      I hear a gavel hitting a bit of wood amd the words case closed! I hope its a male judge too…

  26. Tessa K.

    God, it makes me feel sick when I read of the treatment these mums, babies and families are receiving upon a transfer to hospital. Makes you wonder whose interests are being served — the mother’s? the baby’s?? You have opened my eyes to how truly hostile the homebirthing climate is here at the moment. Sending you love, light and strength – I am sorry you are having to bear the brunt of the obviously political power games going on, but I thank you for standing strong on behalf of us all. xx

  27. Michelle

    I just wanted to say that I have been hearing about your story and I wanted to respond to this as someone who has been on the other side of this. I had a homebirth loss 6 years ago tomorrow ( OCt 22nd)

    What makes me mad for you is that people do not have a single clue as to what occurred during the births in which the babies passed away. I said this elsewhere but I will say it here also. No one and I mean not a single person carries the burden of losing a baby like the parents do. No one has the right to be more angry than them. And if these parents are supporting you then all of us should be also.

    1. Meg

      Love to you, I’m sorry for your loss. I am also a mama who has lost a baby, it was a planned freebirth, turned transfer for premature labour, and it turns out I’d contracted listeria.

      Because my sister is well known and outspoken in birthing circles she was blamed for his death, and called a murderer. it was pure speculation but it hurt our whole family.

      1. Danielle

        My love to you both. Pregnancy loss, regardless of circumstance, is a heavy burden to bear. Realise you have ‘sisters’ in the world that send you love and support.

    2. BeatlesFan

      What makes me mad for you is that people do not have a single clue as to what occurred during the births in which the babies passed away.

      So you DO know what occurred? You were present for these births? If not, you don’t know any better than the rest of us do. Why is blindly believing the press worse than blindly believing Lisa?

      1. Michelle

        You obviously didn’t read what I wrote so I will say it again to make it more clear for you. I said that if the parents are supporting her ( because they WERE at the birth) then none of us who WEREN’T there should be angry or persecuting Lisa.

        I don’t understand why the public feels like they have more of a right to be angry than the parents, who are the ones who will forever live with the loss. And that is coming from someone who actually KNOWS what it is like to lose a baby during a homebirth. No one carries the burden more than the mother. NO ONE.

        1. LizDM

          Hey Michelle – your insight is moving and I trust such views will help open others up to the idea that life has its course, which can go pear shaped on entry into this world – bet it birthed at home or in a hospital. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  28. Matt

    I know little about your case Lisa, but to those who are choosing to believe what is said in the press, wether spoken by a politician or a journo are a bit silly really. Both these parties firmly ennunciate the truth as a matter of coincidence and convenience. Its a bit sad that I even need to write that, surely… Also, while the recent birth of my daughter occured in hospital, We had a birth attendant, amd both myself and my partner are very grateful for her wisdom and input, which was at times at odds with the Obstetricians ( tho not the midwives)
    Our experience was richer and safer for her presence, as was our daughters

  29. darling

    Lisa the truth is the truth is the truth is the truth, some people will choose to invent & believe their own reality, it wont ever make it the truth though.

    As someone who works in media i am disgusted by the current non factual releases [but they done surprise me]…so I was talking to my husband about the current HB situation this morning & he asked how many successful ‘high risk’ homebirths has Lisa actually been part of? How many women wouldve be left without any birth attendants at all because they are not willing to attend hospital to have their rights removed from them & to then subject themselves & their newborn to intervention & medical abuse that they are strong armed into agreeing to? In comparison how many OB’s have attended as many successful ‘high risk’ natural births as Lisa has? These arent questions for Lisa just musings.

    People who support the current medicalised birth system are easily spotted, they can be seen ranting ‘think of the babies think of the babies” without any thought or consideration at all to the women who are birthing their young. It is a mothers responsibility to make choices for & care for her child, no one else has the right to supersede that biologically, naturally & God ordained position.

    1. river

      During my second pregnancy I would have been considered high risk, having had a previous Csection after a HB transfer. My second baby was born at home (4yrs ago), with Lisa present. This HBAC was the most healing process of my life, and yet if I had been in a hospital I would definitely have ended up with another traumatic C section.I will be forever grateful to Lisa until I take my last breath, that she had the skill and courage to birth with me.
      Thank you Lisa and I send you my support.

  30. Dragonfly

    All I Can Say is Oh My Goddess! I find the power of the courts and the department scary….. and it isnt just babies at risk of separation from parents…. If you read the CHild Protection Act that these areas are supposed to operate under you will see that these actions actually fall outside of the act.

    My sister had a beautiful home birth and has a healthy 2 year old now

    I know of many who succeed and many who are advised halfway through to attend at a hospital

    I would love to actually see truth in reporting but I think it is a long time coming as is shown here media pushes an agenda that suits those they follow

    And the male dominated, culturally restrained, ill informed beaurocrats running this state have long been narrow-minded over such issues.

    What actually needs to happen is for people to act like grownups and stop attacking the person or people involved and instead debate the issue….. backed up by accurate information which I expect is hard to locate due to court proceedings and above mentioned beaurocracy

    Peace and Blessings

    EVERYONE TAKE A DEEP CALMING BREATH

  31. Karen

    Thankyou Sarah . . . . speechless!

  32. Kylie

    It’s disgusting that the casualties of the war on homebirth will be the innocent babies separated from their mothers, the mothers who are traumatised by the treatment and bullying they receive in the hands of the hospital system, and the midwives who want to support women to have natural, low/no intervention pregnancies and births.

  33. Pete Malavisi

    Oh Lisa, how awful for you and especially the parents, how sad and inappropriate for the mother and father and their newborn to be treated in this way. Pete

  34. Abby

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this Lisa.

    You have 100% of my support to not answer any questions….especially from the haters! You owe no one an explaination.

    To the haters…..you honestly have no idea and should therefore not be commenting. You buy into the lies and shy away from the truth. Lisa is a woman, mother, midwife who chooses to support women in the way they choose. She is ‘with woman’ when so many others are scared to be,

  35. Murasaki

    Rain and Concerned, it must be a party and a half over at your sites these days with new carcasses to pick over. Lots of “lulz”. Class all the way.

    I’ll just say there is a LOT you dont know because it is the PRIVATE business of the families involved and because the powers that be dont want you to know.

    1. Saffire

      Are you referring to the innocent babies that died as “carcasses”?

    2. BeatlesFan

      “New carcasses”? I’m sure the parents who buried their children, regardless of how they feel about Lisa, must really appreciate having their dead newborns referred to as “carcasses”. How sensitive of you.

      “I’ll just say there is a LOT you dont know because it is the PRIVATE business of the families involved and because the powers that be dont want you to know.”

      Again… unless you were one of the families involved, you don’t know any more than anyone else does. Why do Lisa’s supporters think THEY are privvy to all the secrets while the rest of us are in the dark? Because she says “this is how it happened”, that’s automatically the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? if you say so.

      1. Murasaki

        Or perhaps we personally know the families involved.

        I’d like to apologise now to the families involved for using the word “carcass”. You all know me so I hope you’ll understand I was angry and picturing them all like vultures on their nasty blogs – picking over the stories. It was extremely insensitive to use the word carcass though, I didnt think and I am deeply sorry if it has caused any offense to the parents.

        So much love to you all.

  36. Elena

    I am so mad reading this, my blood is boiling for the absolute injustice. This sort of deception and slander should be illegal. They really are using you as a scapegoat for their own agenda of trying to get home birth outlawed. I was born at home 28 years ago, into the arms of loving parents and skilled midwives. The silent majority of women are on your side, but the loud minority are really proving what uninformed idiots they are i.e. journos and health minister! Who can we write to to speak up?

  37. Dale Sheridan

    Hi All and Lisa,

    Wow life and death always promote much debate. I would only suggest that we all remember that the experts in our own lives are ourselves. When the women chose to have a home birth they were the experts on their own lives and therefore their decisions were exemplary.
    Let us not forget that the experts who take the power of each and everyone of us have an agenda and that agenda is personal power and wealth.
    Each may be able to support their own opinion but it is only your own opinion and therefore only applies to you. That said it is obvious that there is no blame to be attributed to anyone in this situation, except for those who assume their judgement applies to others other than themselves.
    Finally the babies of women are, yes , precious beings, but I believe that they are for quite some time extensions of the mother and it is the mother with support of her intimate community who decides the path to be taken in the birthing. Attributing legal status to an unborn is ultimately taking the child from the mother and handing it to the state whose only interest is in self preservation and increased power and wealth.

    Basically this comment is to suggest a little more wisdom and a little less passing of the buck.

    Lisa you are much respected for your path and for your respect of the mother’s decisions and choices.

    Dale

    1. Tessa K.

      Well said, Dale.

  38. Community

    Sending you love strength and donations. And to clear it up for the nasty ones out there I choose to donate my money of my own accord as what Lisa fights is about more then just her but very future of birthing and women’s rights in Australia. Its about my rights to birth and those of my friends and daughters.

    Lisa thank you for fighting and for not rolling over and backing down. Your a strength in a time when many are feeling weak and done in. Ignore the hate it comes from those who hide behind computers in distant lands, from women who have been lucky enough to have passed through a system of butchery unscathed.

    I birth at home on country and will again the way my mother did and her mother and all the way back to when my family began their dreaming. No law would stop me.

  39. Kazz

    So much love to you Lisa – thank you for speaking out with the awful truth! My heart breaks for the baby and mother. I was threatened with DOCS removing my children from me if I did not attend a hospital requested induction at 42 weeks. Once in the hospital they tortured me and punished me for having had previous homebirths. The system is sick. The truth is that we are living through a time of persecution and terror. We all must fight. We all must speak out.

  40. andrea

    stay strong Lisa, as a midwife myself I know we try our very best in all aspects of pregnancy, birth and beyond- but you would never believe in a million years that such a beautiful situation could end up this way (except in horror movie).My love to the family. How they must have suffered greatly having the little one taken like that, then forced medical intervention for no reason. (brings a tear to my eyes). Keep practicing our wonderful art don’t give in to nasty people who i recon are jealous of what we do- your a rare gem. oxoxox

  41. Jo

    Feeling totally ILL here. Asking Lisa to stop attending births is telling women who they can and can’t have around them while they birth. Lisa is with women when they want her to be. It’s not about you, the media, the hospital system, or anyone else. It is all about support, and she does that so well.

    I only hope you feel the support yourself, Lisa, as you travel this path. You do so with grace, purity and love. You are strong, you are loved.

    The system that tortures and punishes women and babies simply for giving birth on their own terms makes me so sick and angry. When will they see that it’s not about them?!??

  42. Karen

    Rain, your comments, no matter how justified YOU may think they are . . . or whether your comments are for the babies, questioning Lisa’s practice, asking for clarification of media comments or for the all too often fear based litigious rhetoric about safety, it is obvious how unaware of the self righteous, egotistical, demeaning, misogynistic behaviour the medical profession is capable of (this comment is made from ‘firsthand experience) dominated by males, steered by the power they assume is their right, it needs LITTLE provocation to behave badly.

    The very POINT of this discussion is that . . . we are women’s advocates . . . Lisa was being the women’s advocate, supporting the women’s decisions, that is our role as midwives

    You are either, very young, have never questioned the societal control YOU (and I ) live under, believe in the power and validity of the medical profession or have worked in that private hospital too long. . . because NO ONE reading the current media’s accounts of events, the coroners reports or any other authoritative comments on these unfortunate events would be so naive as to think Lisa not attending births would fix anything, but doing exactly what the system wants to happen . . .reinforcing their dominance.

    Your naivety and ignorance, I fear . . . is showing

  43. Rachael

    Stay strong Lisa. You are a wonderful midwife and fantastic practitioner. Anti homebirthing women will always find reason to justify their own negative birth experience and practitioners will always find reasons to assault women and babies. Your friends know what’s in the media is utter crap, we know these bloggers are mindless twits. They are not worth the effort. I applaud you for writing this down so all to see. Love you heaps.

    1. Sumone

      I believe that everyone should have a choice and feel saddened that the parents have to go through this, but I do believe justice will be served. There are reliable witnessess and they will come forward and tell the truth, its a shame but the odds seem to be against you.

  44. Free

    I am so saddened to read what has happened to that family, how cruel. As a mother I don’t think I could bare it, its unforgivable.
    I have a fear of entering a hospital and its not helped by these damn power rangers hurting young families.

  45. Meg

    Aloha from across the Straight. They’re bastards, just keep your chin up xx

  46. Donna

    “In reading the history of childbirth, we have to “read between the lines” of histories of obstetrics by contemporary medical men; we can also examine the passionate debate-by-pamphlet that went on between those who opposed and those who argued for the female midwife. But it is important to remember that the writers were by no means disinterested, that they were engaged in both a rhetorical and a political battle-and that the one group whose opinions and documentation we long to have – the mothers – are, as usual, almost entirely unheard from” Adrienne Rich

    Lisa works tirelessly to give mother’s and babies a voice. She listens to what they are saying, she provides them with well informed, impartial information, and she will do whatever is in her power to enable women to have a choice, and for them to bring their baby into this world in the best possible way for both. It is something she does with integrity, passion, and a clear, sharp intellect that draws on years of experience (in all childbirth realms) and a wholistic understanding of the research, practices and possibilities within the sphere of birth. I would place my life in her hands because she has no agenda or ego, only dedication, consideration and wisdom. She needs to be given respect, not the denigration she is receiving right now.

    It will be a sad, sad day when we do not recognize that vested interests, politial agenda’s and right wing control freaks have increasingly co-opted birth issues at the expense of better outcomes for both women and babies. These issues need to be understood not from the power bases of obstetrics alone which clearly benefit from maintaining control over women’s bodies, but intelligently from humane, considered and fully informed positions. Fear mongering has gone on long enough and this ‘witch-hunt’ should stop. It is unjust and does nothing other than to amplify our stupidity as humans. These decision makers and law makers should familiarise themselves with the knowledge and truth that is out there and not allow their weaknesses, fears and ego’s space to make decisions.

    Lisa you are a warrior in the greatest sense….and you can rest easy that you have been true and good in any of your actions, unlike the current bit players screaming their words to the masses. The should all go to bed each night uneasy and restless about their positions and directions. What they are doing is wrong, wrong, wrong – morally and intellectually, and is a sad demonstration of the inhumanity of instintutionalised bureaucratic bullshit machines.

    You have my love, deep respect and hopeful wishes that these power mongers will not be further enabled to crush free birth choice – not just for women but for all.

    Keep doing what you do!!!!

    xxx

  47. Cynthia

    Lisa, as a midwife who lived through this sort of event I want to first send a heartfelt hug your way. I know how often I needed them during my trial and hope that you have many people surrounding you that are eager to offer them.

    As for this public questioning: Please remember that the world is divided into many types of people and that there are some for whom constant stirring of pots in any event is their every breath. Remember that for Athena personalities defending the father image is an absolute imperative and your position as an independent midwife leaves room for a great deal of doubt and “informed, insider” questioning. For such people the need to find fault with the slightest misquote, reevaluate details from their “professional” position and otherwise cast aspersions on a woman outside their comfort zone is their duty.

    Remember what midwives are ultimately fighting for: Independence of practice through a system of behaviors and tools that help a mother navigate the childbearing year with health and vigor while maintaining a woman’s control over her decisions, body and process. Such a belief system runs 100% against the very origins of nursing. The grandmother of nursing -Florence Nightingale- was a fierce early feminist whose drive to bring women into the battlefield to help the injured and dying was heroic; it was also completely matched by her belief that a nurses’ job was to care for the sick and dying with great passion BUT at no time was she to usurp the power and place of the physician.

    Remember that what is happening to you now is not as much about you as about the changes you represent in the world. You know this of course and it is still important to say it often, and with a very real sense of distancing yourself from the charges made against you. Childbearing lives at the very core of the human fear of death. Who lives and who dies, who chooses; this is the debate and it lives with or without those of us who dedicate our lives to this work. Do not be led to that ocean of terror as its evil queen.

    While I would never again tolerate the absolute isolation my lawyer insisted upon in my case, I can look at that long past time and acknowledge the great relief there was in the larger plan my community acted upon. The facts of the case were constantly filtered to a very small group that was generated specifically to disseminate truthful information to the appropriate groups. There were individuals well skilled in speaking to the media and that was their job; to develop media contacts and make certain the incontrovertible facts were being published. Other groups were better situated to speak with medical people were were actively debating the case; there job was to help this powerful group hear the truth and become allies to it. Still other individuals had the skill-sets best suited to reaching out to small community groups and their job was to create community events in which the facts could be accurately discussed. With a constantly solidifying file of facts a dedicated group of well-placed individuals can bring the truth into darkness in a timeliness and clarity that is both remarkable and hopeful.

    Lisa, try to remember that you are not alone and that those of us who have scraped ourselves off that bloody field of battle have lived to see its end by making a choice; be strong and at peace with what you know or become driven by innuendo and negativity. I am not suggesting that this process will continue without you raging against a storm; somewhere in America there must be a river filled with my tears which is frequently stirred by the undertow of my anger. Yet I know that challenging women such as those you illustrate only opens a door for other equally hateful discussion. Enough rounds of these debates and you become something outside of any truth; you become the victim of some people’s need to create ugliness where none existed before. Hold onto your knowledge of what happened, surround yourself with people who are wise enough to see that the way through this is to carry your truth forward in your stead and most of all…do not let such debate into your heart. Be your truth and it will indeed set you free.

  48. Beck

    I had a huge post, but realised that Lisa’s blog probably wasn’t the best place.

    I just wanted to say two things.

    Concerned – you are demanding a lot of answers from Lisa. Here’s mine – Are you or are you not involved with or at least post on those blogs that are opening mocking and insulting ‘natural birthers’ as they call it? Not that I feel you will answer honestly, but I thought it worth a try.

    Basically, the media have outright LIED. The hospital outright LIED. FamiliesSA outright LIED and BULLIED – not a big surprise there though. The fact that you are ‘towing the line faithfully’ says more about you than anyone else. Neither you nor Rain seemed to have grasped this fact and are, in fact, running your own agenda. Quite frankly, sod off.

    I know Lisa personally. I have had the great honour of having her as my midwife/birth attendant. I treasure my children more than anything on this planet. How dare you think that I would endanger my children!

    She is the most caring, knowledgeable, smartest, most compassionate person I have ever had the pleasure to know. The very fact that you are blindly regurgitating the medias bullshit shows that you have missed out on knowing someone very special, and for that, I pity you if for nothing else.

    Lisa, stay strong – I know that is way easier said than done, but know that you are in our hearts and prayers daily. Those that know you, know the truth of your beauty. Love Always from Us!

    1. Concerned

      No, I am not involved with any other blogs. I am not a hater of natural birth, as I said before I support women’s choice. I feel that women also have the right to make that choice on accurate information.

  49. sue watson

    i have been following this for a little while now since i first read about it.lisa stay strong my love.for years midwifes have fought against bigoted views on how we practice.we have been burned and hung we have been called witches and gossips.however onething that is true is WE STAND FIRM we have fought back and contine to offer help love and support to countless women,and their familys.unfortunatly nowadays those people how have sought to harm midwifes now hide behind the laws that thay claim hold babys best intrests at heart. i doubt that thay force scared perents to doubt themselfs ,thay enforce their views on others.people who know nothing claim to know it all!unfortunatly papers,report THEIR ideas of the truth.(please note the debarcal of the *phone hacking NEWS OF THE WORLD debarcal* here in the uk! it ended with the paper colapsing and reporters in court themselfs and news of possible prison sentences for those same reporters. so lisa stay strong know you have support of midwifes the world over. my only other rather *bitchey* remark id like to make( and we uk women love to be bitchy)is RAIN failed midwife i assume takeing refuge as a *doula* you should of all people who says she wishes to support women SUPPORT STARTS WITH OUR OWN. and if i was a women who wished for a doula i would choose one who would support MY DECISIONS NOT HER OWN BIGOTED IDEAS women of australia take note, midwifes are here for you .you are strong women stand up and be counted be firm in what you want know your rights seek help from suitably qulified persons when you are unsure BUT MOST OF ALL I THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING US TO CARE FOR YOU X

  50. Miranda

    It’s all turned into a bit of a witch hunt, hasn’t it? What’s that quote about history? Something like those who haven’t learned from history are doomed to repeat it? Yeah. Lisa, stay strong and just keep swimming. Xxx

  51. Saffire

    Lisa, do you believe that unborn children have rights?

  52. Helen Cahill

    Hi – I have been reading the debate with interest and wanted to add a point about the suggestion of separating mothers and babies. I have many times seen women who have considered taking their baby and leaving hospital against medical advice and doctors quite prepared to prevent the baby from going if they really believe there is a good reason for the baby to stay e.g. for observation/treatment. Mostly (99%) of the time negotiation is all it takes to come to an agreement either that both go home or both stay. But I know from experience that mothers can quite readily be forced to have their babies remain in hospital. In this case, the women always stay so it’s not actually ever been a case of separating mother and baby.

    Rain and concerned – who the hell are you two – don’t keep blathering on with the same point over and over and learn how to spell for god sakes! Look up the difference between floor and flaw in the dictionary.

    This whole situation is soooo sad and i know it’s all going to end in tears. What a pity it’s come to this – the gloves are well and truly off and I feel that women and midwifery are the big losers here.

  53. Concernedaswell

    If only Lisa would allow dissenting voices on her blog. But you won’t will you Lisa.

    1. Tina

      There are plenty of dissenting comments that have been allowed and posted on this blog… which Lisa has answered when they are genuine questions… can’t you read?

    2. Murasaki

      No, thats why we can’t read your comment right now. Its invisible. WOOOOOO!!!!

      Or Concerned, or Rain’s.

      Pretty much every comment section on here has at least one or two comments from Dr Coco Pops Peanut Gallery.

      1. Concernedaswell

        Hilarious. Of course, you don’t know how many of my previous comments were NOT let through. Until this one.

  54. Amy Hourigan

    Concerned, I understand your concern. However I think it’s very patronising to think that Lisa’s clients are not fully aware of all facets of homebirth. The homebirthers I have come across are the most well researched bunch of people I have ever met (re: your comment – I feel that women also have the right to make that choice on accurate information).

    Women chose homebirth because they HAVE done their research AND are well informed. Women choose Lisa because she is highly skilled and has a wealth of knowledge in every aspect of birth.

    Go ask an obstetrician how many babies have died while under his care?

    Its a fact of life that not all babies will be born alive. At home or at hospital. Many more babies die in hospitals BECAUSE of the so called life saving interventions.

    Doesn’t it all come down to a woman’s right to choose?

    1. Beatlesfan

      Women chose homebirth because they HAVE done their research AND are well informed. Women choose Lisa because she is highly skilled and has a wealth of knowledge in every aspect of birth.

      Women who chose hospital birth do so because they have done research and are well informed, as well. The problem on both sides is this: if you look long enough, you can find evidence to substatiate ANY claim. I could probably find “evidence” online that the sky is purple and unicorns are real, if I wanted to. Also, it’s a human tendancy to accept “information” which tells us what we agree with. Also, FWIW, anectodes are not real information and don’t count as research.

      Go ask an obstetrician how many babies have died while under his care?

      This is quite the illogical blanket statement. First of all, OBs see HUNDREDS of babies in a YEAR. How many babies a year does the average midwife see? 20? 40? MUCH less than an OB. It’s like saying “more people die in white cars than in yellow cars with orange polka dots”. It doesn’t mean people who drive white cars are worse drivers, it’s because there are MORE white cars on the road. Ever heard of statistics?
      Second, OBs see ALL kinds of labors and births- “normal”, emergency, multiples, birth defects, pre-e, SD, PP, GD, preemies, older moms; PLUS HB tranfers. They see all the births that SHOULD risk a mother out of having a homebirth. Again, statistics- much more risk means potentially worse outcomes. Who has better odds- 28 week twins or a 40 week singleton who weighs 7.5 lbs? Which one of these would an OB have, and which one would a midwife have?
      I also hope you aren’t counting babies with cognital abnormalities incompatible with life and/or transfer babies who would have lived with IMMEDIATE emergency care on the OB Death-O-Meter. The issue isn’t who gets more deaths. The issue is who gets more PREVENTABLE deaths.

      Its a fact of life that not all babies will be born alive. At home or at hospital. Many more babies die in hospitals BECAUSE of the so called life saving interventions.

      I agree with the first sentance, sad though it is, and it sounds like another blanket statement to relieve the care provider of any responsibility. If it were an OB getting this backlash in the press, would you still say that?
      As for the second sentence, do you have links to any ACTUAL information about these babies killed by interventions? I assume you found these stories while doing your HB research. I’d like to see them.

      Doesn’t it all come down to a woman’s right to choose?

      It comes down to women making choices based on accurate information. “Trust birth” and “babies die in hospitals too” should not be a woman’s deciding factors.

      Contrary to how it sounds, I’m not commenting simply to bash Lisa Barrett. That said, if you don’t like “bitch bloggers” acting like you know nothing simply for disagreeing with you and “spreading misinformation”, don’t do the same to us.

    2. Concerned

      Hi Amy. Yes babies will always die, unfortunately there will always be congenital abnormalities, premature birth etc. I don’t see the issue as being the death rate of babies under OB care versus the rate under midwife care.

      Isn’t the real issue this- babies that have been alive and well up to the point of birth that have died during labour, delivery or shortly after. Babies that “but for” these circumstances would have been expected to be normal, healthy babies.

      Yes, if an OB had been involved in such deaths then I would welcome and encourage investigation into his/her practice. Just like I agree with the investigation into the Melbourne Dr involved with the abortion clinic. It is in the publics interest for such investigations to occur.

  55. Amy Horak

    I’m in the US and have chosen homebirth for myself after an “emergency” cesarean nearly 18 months ago. “Emergency” because after 3 weeks of presenting breech and 2 hours of laboring in the hospital, they “discovered” she was breech while in transition. The situation was terribly traumatic for me as it included general anesthesia, panic, chaos and confusion. I initially chose homebirth because of the terror of being subjected to that hospital and their incompetent staff for another delivery. Since making my decision, I have poured over all the information, stats, and personal experience anecdotes I can come across. I am obsessively trying to make the best, safest decision possible. To imply I would choose homebirth on a whim is insulting. To think my past experience, which was totally avoidable, would keep me from having the positive and beautiful birth experience I decide to pursue is ludicrous to me (re: Lisa’s involvement w VBAC/emerg cs “high risk” clients).

    I had to keep my choice of homebirth a secret until I was sure to be covered by insurance (lots of fighting and red tape), because the only OB in this town would divorce you from his practice upon mere mention of the term. With my history of fast labor, and surrounding hospitals being more than an hour away, I was reluctant to lose my place in that practice. I thought THAT was terrible and unethical!! I can’t even imagine risking to lose my child to the courts because I choose no medical interventions on my perfectly healthy newborn.

    I’m appalled by what I’ve read in the comments by Rain mostly. To suggest we all give up our rights and live in terror of “the man” is ABSOLUTELY against basic human rights! This is the 21st century for goodness sake! Icarus summed it up for me just as I was going out of my mind in disbelief.

    That baby wasn’t taken and the family traumatized by Lisa’s presence. It happened because of the power hungry hospital people; because the family left AMA. Because they “broke the rules” they were punished. That is a scare tactic and fear mongering if I’ve ever seen it.. To keep the country in fearful compliance. What next??

    There is just so much I want to say, and I can’t even articulate it. I’m terribly emotional about this, being 7 months pregnant.

    If my hospital had a roach motel motto (they check in and never check out), you can bet your ass I’d never set foot in such an establishment. I don’t care if it was falling off.

    I apologize for the rambling and humbling of thoughts and ideas in this comment. I felt I had to say SOMEthing, even if I wasn’t entirely sure what. Lisa, stay strong, speak the truth… What do they say? “Keep calm and carry on”?

    Much love to you and ALL the women in Southern Australia. I’m rooting for you and you’re in my prayers. It’s such a shame…

    1. Danielle

      Amy, your story is like so many others I have heard. If not already aware, you might find some help and solace in the Coalition for Breech Birth. http://www.breechbirth.ca
      Good luck with number 2! x

  56. Jane A-C

    B*stards. Love to you and this poor family xx

  57. Anonymous

    Homebirth is, and should be, a right that any woman should be able to choose!

    To have this taken away from women would be a disaster…

    The media often get things wrong, whether through poor research, inaccurate sources or even knowingly…. who knows? I doubt most people that read articles that are clearly one sided would take it as gospel, but it certainly would spike curiousity in those that would otherwise not have had any formal interest in Birth, Homebirth, or in the Midwifery or Medical models of care.

    After reading this blog, I’m concerned that your words will put fear into not only those women that may be planning home births from transferring into hospital if the need arises, but those planning to birth their baby in the hospital or birth centre. I am certain that key points have been omitted from your blog entry (whether you are aware of these or not…?).

    All hospitals have their policys/protocols and a duty of care…. the following things would not occur in our public hospitals:

    1/ DOCS would NOT be called simply because someone discharged themselves early!

    Women discharge home early all the time, and if its ‘against medical advice’ they sign a form after all the risks (whether high or low) and reasons why the hospital would prefer they stay, have been explained… and some FOLLOW-UP CARE has been arranged (normally in the form of a Home Visiting Midwifery Service);

    2/ Blood tests on babies are NOT carried out ‘just because’ the mother has an unknown GBS status!

    Sepsis screens are performed if KNOWN GBS positive women have had INADEQUATE antibiotics before birthing their babies, and are only done on GBS negative or unknown women if their babies are displaying signs of infection;

    3/ Formula would not be ‘suggested’ by midwives or nurses merely because a baby is fussy at the breast!

    The Lyell McEwin is BFHI accredited, formula is only suggested or given if, a) mothers do not wish to breastfeed, or b) for a medical reason.

    Mothers have the right to decline any test or intervention, but it must be an informed choice.

    MOST midwives, whether they work in a hospital or community setting will do all they can to provide women & their families with a positive, individualised experience with a happy, healthy mother and newborn. That is what being a midwife is all about!

    I really do hope that Homebirth stays alive in Australia! It IS a SAFE option for women classed as having a ‘low-risk’ pregnancy. I also hope that when women that are viewed as having a ‘high-risk’ pregnancy, who are well-informed and still choose homebirth, have access to experienced midwives that are willing to facilitate their wishes as safely as possible, without hesitating to advise transfer if it becomes indicated… and without delay.

    At the end of the day, it is VITAL that every effort is made to ensure women have a satisfying, POSITIVE pregnancy, labour and birth experience with good outcomes for both mother and baby. It is such a special time in a woman’s life, and I feel deeply saddened that the above family had such a disappointing and altogether frightening experience… :(

  58. Worried

    What a mess. Lisa is not the only midwife or doula who is being persecuted for putting women above the system, they are scattered over the globe, being picked off and crushed, one by one mostly, sometimes whole practices at a time. The parents rarely instigate these claims, the state does.

    However, find a bad birth outcome caused by a doctor, when the parents try to push for an investigation they are told that it is not in the public interest to charge maternity hospitals or their staff with wrong doing and the damage to public confidence would be too great. How is that remotely fair? I’m sure you won’t have to look far to find women, or the families they have left behind, who will tell you it is very much so!

    How about the number of healthy babies submitted to admission to a nursery for ‘observation’ or given treatments against parents’ express wishes, separated from their crying mothers, several a day at the hospital where my baby was kidnapped by paediatric staff. I wanted a home birth and transferred – for pain relief, nothing more dangerous than that… I ended up forced into a caesarean I didn’t want because the Dr did not want to stay beyond his shift, during which I was damaged to the point of near death. Because I’d transferred from a home birth my baby was considered ‘high risk’ and transferred to SCBU where he was tested – there are 20 odd heel prick scars on his tiny foot, X-rayed, given huge doses of IV antibiotics, formula milk – even though I’d expressed for him. We were separated for 2 days and I was not told that if I left the ward against medical advice to visit him then my mental health would be investigated – HP speak for you won’t get your baby back.

    I tried to complain, they called Social Services and charged me with neglect (case closed, no evidence found, but there will always be a record against our name and I’d be fearful in future, the investigation process is awful).

    Women and midwives are being persecuted for not complying with the system, not for being dangerous. If danger was the worry and the cause of investigation then there would be a lot safer practice inside the system too! So very rarely are these enquiries sought by the parents, they are sought by the state and the parents defend the carer they so carefully chose… If the parents who made an active and informed choice to engage that care (rather than fall into a system where they have to take what they are given) are happy then everyone should be happy, if the state investigates poor or tragic outcomes then it should investigate them all, not just hand-pick those cases that can be used to deny others choices.

  59. veronica

    I can understand that people are wanting to have more details about the specific incidents that the media are reporting about. Out of respect for the families that are involved it makes total sense why Lisa would be remaining quiet. Those that know Lisa, and especially those that have birthed with Lisa as their support, know that Lisa handles each family with complete respect and care, before, during and after birth.

    It is really disturbing to read people’s comments on here and in other places that suggests that Lisa takes risks and is against medical care. In both the homebirths that I had with Lisa involved, there was never ever a suggestion from her that we would avoid medical intervention if needed. In fact, one of the reasons that both me and my husband felt confident about Lisa is that she had a very respectful view about medical intervention. Lisa talked through the different situations where she would suggest a hospital transfer and made sure that we were not against the medical intervention in case it was needed. As it turned out, after the birth of my last child (my fourth birth) – with Lisa there as my midwife, she suggested that we go to the hospital for me to be observed. No excess bleeding, nothing wrong with baby….yet it was Lisa that calmly called the paramedics to come and help with the transfer. There was nothing that the hospital was able to do and we were discharged after a few hours. Interestingly both me and my husband noticed at the hospital that Lisa was fantastic with the doctors, and there really seemed to be a respect for her amongst the staff. There was never any feeling that Lisa was willing to risk anyone’s well being while being under her care.

    I know that Lisa has become a public figure in the midst of some very tragic circumstances, but I really hope that if you have not met Lisa before, and if your only information is coming from the media, then please be really careful about jumping to conclusions. There is absolutely no need to make the situation worse by false accusations and preemptive judgements.

  60. ATK

    How disgusting and appalling that mothers are continued to be pitted against their babies, all so that the ‘system’ prevails as the ‘hero”! WHAT’S BEST FOR MOTHERS *IS* BEST FOR THEIR BABIES. Meanwhile, those that truly serve mothers and babies continue to be ‘witch hunted’. It’s not a new story. Stay strong women.

  61. Gloria Lemay

    I’ve come into this conversation late and haven’t read all of the above. My experience is that the “bitches”, who have a big opinion on everything to do with home birth and midwives who are out there and active, are all anonymous and untraceable. That makes their message very suspect and, at least, cowardly.

    1. Sumone

      I don’t believe that is true, people who have put their names to their opinions have been threatened and abused by Lisa and her followers, good thing big brother is watching now.

      1. E

        Sure! Who *wouldn’t* leave their real name when anyone with an opposing opinion is called a bitch. I’d just love to be stalked by some unstable birth junkie who calls random women bitches. Not that is comment is going to see the light of day anyway… Just like my other comments that you won’t publish.

      2. Gloria Lemay

        Exactly what threats and abuse occurred, please?

        1. Concerned

          Mmmm “bitch blogger, liar” having suggested IVF caused my babies issues, being told there are other causes for “realized fetuses” that use my attention more…….. Should I continue or do you get my drift. No I won’t use my name because of this abuse. If Lisa can refuse to make a statement to the coroners court, then I think it’s ok for me to remain anonymous don’t you? I think it’s a shame things cant be discussed, debated reasonably as I have done. The hostility amongst people here is frightening and shows that you are not willing to hear other views than your own. As I have stated previously I support women’s right to choose, but that needs to be a “fully informed” choice.

        2. Concerned

          Gloria, I can’t help thinking that you too are bordering on abuse. There is no need to refer to people who disagree with you as “bitches”.

          1. Murasaki

            I think the original use of the word “bitch” came from a place of extreme anger at one of our community’s Dear friend’s tragic experience being ridiculed and used as fodder against Lisa on the Skeptical OB blog.

            Our choices ARE fully informed BTW. Cheers. People choosing to have inductions placed around the football season might want your advice – or they might also tell you to bugger off too.

            I suggested you focus your attention on babies that desperately need help instead of trying to force women into hospital birth. Thats light years away from calling someone a murderer, a killer, “batshit” crazy, copying and pasting from a grieving woman’s blog for lulz etc etc.

            If you have nothing to do with all that then why are you getting so defensive? The “bitch” didnt refer to you – it refers to the American bloggers that hate women, hate Lisa, hate natural birth and devote seemingly their entire lives to smearing homebirth.

  62. Belinda

    There are not words that I can find to describe this whole unfortunate situation, but it is time that everybody stops attacking each other – it is really not helping. All I can see it doing is helping the cause of the big players, the hospitals etc, as all the women appear to be fighting among themselves and are not presenting as any kind of force to be reckoned with.

    The big picture needs to be focused on here, it is all about choice. That means people get to choose what kind of care they want, not they get to choose what kind of care they want as long as it agrees with what I think. We are all individuals, when given the same information about a situation, the various paths that could be taken in that situation, the risks etc, people will choose different paths, and that is ok, because it is their choice.

    What I would really love to see happening is for the courts to be flooded with cases from the people would have had their choices taken away from them, by any health services or professionals who have got someone to sign a consent for any procedure/treatment by coercion as these consents are not legally valid and technically they are victims of assault. By using coercion, in essence what is happening is that people are being told they have to do what a particular individual or institution thinks should happen, they are not being given a choice at all. And that would include anyone that has been coerced into agreeing to a home birth, a waterbirth, a physiological 3rd stage, choosing to not give Vitamin K etc, against their will too (has this ever happened???) Ok so all dry humour aside….. we need to stop fighting and present as a united voice advocating choice for birthing women, all birthing women, not just those who want to (go to a hospital/stay at home) to birth, then we have more chance to be a united enough force to get the results that will respect us all, regardless of our personal views of childbearing issues.

    Lisa, you are in my prayers, stay strong, although I can not begin to imagine how you are feeling, you are doing an amazing job in this dreadful situation and I really hope things start to improve very soon. Hugs, Belinda xxx

  63. Matt

    maybe we can rename the haters c-sections?

    What I love about the horsepucky being sprouted by them is the reliance on media and polly quotes and documentation… haters, plz go tell someone who cares and is thick enough to agree with you, like bib bob francis, or rush limbaugh or any other 2 bob watch with a microphone and a willy that just has to be heard.

    Unwitting objects of self parody?
    I can hear the response now,’ ploise explain???’

    1. Concerned

      Great idea Matt. C sections are life saving, so more than happy to be referred to as such. Thanks for once again re enforcing my view that instead of adding intellect to a debate you are only capable of abuse and ridicule.

  64. Janet

    Threatened? Get yer hand off it. This is the internet and Lisa lacks followers, Raptors or otherwise. What a pack of shunts. :)

  65. Tricia

    Homebirth has become such a hot potato with so many sparring parties fuelled by fear.

    I’m sorry for what you are experiencing, and send you much love. Stay true to what you know in your heart is right, and remember that women like me love and respect all the homebirth midwives who devote themselves to informing women, caring for them, and helping them to have a birth experience they deeply feel is right.

    As a former member of the media myself, and someone who now helps people express themselves superbly, may I offer a small piece of advice: stand up for yourself and speak your truth with grace. Offensive words and labels ie “bitch” will only fuel the fire. The wisdom you carry is vast. Please remember that, stand tall, and act accordingly.

  66. Dee

    All this hatred is removing the focus from the real issues here…

    A woman’s right to:
    - birth where and with whom she chooses
    - have autonomy over her body
    - to be able to make informed decisions about her care and that of her family.

    Keep going Lisa. You’re an inspiration to all us ‘newbies’

    Xx

  67. boann

    Concerned; Rain;
    It seems to me that you are both taking advantage of a very unfortunate situation. From what I have read you both seem to have personal vandettas against Lisa. Is it about the women, babies, families or Lisa? If it was the former I would think you could see the situation for what it is and have the ability to show compassion and support for the family involved and Lisa.
    I am really disappointed by the social services in this instance. Why are the hundreds of children who NEED protection not getting help from Docs in the same efficient manner? On the news this morning was the story of 59 cases reported to docs in Central Victoria that where not acted on. Its disgusting in my eyes!
    Lisa stay strong, sending lots of love to you and the family involved in this horrible horrible situation x

  68. Gloria Lemay

    Just so I’m clear: It’s ok to libel and attack Lisa Barrett but it’s not ok to libel and attack those who attack her because (it, he, she) is far too delicate to be attacked?

  69. How Sad

    This is such a sad story that a mother had to go through all of this for no reason other then red tape and rubbish! I hope the mumma is now happy and is able to move on from such a complicated series of events surrounding her bubba’s birth!

  70. C-C

    Not just in response to this comment but in response to every single one on the same theme….I see no reason for Lisa to allow any opinions other than the ones that suit her, on her own blog? Why should the rabid monsters on the other blogs have their space…and space here too? Just because your bullsh*t is so expansive, doesn’t mean your net presence gets to be.

    It’s her damn blog and you have more than enough back-patting self congratulatory snark fests online where women and their babies are fed upon by ghouls. Maybe that is why they love hospital birth. Because when women and babies die there, no one knows – easier to hide the bodies.

    You don’t get everything, and every space online just because you don’t have any respect for other people, just because you have no boundaries does not mean people need to give up theirs for you. In my house you are expected to remove your shoes for example. You could not scream in my face ‘But I have shoes! These are MY shoes, you are wrong and I am wearing them’ then push your way inside and stomp around. That is exactly how you appear with your insistence on having your crazy on parade everywhere it suits you.

    If people hated me with the same mouth frothing all consuming energy they use hating Lisa, I would not let them comment on my blog, just as I would not entertain or permit them entry into my home or any other space I exist in or use my energy maintaining. You aren’t welcome, is it really SO impossible for your ego to understand? I don’t know why Lisa affords you as much as she does, she is a much more gracious hostess than I would be :)

    I guess what upsets me the most is the amazing cowardice of you all.

    Lisa works without the moral panic safety net and public ignorance you all misuse to protect yourselves. It’s very very comfortable being so very very cruel when it costs you nothing at all. When all the headlines, policy, power and money is on your side and you STILL need to be cruel and poisonous in your opinion – when you have EVERYTHING on your side and you still opt to be a monster, my goodness….there really is nothing good or decent about you at all. Nothing at all.

  71. Sumone

    Do you all feel better now,,,,,,,, I see no one here abusing Lisa personally….. all I see is very angry and ugly behaviour from a small majority……. whats a nice way to say ah supporters of Lisa and of course Lisa herself.

    Gloria Lemay you want proof look at her twitter some poor person puts there name to they twitter and she threatens them with defamation saying the letters on the way and hoping it will make her rich.

    Lisa, by the way did you actually read the defamation act cause I don’t think it will make you rich.

    Rain and Concerned good luck I don’t think there will be any intelligent conversation here!

    1. Concerned

      I agree Sumone. Abuse and insult seems to be the common theme to anyone that has presented points that disagree with Lisa and her followers. Being a publicly read blog, it doesn’t “paint” a very favorable picture of home birth supporters. This does nothing to support their cause.

      1. Donna

        And you think that what you write does anything to support your position, or sway the “non-believer”. You should listen more carefully to women like Lisa who support women’s choices and body autonomy and question the power bases. It is the reason why you work and love and live with many of the freedoms you currently have. If it weren’t for the Lisa’s of this world (both past and present) – who have and do fight hard to have their thoughts, knowledge and experiences heard legitimately, without mindless predjudice – you wouldn’t be writing these words so freely as you do. Dare I suggest for fear of hurting your sensibility, that possibly you could take your righteous indignation somewhere else, for you do nothing but compromise what the women before you have fought for by attacking Lisa so inanely, and without any facts or basis for your duplicitous assertions.

        1. Concerned

          Donna, as I have stated repeatedly my questions/ points are based on what I have read in the Coroner’s Transcript and also my profession. I am not blindly believing the media. I don’t know the specifics of what has occurred in some situations as I wasn’t there. Were you, or are you basing your views on what Lisa has told you via this blog? If that’s the case then why is it worse to believe the media than it is to believe Lisa?
          Yes I do question my practice constantly. Both by reflecting on my practice and also by being aware of my limitations. It’s what keeps my patients safe, and my practise is purely motivated by the common term “first do no harm”.

          Yes I support the women’s right to choice. Always have and will. But it concerns me where women get their information from. Is it impartial, evidence based research or is it based upon someone’s opinion? If it’s based on evidence, impartial( ie doesn’t serve any need of the person giving advice) and you are comfortable with any risk it may involve then great go for it.

          Yes you are right, I don’t like hearing the medical/ nursing profession critiqued. Not because I feel that I am superior etc, but because I know that generally we are all caring people. It’s hard to hear claims of abuse etc, but then not hear of the good work too when a home birth transfer is treated. Who is there impartially treating the mother, resuscitating the baby, hugging the mum while she cries as she has just had photos taken of her dead baby, supporting the father( these are examples, I know not all transfers result in resuscitation etc).

          I don’t have anything more to add to this conversation. Clearly a lot of people here are very strong and determined in their belief. That’s fine, but when you close your self off to hearing anything else that’s concerning. Lisa, the inquests/ investigations are underway. I, and I’m sure you do too look forward to the findings.

          1. Donna

            Concerned read the response I made to Nunk’s post which essentially answers everything you say here. I don’t close myself off from your views, I just don’t agree entirely with them. I agree there are many dedicated and caring professionals in all realms of medicine, science etc but that does not mean that perhaps some of their practices are not ideal. My assumptions come from an array of kinowledge and information. I can guarantee you Concerned that I never believe anything blindly and support home birth and also medical intervention if the woman chooses, but unfortunately there are many unnecessary interventions with the hospital framework driven by a whole range of motivatons and false assumptions that need to be explored and understood.

  72. nunk

    I don’t even pretend to know or understand the details of what has happened here… I am a midwife and I know that things can get reported in a skewed way when things become emotive.

    But I will say this, without emotion.

    Lisa it seems to me like you have become a political scapegoat and when they bring you down (and they probably will because you are one person) then they will discredit your fight at the same time.

    You have a message and you have many people who support it… but your continued presence at births doesn’t not fit with the professional image that lay people (rightly or wrongly) expect of health professionals. We are expected to sit back and quietly allow the nonsense to roar above us then rise (or not) like a phoenix out of the ashes… sometimes to rise and never practice again (usually with the systems around you having changed quietly when no one was looking) and sometimes you rise triumphant.

    You are an experienced, professional, caring midwife… it’s a cliche but think back to the days of long skirts and not drinking gin in the old days of UK midwifery – think how far those quiet, unassuming professional women furthered the UK midwifery service. Some of them were accused of wrong doings but they went quietly and things still changed from it.

    Women have choice in the UK – high risk women have babies at home should they choose but it goes through supervision and although it may well be a compromise for all concerned it can and does happen. If women refuse to engage with supervision midwives still have a duty of care to those women and babies and they still recieve good quality midwifery care, although the midwife on call is taking a huge professional risk, whatever the outcome. You see the problem the UK has is a robust litigation risk so supervision surrounding high risk HB is necessary to protect everyone concerned, not just the mother’s choice.

    I just feel worried for you, Lisa and your family. Everyone talks of your work, your actions, your believes, THE fight but no one talks of you… and I worry what you will have left when the fight is over. Don’t give them reason to remove your registration or prevent you from attending births because long term I feel that you will lose a part of you if you can’t practice. It seems a given that you will do anything to prove your point but I can’t help but wonder if the point has already got lost in the media fury and I wonder if you can really afford to lose as much as you already have.

    Lisa, good luck… I hope that you and your family come through this.

    1. Donna

      I wonder Nunk that perhaps if you explore these issues at depth and from an accurate broad historical position that you may discover that midwifery did not change in a vacuum of silence and “quiet practice”, but rather in a broader louder political debate around women’s autonomy over their own bodies in the context of oppressive partiarchal institutions and values.

      Of course there are thousands of midwifes who continued their practice within the political maelstrom quietly, with dedication, compassion and care, and they should be valued and respected. But they should also encourage the women who speak from within a continued voice, whether they chose to do it loudly or quietly. To use the rubric of medical professionalism as a justification to ignore or silence the truth (either from the outside or from within) is possibly a little myopic. Professionalism is often used as means to support practices or techniques that are not broadly beneficial in the longer term for all involved. I believe that we in Australia need to learn to question the motivations of professional doctrines with a critical and political gaze. If something sits within a legal, medical or scientific paradigm there is no automatic guarantee that it is factual, or not ladened with value or bias.

      A quote from some feminist literature to perhaps demonstrate my point:

      “The male medical profession began as a war on women, which continued through the late Middle Ages with campaigns against midwives. Once men dominated the healing profession (by the eighteenth century) they treated women differently from men. For example, tuberculosis in men was a lung disease; in women it was seen as caused by the uterus. In this century, besides mutilating female genitals, doctors lobotomised women (two out of three lobotomies were performed on women), surgically removing part of 50,000 brains despite little evidence that it helped and considerable evidence that it harmed them. Dismissing female patients complaints as “neurotic”….they overwhelmingly prescribed psycoactive drugs for women-67 percent of all tranquiliizers and mood elevators. It took a campaign initiated by a woman to restrain male physicians from removing an entire breast (mastectomy) instead of just the cancer (lumpectomy) in cases of breast cancer, and major campaigns to restrain them from performing unnecessary hysterectomies” (Marilyn French, The War Against Women, 1992, pg.133).

      Wome are still the greatest users of psychiatric medications…..ask yourself why? The answer is not scientific but imbedded in cultural practices and structures.

      All of these practices were conducted using “science and professionalism” as justification I imagine. I’m not suggesting that the current issues are a “War against Women” but rather we are allowing institutionalised practices to dictate and silence without due consideration of power bases and vested interests which many women equally subsribe to.

      If you read the comments in this post carefully you will witness considerable care, support and love for Lisa and also the families involved in this politically orchestrated and motivated witch hunt. The “professions” have employed the media and the legal processes inappropriately to further their own values and beliefs at the expense of truth and justice. They have done it insensitively and without wisdom and due consideration for the participants and their narratives. If home birth attendants and advocates are not vocal in their opposition and support then I fear that home birth will quietly disappear as an option in Australian Culture.

      When I saw the picture of the mother and father exposed to public scrutiny barely days after losing their child I only felt disgust at another overt display of inhumanity of the system. Why aren’t the media responsibly discussing this issue. The powers that instituted these proceedings so insensitively have no rights to stand up and suggest that their actions have been just, civil or indeed humane. That was without question a callous and brutal act, and all the “professional participants” should be ashamed. Their actions need to be publicly and loudly admonished and quiet silence will not achieve that.

  73. Helen Cahill

    Donna – what a fantastic post, brought back memories of the Cartwright Inquiry – not that long ago …….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartwright_Inquiry. Rain and Concerned seem to have given up finally – good riddance!

    1. Donna

      Thanks for the link….a terrible story.

  74. Unbelievable

    “Bitch bloggers?” Honestly, grow up. You are not doing yourself, home births or midwives any favours with the way you act. By all means if you believe in a cause stand up for it. But at least maintain some class and dignity because being in the press makes you a representative of this issue, and you’re not doing anybody any favours by using that kind of language. It makes you come across as uneducated, rude and spiteful. This leads to nothing but negative opinions for a cause which could, with the right consideration and measures possibly have potential.

  75. Lee

    I feel physically ill reading this. What an unnecessary nightmare! Far out. Speechless.

  76. Karen

    Concerned, without fear of favour . . .I will assume you are in support of the Medical profession . . . I’ll just take this opportunity, if I may , on behalf of all midwives who have had the need of medical services, thankyou! The following is I believe the basis for the differing points of view between that of medical and midwifery.

    Firstly, midwives begin from a point of view that birth is normal and all women CAN birth. For myself I have to believe all women can birth naturally, to perform my role as a Midwife, to fight for women, maintain their identity and power through the birthing journey and not to be saved from it. Midwives hold the importance of the journey of birth, far and above the mere safe delivery of a baby, and honoring women’s rights and wishes is part of that understanding.

    Midwives hold belief in birth, that women can do it (if left alone) and that going through that journey is, profound, life changing and empowering, that is what we as midwives fight for . . . . much needed and valuable, I’m sure you’ll agree!

    Please make no mistake, to trust and hold the belief that women’s bodies can birth (in sometimes more than challenging circumstances) takes GUTS (Lisa, you are a brave, brave women you have my undying respect) even you Concerned, would have to concede that to labour with a women in her surroundings, on her terms, believing in her ability to birth, is the epitome of bravery, to say the least.

    OK, that being said, when I was working in a large tertiary hospital I had begun to notice resentment by senior medical obstetric staff (of which junior medical staff were encouraged to echo) that their services were being called upon, unrealistically by homebirths who had to transferred to hospital and that this was a waste of health dollars, their time , something of which could have been prevented (questionably) irresponsible and largely, they were not appreciated or acknowledged. I could never really pinpoint why they thought this way, but long hours, relentless workloads etc I can imagine take their toll . . . . but herein lies the rub . . . . Isn’t it the role of the medical profession to deal with birth which does show signs of complications as much as holding birth as normal, advocating for women’s right to choose is the midwives role.

    I am sure that the medical profession is also interested in good outcomes, but putting endless protocol, procedures, regulations and interventions in place to try to prevent every possible eventuality of complications, quite frankly is . . . IMMPOSSIBLE . . . SELF PERPETUATING and POINTLESS TO CALL INTO QUESTION ! ! ! . . . . particularly if you see birth as something to be saved from!

    Yes, sometimes things go wrong, very, very wrong! But the medical assumption that being in a hospital environment will stop, eliminate those incidences, is skewed, bias . . . a medical, interventionist one which and coincidently predominantly male.

    Ohh and by the way, ‘Concerned’ that evidence you speak so highly of . .. .have YOU ever actually read it . . . . it is usually, poorly designed, lacking in rigor and based on hard medical data, something which at the best of times is not well applied to clinical practice . . just so you know not to believe everything you read !

  77. Donna

    Excellent post Karen, and Concerned could I add in response to your question.

    I would never view a woman who had a caesarean, bottle fed or had various other medical interventions as a failure on her part. Never, never. Being a mother (and I speak from my own point of view) and having a baby is one of the most wonderous, joyful, chanllenging – and if we allow it – most empowering things that a woman could ever do. It can also make her feel very vulnerable and alone at times and I feel that women do the best that they are able to with the information and support that they have. Unfortuntately often the information and support is lacking if it derives from a purely medical paradign/view of birth and parenting.

    You may not have experienced trauma or feelings of loss around any experience of medical intervention that you had, but many, many other women do and this needs to be recognized, and we need to seriously ask why. Each situation is individual and unique with various participants and circumstances. We should recognize and take this into consideration and work in ways that encompasses this. Unfortunately many hospitals work with systems not individuals, and this creates a whole range of issues that effect mothers and babies. Although many of the individuals that work in hospitals and the medical paradigm are kind and compassionate and dedicated they are functioning within a system of knowledge and power and therefore often (perhaps invariably) think and act from that systemic point of view re risk and choices and options. Women are not baby making machines….they are human beings with all of their complexities, and this needs time and consideration at a time when mothers and babies are most open to vulnerability – birth. Hospital/obstetric systems often makes women feel more vulnerable for a whole variety of reasons, and “fast food” systematic, cold, clinical obstetrics is antithesis to creating an environment which is central to bonding, nurturing and loving.

    Our ways of viewing our bodies and our lives are constructed from a narrow prism which has been historically and contemporarily defined by patriarchal views regarding life and living. This needs to change in relation to birth, which needs to be returned to women.

  78. Concerned

    Hi Karen and Donna. Thank you for sharing your perspectives with me. Karen my point re medical/ nursing staff was that there was some criticism of them in the comments. I was just trying to make the point also that they do some great work in helping mums and bubs too. I too have heard Dr’s and nurses express exasperation at some situations involving home birth transfers. I have been guilty of this. But it’s when I have had a tough shift dealing with a women who has been critically I’ll and perhaps lost a bub as well. Experiencing the raw, heartbreaking grief of a mum, the father, grandparents, other relatives for 8hrs you sometimes can help but think to yourself or colleagues ” this never should have happened”.

    Donna and Karen I do appreciate your views, but I worry in emphasizing that all women “can” birth, we are unintentionally creating a persona that anything less than a drug free natural birth is a “cop out”. I don’t feel that this is necessarily done intentionally. I know I was told for example that BF is absolutely the way to go. I was happy to have a go but when I was having trouble( inverted nipples, bub with severe SR and cerebal irritation), the lactation consultant( who was also a midwife) said it was absolutely still possible to BF as long as I tried hard. I dont know, maybe her intentions were good, and luckily I was really comfortable about switching to formula so her opinion didn’t affect me. I just don’t feel all women can or able to birth vaginally. If( and I’m not an expert, this is my opinion) this was recognized as well by midwives would we see less mums pursuing vaginal birth regardless of the risk? Less PND etc. What do you think?

    1. Jenny McInerney

      Concerned,
      I think I would have been more likely to get PND had Lisa not given me the strength to beleive that i could give birth naturally. After my first hospital birth resulting in an “emergency cesarean” (apgars 9 !)), I felt I gave in too easily to pain releif that lead to epidural and labour slowing (and I got “timed out” and talked into a cesarean and not encouraged). I needed to know that I gave my sencond birth the best chance of being a vaginal birth (so I opted to homebirth after much deliberation). Unfortunately after a long labour I was not progressing and a decision was made (by me, advised by Lisa) to go to hospital. I ended up having another cesarean, but at least I had tried my best. If I had stayed in the hospital system, “THEY were going to decide at 36 weeks whether my baby was too big to attempt a vaginal birth” (Their words). I wasn’t about to let THEM decide whether I could try to have a baby naturally. Lisa allowed me to beleive in myself and my body and for many, many ! hours of labour I felt so proud of myself and I really experienced a wonderful labour.

      After transfer to hospital both hospital midwives but one in particular was absolutely fabulous and really helped fascilitate the birth plan I had pre sent in incase I had to transfer. The surgery team also carried out my wish of leaving the placenta attatched to my baby, allowed immediate skin to skin contact, carried out all checks in the surgery, allowed breastfeeding in recovery.

      I am really grateful for Lisa beleiving in me, and helping me beleive in myself and allowing me to give it the best go I could. Although I still feel disappointed that my body for whatever reason did not allow me to virth vaginally, I am so proud of myself for wholeheartedly trying. I am also really grateful for the midwives and nursing staff and surgery teams and paedeatricians, who allowed my cesaren birth to be the best I could have imagined.

      Had I not had support people beleive I could birth, I would not have had the opportunity to go through the journey of trying, and I beleive if I had not had the journey of trying, I would untimately have been a lot less at peace with the outcome, and more likely to suffer post natal depression.

      However everyones birth journeys, and how they effect them are unique.

      Lisa, so sorry you are having to go through all this. You are amazing xxxxxooooo

  79. Helen Cahill

    Good to see that calm has been restored and there is now some intelligent discussion occurring. Donna – you are an amazing writer, I don’t see how ANYONE could argue with your latest post!

  80. Karen

    Donna in answer to your question . . . unequivocally NO! Your comment ‘ . . .we are unintentionally creating a persona that anything less than drug free natural birth is a cop out . . . ‘ saddens me irrevocably . . . women are not passive, accepting objects incapable of making informed decisions; your comments display more than you’ll very know. It is becoming clear why you have such a strong skepticism of Lisa’s practice and professional view point.

    I know this will be hard for you to grasp but this thinking is base in FEAR, and CONTROL, control from the system we are lead to believe has all the answers, a system which gently lulls you into a feelings of safety, whilst it rips every element of your individually from you. . We are conditioned not to question societal systems for fear of rejection, society insists that we conform, believe in the rhetoric and for that act of compliance it will look after us, protect us, all we have to do is never, never question it!

    Its hard not to hear the powerlessness in your voice, the voice of a person who has had a life time believing that professionals know best, a women who believes that others have more information than she, a women who has lost or maybe never trusted her own intuition, a person who believes if she takes the conventional path tragedy can be avoided . . . that to me is the personality traits which lead a women to PND not the believing ‘all women can birth’.

    You have mentioned that your background HAS been nursing, midwifery but now you are a doula? Can I ask exactly what and where is your background and what are you currently doing? I feel it’s NOT Midwifery, and this is probably why Lisa’s professional view is so hard for you to grasp.

    Let me ASSURE YOU it is much easier to look after a women with CTG’s, Ultrasounds . . . . endless monitoring, operating theatres available 24/7, teams of health professionals . . . . all things I’m sure equals safety, responsibility and unquestionably ‘ . . ‘the right thing to do’ . . . . FOR YOU. . . . but what of the women’s journey/experiences, Donna? What if that’s not what SHE wants?

    On a more general, but no less interesting point . . .as I’ve mention before, I’ve worked in the three big tertiary hospitals now, full of midwives who have long since become numb to the possibility of what birth is able to give to women. But whilst there( out of personal interest) I made it a point to ask EVERY permanent labour ward midwife, about their own birth experiences . . . and surprise, surprise what did I find . . . . without exception, midwives beating the safety drum, calling for epidurals, the Obstetrician for assessment or questioning women’s ability to birth were themselves victims of the medical system.

    Sadly, I heard endless stories of. . . ‘their Obstetrician said they had to have that LSCS. . . . that the emerg sections was because of fetal distress after their induction of labour . . . . on and on the stories went, it was so sad. . . .but what is even more sad, is how these very midwives are perpetuating the belief that women are incapable of birth . . . .I can only assume that through their own experiences or maybe that through their own experiences they see no need to differentiate between normal and medical birth . . and what I see as the ultimate betrayal to women!

    Donna, if I may . . . enrolling in maybe a women’s studies course or even exploring some spiritual / metaphysical disciplines may be of personal valuable to you, but more importantly give you an insight into what is Lisa’s motivation and professional stance on birth, women’s rights and the patriarchal doctrine we as women live under and its ever increasing hold it has on us the women who help other women.

    1. Donna

      Karen, I am unsure if you have inserted the incorrect name in your post and perhaps should direct it towards Concerned, not myself. If you read my posts I am in support of homebirth, women’s choices and Lisa, which I believe my posts clearly indicate. If indeed you were responding to my posts then I am unsure how you disern your opinion from the content of what I have written. I am pressuming that it is a mistake on your part I hope that you would rectify this. Oh, and another good post which I agree with.

      And concerned in response to your question…..read, read, read all of the available information out there – there is significant amounts. Talk to people and listen without prejudice, and make up your mind when you have been truly informed – not from the power perspective of the medical model. There are many different ways of knowing, and being and living. Think about that concept perhaps.

  81. Phoenix

    My newborn was also imprisoned in nicu with the threat of being made a ward of the state if I tried to take them home. Docs / dhs didn’t followup until weeks after baby was discharged, and then forced us to take the baby back to hospital for unnecessary blood tests using an order signed under the lie that baby had not gained any weight.
    We have a huge problem here in Australia with DoCS being used as enforcers of medical whim and for their own sense of power. They apply to a judge to take your baby without you having the right to be represented or heard at all – only their side and lies are heard. Once your baby is taken there is no “innocent until proven guilty” in the eyes of the law – you are now an unfit parent and must prove yourself “rehabilitated” and changed to a fit parent.
    You can read court documents online of a few of the cases when parents have been able to take the system on and a judge has reprimanded DoCS for their abuse of power – such as the case where a child was removed as the mother responded to a narky comment by the DoCS worker about her weight by calling the case worker fat – result was baby taken for months while the parents fought the uncaring injust system.

    1. Concernedaswell

      “Imprisoned?”
      Keeping your baby in NICU to make sure he/she is safe and well?

      You people need a major reality check.

    2. Murasaki

      If nothing is wrong with the baby what would you call it?

      People are allowed to take their babies home and put them straight onto routines, leaving them to cry till they vomit, feed them coke in bottles, smack them. Thats all parental “choice”

      If someone refuses to do what the Dr tells them theres nothing to stop the Dr using child services against them. Everyone believes the man in the white coat. Not all Drs do this of course.

      I know a woman who got a second opinion after being told her child needed surgery. 2nd Dr said child absolutely did not need surgery but 1st Dr reported to DOCS for neglect and the letter from 2nd Dr still did not stop an investigation going ahead.

      Thats reality. People are not making this shit up.

      1. Sue

        Murasaki, you ask “If nothing is wrong with the baby what would you call it?”

        Do you honestly think that NICU resources are so available and so cheap that they put babies in there for no reason? Have you ever worked in a NICU? Within the health system, NICU nurses and doctors must do one of the most difficult jobs that there is. Because of this, they are constantly strained for resources. So they just snatch well babies from their families and put them in NICU? Not likely.

        1. Murasaki

          Yes, I’m sure the women who have been through this just made it up for shits and giggles.

          Its horrendous that they are using scarce resources for witchunts and punishing homebirthers or families that refuse unecessary interventions – but it is happening. The threat is usually SCU or DOCs involvement, but I dont doubt they could use NICU and have.

  82. m Andrea

    Been hearing more atrocious stories like this recently. I’m afraid of hospitals now, and frankly if were to be pregnant I wouldn’t visit the doctor at all. Not during pregnancy, not during birth, and not ever.

    The doctors want to feel important and necessary to the process of giving birth, but frankly they’re non-relevant and this drives them insane. They have womb-envy and need psychiatric treatment for their condition. Perhaps a lobotomy. :-)

    1. Concerned

      So during a home birth if you needed to transfer to hospital you wouldn’t go????? Or do you just choose to say these things about hospitals/ Dr’s until the point where you need their help????????

      1. m Andrea

        Well, realistically, I think I’d go stealth. Visit a private practice run by a female. And give a fake name and pay cash — just to make sure it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy or that I wasn’t susceptible to eclampsia. And if all that was okay, well I’m not a little princess who needs people to hold my hand as I take a 12 pound sh*t.

        I’m a very quiet reserved person — an *uneventful* hospital birth would traumatize me no end, even without the possibilities of these very real horror stories happening to me. Look at these doctors, they’re quacks who hate women. No way would I ever trust them. They torture women and then complain when women correctly assess from whence the real threat comes.

        1. Sweet potato

          m Andrea. I hope you rethink your position on doctors and the medical field before you have children. I’d hate to think of a baby or mama not seeking treatment in the event of a life threatening emergency. I can understand not loving doctors, but your position is extreme.

          In the United States, what you are suggesting (no prenatal, fake name) would be investigated as child abuse. Its not taking a “12 pound shit”. Its a baby and a beautiful experience. Please talk to someone who can help you work through this.

    2. Murasaki

      I understand you Andrea. I feel the same in a way. I feel that even if I wanted an U/S or a checkup I’d be afraid to get on the radar.

      Once they have your name and details theres nothing to stop them from threatening to have your children taken away unless you do what they say.

      I’d go to hospital if it were life threatening. Same way as I would if I had a car accident or cut my finger off chopping vegies. I dont have to kiss Dr’s arses and believe they are infallible, always correct and never unethical in order to be eligible for care. I know some people think it should be that way. Thank goodness for the Hippocratic Oath hey.

  83. Concerned

    Great stuff Lisa, now moderating my comments. Guess I was hitting a bit to close to home hey. Your action of moderating my comments speaks volumes.

  84. Puzzled

    Hi Lisa and everyone,

    Ive been following your story slightly as I have a friend who is a homebirth midwife. Ive also worked long enough in health to realise that you cant believe everything published in the press. So my comment is not a critisim but a genuine honest query. I am baffled as to why so much passion is raised about when, how and with whom women give birth – why does it matter as long as there is a health baby at the end of it? I genuinely didnt care when I had my child a few years ago as labour is such a tiny tiny part of parenthood. Quite frankly it wouldnt have mattered if I gave birth under a general anaesthetic or in a cow paddock as long as the pregnancy was over and I could get on with being a mum.

    I understand choice and fighting for rights, and I dont think you should stop, but I just dont get why it is such an enormous deal to you all.

    1. Beck

      Hey Puzzled, I thought the same as you for my first child. It was after that, that I suffered 2yrs of PTSD and suicial thoughts, 6yrs on I can’t go visit friends in hospital with their babies as I have anxiety attacks. My traumatic first birth has really affected my life and that of my children. When we were discussing a second child, it was only after I had done a ton of research and discovered that how I had been treated and my experience in hospital was the cause, that I started my healing.

      Without women like Lisa and Gloria and all the others, I literally dread to think where I would be now. I certainly would NEVER had had another child. Its debatable if I would even be alive today.

      It DOES matter. My Body is MY BODY! I should have 100% rights over My Body and the fact that the medical/obstretic community see me as nothing more than a breeding machine means that we DO need to stand up and fight. I am not suddenly stupid or brainless because my womb is growing a child, yet that is how women are treated.

      If it wasn’t for women like Lisa, I wouldn’t have been ‘allowed’ to home birth – hell, I wouldn’t have been ‘allowed’ to vaginal birth – all based on *their* fears and with no regards for me as a separate individual with my own history.

      Basically – it is a big deal because * I * am a person, with rights and knowledge and determination that should NEVER be removed from me *just because I am a woman*, just because I am pregnant. Yet this is what it has come down to.

      Concerned and her ilk are perfect examples of this thinking. They seem to feel that all I am here for is to grow and produce a healthy child, how that comes about and how it effects me and my child are meaningless byproducts – as long as ‘the child is healthy’. If I wish to birth in such a way that means I can do this and still be a fully functioning woman/mother/person and HAPPY, shouldn’t THAT be the ultimate goal? Shouldn’t THAT be what we are aiming for? My first child suffered as a result of me being ‘damaged’ by her birth, how does that make a ‘healthy child’? By extention, my second child has had to cope with a mother that has residual issues as well.

      Our ability to think for ourselves, to chose, to have self determination, is extremely important. When we start taking away the rights of women, we start to fail as a society.

  85. Amanda Elizabeth from Amanda's Mummy Jeans

    Aww Lisa hugs and kisses to you- I hope that you can take your job back and that someone believes you. I do but Im just a Mummy Blogger xoxox

    Amanda

  86. LizDM

    Hey Lisa,

    I have been outraged at the Advertisers’ stories regarding your involvement with the Kerr/Kavanagh family. But yesterday’s headline labelling Sarah’s “Fatal Choice” disgusted me and I have woken (far too bloody early) this morning, needing to get a message to you and the Kerr/Kavanagh’s – just to give you all my love and support. I googled you, and it came up with your blog :) It’s shameful that our media thinks its OK to slander a family publicly, especially when they’re dealing with a sadness over losing their lil man Tully & emotional rollercoaster of raising a newborn in his sister. It’s clear they’re going for your jugular too. Thanks for ‘being there’ for women’s rights to make their own informed choices as to their place of birth and the people they have at their birth. Peace.

    1. Concerned

      Any unexpected death is automatically made a coroners case. Doesn’t matter if the person that died was 90 or a newborn. Again Lisa has nothing to fear if her practice in this situation was competent. I do feel for the parents. Horrible losing a baby. Especially when it may have been prevented. It must be heart breaking to have to live with that knowledge.

      1. Danielle

        None of my unexpected still births have ever become a coroners case!

      2. LizDM

        Oh Concerned – ‘living with that knowledge’ is a terrible thing to write. I was referring to the way the media reported on the story, not about who was to ‘blame’ for the death of Tully. Please show some heart in this situation. In the big picture, you can’t say one way or the other if he would’ve survived at the hospital. You can speculate, pull out stats etc, but you can’t know for sure. Don’t create any more emotional burden for his parents and his family and friends by making insensitive comments. Support them for the informed choice they made for their family.

        1. John

          ‘living with that knowledge’ is entirely appropriate.

          Both of these twins would have been alive today if the advice was followed and the birth took place in an appropriate environment.

          Homebirthers are quite comfortable with the fact that unborn children have no rights. Even those normal term unborn children that would otherwise be alive if not for the management of the birth.

          1. John

            You keep associating me with people I don’t know. I’m not sure what that is all about.

            I am speaking for myself about things that concern me. You have opened a forum called ‘Free for all’. I assume that is what you meant.

            I have no prejudice one way or the other. I think you will find my comments consistently ask for one rule for everyone. Any person associated with the unnecessary death of a normal healthy baby during birth should be prepared to subject their practise to scrutiny (ANY person).

            Open discussion and debate amongst reasonable people- no problem with that.

            I guess I’m lucky you didn’t call me a bitch.

          2. John

            Nice to see you are well rested after your break.

          3. John

            The fundamental difference between my and your ‘utter crap’ is that I am quite happy for mine to be tested in court anytime.

  87. Sarah

    Concerned, maybe if you don’t want your comments moderated, you should write your own blog. There are plenty of online (and other) avenues for people to muckrake about Lisa and others who share her views on birth and the medical system as it stands currently. This is, at the end of the day, her blog and in this environment at least, she has autonomy.

    1. Concerned

      Sarah, I am not “mud raking” as you suggest. I haven’t used derogatory terms etc simple challenged some of the practices, statements etc that have been made. An accountable “birth attendant” should have no issue with this. Likewise home birth supporters who have, as claimed numerous times, done their research should be able to contribute to my points with this knowledge instead of personal insults etc. As I have said before I am in favor of women being able to have choices. What I am not in favor of is that choice not being a properly informed choice.

  88. Ali

    I have been looking at your blog for a few weeks now, getting ready for my first home birth, third baby (with Canadian registered Midwives). After reading this blog, I googled you to see what came up, came across “The skeptical OB”. The first thing that irritated me was this sentence: “based on what I’ve heard. Since 2007 she’s presided over at least 2 preventable neonatal deaths and one severely injured newborn.” I thought to myself….how many preventable deaths have you been involved in Dr. Amy? The reality is that mothers and babies can die in childbirth and often do in hospital. To use such an argument to debase you is to claim she has somehow been blessed with the supernatural power of eliminating death with her medical prowess. I have not been reading your blog long enough to know if what she says is true, but I think any reasonable human being must realize that there are risks in the hospital as well as at home and we cannot always predict these. The second thing I thought about her comment was how ridiculous the argument of a dead baby comes from a country which aborts millions of babies every year, long past the time one can argue about the babies ‘humanity.’ How many OBGYN’s and doctors contribute to that sort of death?? So far I am really enjoying your blog and the hope and encouragement it gives me as I move towards my own homebirth and I ABSOLUTELY support the right of every woman to choose how she births, assisted, unassisted, in the hospital, at home, etc….just as she can choose (in Canada and the US anyway) whether she will let her baby live at all or abort it. Even if things go wrong…it should be OUR choice, it is MY body and that is the argument for abortion in this country and if that is allowed I am at a loss to understand how anyone can argue my rights to choose the design of my birthing experience. I think if women could design their own birth experiences without fear of penalty or criminal repercussions, it would minimize negative outcomes. For example, being fed up at the choices that seem to be made for me here regarding medical and even midwifery protocols, I thought maybe I should just try this completely unassisted…that should be my right then I can make all the decisions! (FYI, I’m far too much of a chicken to birth completely unassisted, but this is how angry I was feeling at my loss of control). I imagine there are many moms who do decide to do this and though it may frequently come out fine, there are probably instances where assistance would have been of benefit….however the question of liability for any person who aides that mother is a deterrent. Anyway….I admire the work you do and I have found a wealth of information on your site that has led me to research things I had not even considered before reading.

  89. Karen

    My sincere apologies Donna . . and yes of course my comments should have been directed to ‘Concerned’ . . . .again truly sorry!

  90. mgr

    I am certainly not against homebirth in anyway, I believe it to be a fantastic birthing option for some women.
    The women posting here speaking of intense ‘fears’ of hospital and medical staff come across as weak personalities with classic victim mentalities. If you are unable to negotiate your way successfully through our public or private medical systems then I believe there is something wrong with you.
    I have attended an attempted homebirth, where the hospital became a sanctuary after a very long and poorly assisted labour at home (when, incidently, on arriving at the hospital the homebirth midwife lied to the medical staff about the progress of the labour, stating that the mother had not been pushing, but in fact she had instructed her to push some hours earlier (while apparently barely dialated), and then promptly fell asleep!!!!!! but that’s another story). The mother in this instant is traumatised by that birthing experience, but not due to any treatment at the hands of the hospital staff. She is truly grateful to all of the staff we encountered who assisted her to eventually birth her baby vaginally. She was certainly never punished or tortured.
    Further to that experience, my own pregnancy and births (cared for in the public health system) were great. My first labour (a singleton) ended in a ceasarian (non-emergency), and I am truly content with that experience. If I were a different person (one that felt more passionate about a particular birth experience) then I could have negotiated my way to potentially achieve a different result. For example I could have negotiated to delay my induction (at 40+10days), I could have chosen not to have an epidural administered, I could certainly have opted to continue labouring. I was in control. Never being bullied or tortured by women haters.
    My second pregnancy was monochorionic twins (one placenta) due just 15months after my singleton’s birth, and despite people here talking about being forced to have consecutive ceaserians, I was actively encouraged to consider trying for a VBAC. The MALE head of an OBSTETRICS DEPT. was actively encouraging me to consider a VBAC.
    I believe that if you are a mentally stable and rational person with some level of intelligence then YOU can get what you want out of your pregnancy and birth experience, be that at home or in a hospital setting.
    In my case I wanted to get babies out of my pregnancy and birth experiences.

    1. Meg

      mgr can you publish the name of your hospital. It’s obviously not the one my baby was born at.

    2. Meg

      …and I wonder, if your births had not been as ‘great’ as you say they were, if you’d still feel so ‘strong’ and ready to condemn we ‘weak’ women. Until you walk a mile, as they say.

    3. Jade

      mgr, that certainly varies from my experience of being insulted, degraded, given drugs without my permission, and being lied to in hospital.

  91. Janice

    Hang in there Lisa. What a circus!

  92. naturesoul

    Everything we hear is an Opinion, not a fact.
    Everything we see is a Perspective, not the truth.
    ~Marcus Aurelius~

    None are more unjust in there judgements of others
    Than those who have a high opinion of themselves.
    ~Charles Spurgeon~

  93. Student

    @ Sharon re: Jfairy’s post

    According the Australian Bureau of Statistics Perinatal Deaths in Australia 2009 (published in May 2011), the Perinatal death rate (liveborn 20 weeks gestation to 28 days post partum) was 2671 reported deaths. Additionally the stillbirth rate in 2008 was 1648 reported stillbirths. I do not see too many of those perinatal deaths investigated publically, or by trial by media, as we have seen in Lisa’s case… And certainly I have not a single stillbirth investigated by the coroner other than one which occured at home.

    This IS about birth at home, and midwives. Last year my husband attended two sets of twins who died in a major hospital, and nowhere was it blazened across the front page of the local newspaper ‘Babies die under the care of Obstetric Registrar’…

    Less than 1% of births occur at home – the majority of neonatal deaths are happening in hospital, for whatever reasons (preterm birth, fetal morbidity, maternal morbidity, birth emergencies such as shoulder dystocia and iatrogenic problems caused by medical interventions etc). This is not just about Lisa, it is about birthing at home and professional power. Other privately practicing midwives and other women are going through similar situations, being reported to professional bodies and parents being report to DOCS for birthing or attemting to birth at hoome – I could name a half dozen cases across the country in the last year.

    I have seen some atrocious and horrific practices and treatment of women in ‘normal birth’ in the hospital system, but how many hospital midwives (or medical officers) are made accountable for these practices or going through the process Lisa is going through; and how many mothers who discharge home within hours of a planned hospital birth have DOCS turn up on their door that same day?

    It is very clear there is an agenda against birthing at home, there have been numerous reports, journal articles and books written about it in the past few years, and I think that any person who believes this is about an individual midwife either is not involved in birthing professions, or is living with their head in the clouds and their rose-coloured glasses firmly fixed to their sanctimonious faces.

  94. Student

    Addit: apologies for the typographically error which should read:
    ‘attempting to birth at home’

  95. fedupwithconcerned

    Your ridiculous posts are being superseded by intelligent debate.

    Can you please go away.

    1. fedupwithconcerned

      For Concerned

  96. Habonia

    Wow, this topic really stirs up some emotions, and I for one am not immune! 5 months ago I was completely oblivious to the whole issue of birth, mums and babies – now it directly affects me and my unborn baby. I have done (and continue) to do my research and know that a homebirth is the safest and best option for me and my baby.

    Planned homebirth stats equal or trump hospital stats in nearly every way, I just don’t understand why hospitals (and especially private hospitals) are such popular places to give birth.

    In fact, I am bewildered as to why anyone would choose hospital over a home birth – except for the following reasons:
    - finances (it can cost more money to have a homebirth – public hospital is free),
    - in an emergency,
    - lack of available homebirth midwives (due to legislation, and/or location)
    - information from a limited source, and/or just don’t realise the options available,
    - perhaps they believe everything the newspapers say…

    …but only approx 1% of women in Australia give birth at home – I just don’t understand it!

    I think it is a very sad state of affairs that most women (and society in general) believe hospital birth to be safer and better for themselves and their babies. I think that if all the relative studies and evidence were readily available and given to mothers by their practitioners then we would see the homebirth rate in Australia increase dramatically, and C rates would also go down.

    There is an obvious political (and business – read AMA) agenda against homebirth – and also against birth rights – I also don’t understand this – how did we (as women) let this happen? I am outraged to say the least! At least they no longer put women’s feet in stirrups and force them to give birth on their backs (as far as I know.) However I believe the current situation is still not good enough! We really need to stand up for our rights and support each other.

    Someone said to me recently, “Really, you’re having a homebirth – but aren’t you scared?” I replied, “Bloody oath, I’m petrified of transferring to hospital!” Of course I will if I need to and I know my midwives are experienced and qualified, and fully able to make the decision if I need to transfer (they have a 5% transfer rate.)

    My heart goes out to the family whose baby was ‘almost’ stolen away from them. WTF? How could anyone think those actions were in the best interest for the baby?

    Lisa, you’re a feisty bitch of a women! Love your work! While I think your emotional responses may not always benefit you, I think it is this passion that makes you great. Be strong and don’t let the politics take over your life – know that you have lots of people supporting you from all over Australia, not just your immediate friends.

    XO

  97. Concerned

    Hi student. There is a case being investigated at the moment. A lady pg with twins aborted one baby due to a heart defect. The hospital aborted the wrong bub and both bubs died. This had made front page news, leading story on national news and even the Health Minister has ordered an investigation. Fair enough too. What’s the purpose of this, to investigate the professional practise and competence of those involved. No other agenda. Babies have died and it needs to be investigated to try to prevent it happening again.

    The investigation involving Lisa is similarly an investigation into the situation, her practice and if the care provided was competent. It is in no way an attack on home birth.

    1. Donna

      Exactly Lisa you point out the hypocricy and good evidence to demonstrate the lack of impartiality that the coroner and the health department here in South Australia are showing.

      A quote from the Age yesteday:

      “”We are conducting a full investigation and continue to offer the family and affected staff every support.”
      But Victoria’s Health Services Commissioner, Beth Wilson, said the tragic mix-up was unlikely to be referred to the coroner.
      “I don’t think so, the coroner only has jurisdiction where the foetus has actually been born and has taken a breath. My understanding is that didn’t happen in this case,” she told radio 3AW.
      Ms Wilson said the hospital would conduct its own probe, but that Heath Minister David Davis could also intervene and request an investigation.
      “Initially the hospital will do its own investigations,” she said.
      “They will keep me informed of what’s happening. The minister may have his own ideas about this and he can ask for any number of invesatigations. He could ask me to do a formal inquiry or he could get somebody else to do it. That’s in the hands of the minister.
      “I would be waiting until I was contacted by the family before I had any involvement with them.”
      The family involved issued a statement through the hospital calling for the media to respect its request for privacy.”

      This is a terrible tragedy for all of those involved….and I imagine they all must be struggling to deal with and understand their choices at this moment. But in the Victorian case (and it is early days) it is not a crime or open to coronial investigation, as it is here in South Australia. Why? The answer is simple, and the difference is, this situation occurred in a hospital and not at home. The AMA and the South Australian bureaucratic systems want Lisa and homebirths outlawed rather than approach these issues from an objective and impartial position. It seems they are driven by their blind beliefs and In the process they have imposed significant pain and difficulty on people who are already suffering loss and difficulty.

      The Prime Minister, the Federal Health Minister and/or the Federal Attorney General needs to step in to the fray here in South Australia and put a stop to what is clearly a gross injustice. The law and health services need to display integrity, compassion and impartiality which they certainly haven’t demostrated here in South Australia.

  98. Donna

    Perhaps we should be asking the question of the decision makers here in South Australia regarding their personal views on life/death? Perhaps they are using the home birth issue as a platform to have laws changed around the definition of life/death? The coroner and the High Court have used their discretion to make a determination in relation to the definition of life/death here in South Australia. Should this definition be left in the hands of one person, or should it be open to more public/societal debate? This is a significant and serious issue and shouldn’t be handed over to a few people in a civil and considered society. Decisions around life/death have far reaching implications and if we don’t open this to public debate and discussion then what are we other than a fascist state? Do we lay silent and afford significant powers to a select few or do we speak out loudly? I thought we had democracy…..clearly we don’t!!!!!

  99. Student

    Yes, my husband told me about this tragedy last night… Shame Lisa and the families she has been involved in did not recieve the same support. We say, oh this is so tragic (which it is), but noone is publically vilifying this mother for her choice, or calling her a baby killer or flaming her for putting her healthy unborn baby at risk, the way Lisa and the families she has been involved with have been persecuted. I suspect, if this woman had chosen to birth her twins at home (knowing that the one with an anomaly incompatable with life would die), the story in the news would be very different. As always, there is a degree of medico-legal, and dare I say, moral protection being within the system.

    There was a paper published in the most recent journal of the ACM, examining the submissions to the maternity services review, and it was interesting to note, of the more than 900 submissios from consumers, midwives, professional groups, community groups, acaedemics, doulas and medicos, the ONLY negative comments about birthing at home came from medical professional groups and individuals ie: “the government should not introduce any publically funded arrangement which is based on independent midwife care for mothers and babys in Australia”.

    Funny – an obstetrician decapitates a baby during a forceps delivery and we dont hear outcries about the safety of obstetricians… or they nick a bladder in a section caused by a cascade of interventions or an epidural or spinal causes a prolonged fetal bradycardia that now a cat 1 section… and its written off as one of the acceptable risks… Where the medical profession rallies around and supports its members as a united front; midwives are divisive and underhanded and do not support each other – that is why we do not have the professional and political power (and protection) that the medical faction has.

    The ACM have now released their Position on Homebirth Services 2011, which to my surprise (after the appalling draft), upholds a womans right to consent and refusal, acknowledges that there are women who will want to birth at home when it has not been recommended by a health care provider, but that these women should have access to continuity of midwifery care of their choice. It was also pleasantly surprising to see that although they state no midwife should feel obligated to provide care at home to a woman if they feel it is out of their scope of practice, they recommend ‘the development of a responsive professional and regulatory framework to support midwives who provide homebirth services including when women choose a course of action against evidence and/or advice’… Additionally they also recommend women have access to public and private midwifery services for homebirth, and that intrapartum care should be fully covered by insurance and medicare rebate by June 2013.

    Maybe then homebirth will become a little more affordable and privately practicing midwives will have more support from their professional bodies and colleagues. Perhaps the medical lobby is concerned that if birthing at home becomes accessable and affordable, they will lose business if healthy low risk women decide to birth at home with a midwife instead of an obstetrician, or at home instead of at hospital. Fiscal gain, and professional power and dominance are powerful motivators.

    1. Mich

      The new ACM statement is lip service as it is not endorsed by any other people apart from the ACM… in the eyes of APHRA or the NMBA, the old statement still stands..

  100. Priestess Esi

    Look at it this way…THEY ARE MAKING YOU FAMOUS! With every lie spoken against you, there are 10 more pointed towards them and 10,000 people backing you up! ;)

  101. Donna

    Well said Student. Unfortunately the power of these “bodies” to maintain their vested interests has disempowered women and created circumstances which disadvantage both mothers and babies for their own profit, kudos, and blind belief in an imperfect model. An arrogant, ill-informed and disgusting abuse of power. Placing profit and ego before people is a story we are familiar with I believe. Why isn’t this abuse of power being openly discussed by the public, media, government, and legal fraternity? Why? Because we place our trust in a medical model which often distorts the facts, and influences the knowledge base in a way which makes it appear as if only their knowledge is legitimate, and therefore widely disseminated. Women hand their bodies over to the medical paradigm every day, often without question. It is a powerful position to hold over another’s life, and one that is consistently abused and dishonoured.

    1. John

      More conspiracy theories.

      Dangerous advice, dangerous choices, dangerous acts and deadly outcomes.

      That is all that is being investigated. It doesn’t matter whether it is a doctor, nurse, midwife, doula or commercially contracted and supposedly independent birth attendant.

      All the vitriol and anger stems from the fact that people have cottoned on to the defence of a stillborn escaping the coroners scrutiny.

      No conspiracy and no more excuses.

  102. Karen

    Beautifully stated ‘Student’ . . .thankyou!

  103. John

    In a word, circumstances.

    If the circumstances in which the death occurs clearly indicate (at the discretion of the coroner, or a judge) that the birthing has been undertaken contrary to available expert advice, in a manner (either by ommission or commission) and/or in a setting that is innappropriate and reasonably associated with a likely adverse outcome, thus indicating wilful neglect.

    1. John

      Lisa, this resonse is obviously to your question regarding what constitutes a suspicious stillbirth.

      Circumstances and context define meaning. For instance, any life saving intervention is only birth rape if it is performed in a hospital by a doctor (see Lisa’s comment October 23/11/11 at 0938 above).

      1. Meg

        John I can’t seem to find the comment of Lisa’s you are referring to. Can you quote please? I am feeling nauseous at the thought that you feel “cirumstances and context” would define rape. In my understanding, consent is the central issue. ACTIVE, ONGOING consent. Not venue, context, or whether it was ‘in the woman’s interest’ to be violated.

        1. John

          Hi Meg. No controversy just an example:

          Lisa’s comment at October 23 about having ‘her hand right inside’ in a life saving manner is acceptable but when a doctor, nurse or hospital midwife does the same thing is referred to as ‘birth rape’ (example quoted in the twin case for controlling a post partum bleed).

          So, just an example of words mean different things to different people.

          Another example would ‘person’ versus ‘human’.

          1. John

            Another example would be ‘moderation’ vs ‘censorship,’

            Censorship, of course, being the hiding place of the worried.

          2. Concerned

            Yep, I’m being censored too John. Particularly around the areas of evidence in the Coronial Transcript and medical knowledge. Lisa’s action in doing this speaks volumes.

    2. LizDM

      The #1 expert in the birth of a child is that child’s mother.

      1. John

        Is that a live child or an unnecessarily dead child?

        The #1 expert on the law is the judge.

    3. John

      Lisa

      You keep saying the report isn’t available. Here it is, it is in the public domain.

      1. Concerned

        I was referring to the report. It provides detailed evidence from both sides and the findings made by the coroner.

  104. Concerned

    Donna you talk of an abuse of power. A midwife caring for women home birthing gets paid for attending the women, correct? Couldn’t you also say that such a midwife has a vested interest( financial gain) to keep a women at home. Couldn’t that also be seen as an abuse of power?

    These two babies were born alive. EMD is a sign of life. Resuscitation algorythmns re this rythmn has existed for years and it is potentially reversible. If you want this changed then you are saying that anyone suffering EMD from hypoxia, hypothermia, hyper/hypokalemia, tension pneumothoraxs, poisonings, cardiac tamponade( all potentially reversible) etc shouldn’t be resuscitated. Crazy. The coroner is correct to investigate.

  105. Janice

    “birthing has been undertaken contrary to available expert advice, in a manner (either by ommission or commission) and/or in a setting that is innappropriate and reasonably associated with a likely adverse outcome, thus indicating wilful neglect.”

    Willful neglect? Expert advice often differs from doctor to doctor, from private to public, and between professions ie. midwives and obs.

    Are we next going to call out the use of labor stimulants which result in adverse heart patterns and crash c/ses as willful harm???

    1. John

      Not if undertaken in an appropriate setting, by appropriately trained and registered practitioners with appropriate monitoring on appropriate advice and consent.

      Just to reiterate, perfectly healthy and normal term babies should not die intrapartum. If they do, no matter who is looking after them (doctor, midwfe, doula, paid birth advocate in commercially contracted relationship), they should be open to the scrutiny of the coroner.

  106. Janice

    Re: Recent twin mishap

    1) 32 weeks!!! Old enough to make it in an incubator.

    2) Just a heart defect which would require surgeries.

    3) It’s reported that the 2nd baby was delivered dead by c/sec that took ((several hours)). They killed it and then cut it out so I guess that it doesn’t have to be investigated by the coroner because it def. wasn’t born with any activity. I guess it would have been too expensive to let her go to term with the 2nd twin and then have to pay for all those surgeries…

    I wonder what the family thinks of “Doctor knows best!” now since the abortions were done on docs advice.

    Too bad she didn’t have a midwife.

    1. John

      And what exactly would a midwife have done about the cardiac defect. Probably offer a twin homebirth and advise that it is low risk.

      1. John

        My previous reply could be seen as insensitive to midwives and that is not my intention and I apologise. I assumed you are referring to a birth advocate like Lisa is currently calling herself.

        This particular patient probably did have a properly trained and registered midwife in the team looking after her and I’m sure he/she did a fantastic job within their scope of practise.

        Also, the patient chose this course of action. I thought you would support that.

        Apparently all of this information was revealed by a family member and not necessarily with the knowledge of the parents.

      2. John

        I apologise to all the reasonable, respected, trained and registered midwives if you thought I was referring to you in that last comment. I trust it is clear I wasn’t and am referring only to unsafe, unregistered, unreasonable practitioners who still practise midwifery by other names.

  107. naturesoul

    Midwives and Underwater Birthing
    Igor Charkovsky, a Russian male mid-wife has assisted in over 20,000 underwater births, but in 1979 he began experiments with dolphins and children. His daughter, one of the first modern water-birthers, was in her late twenties when the following incident happened. Charkovsky and his team had taken a woman to the Black Sea in Israel for an underwater birth. In two feet of water, preparing for the birth, suddenly three dolphins approached, pushed everyone out of the way and took over. They scanned the length of her body (with sonar?), which somehow relaxed the mother and child and gave birth with no pain or fear. Apparently all the human midwives were pretty shocked though. This opened up the new practice of ‘Dolphin mid-wivery’

    SOURCE LINK: http://wakeup-world.com/2011/07/07/dolphin-midwives-and-underwater-birthing/

  108. naturesoul

    The below video shows a dolphin assisting a woman in giving birth underwater

    http://youtu.be/Dh0v1_2JWMY

  109. anouk

    Hi Lisa,
    The dignity, strength and committment you display is awesome. Ive nothing but absolute respect for you and your journey.
    Much love
    Anouk

  110. Nan

    “A Story of Hope. The Hospital by the River.”
    I would like to recommend this book to all. It puts things into perspective, I think.

  111. interestingopinions

    Some interesting comments about Dr Amy over at a news article. Where Dr Amy who says she is is an OB-whos job and income as an OB would be based on delivering babies in the medical environment of hospitals. And that she is against homebirth and homebirth advocates due to her passionate dislike towards homebirth. Has writen an article about what Ricki Lake won’t tell you about homebirth, being dangerous and that you are more likely to be attended by an untrained midwife..She reminds me of one of those people who if she had a passionate interest in her own religion it would fuel her own ignorant dislike of other religions. She sounds like the leader of a cult..the way she is against a certain way of delivering babies through midwife attended homebirths, that she feels is dangerous, and how she feels that babies can be safely delivered in hospitals/medical setting with an OB or Hospital Medwife.

    Article and comment source http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/07/what-ricki-lake-doesnt-tell-you-about-homebirth/#disqus_thread

    Here are those comments

    Oh, look! Its the woman who was fired by the Science Based Medicine blog for her shoddy interpretations of the science around place of birth and neonatal mortality rates. It appears Time.com isn’t interested in a balanced examination of the facts; they’ve hired Tuteur to write inflammatory commentary to increase readership. Tuteur’s no doctor, no expert on this issue. She’s just another right wing a$$hole who confuses opinion with fact. If they cared about the health of mothers and babies – and not just their health but their rights – jerks like Tuteur would stop fomenting unrest and start working towards making sure women have access to out of hospital birth options that are safe. She’d encourage states to license CNMs for home birth and she’d be urging every OB around to make strong alliances with the home birth care providers in their communities and provide backup services to them. THAT is what stands in the way making home birth as safe in the US as it is in the rest of the developed world. Stop being divisive, Tuteur and start actually contributing to the sum of good in the world.

    Exactly. Read my post above. Her credentials are a white wash. She did nto graduate from Harvard Medical School, and she was never faculty. I am doing research on her, and have not found so far, that she is licensed in any to the states I have looked into. She has not practiced for many years in my opinion, and I would very much like to call her on that.

    From the top of Amy’s blog: Dr. Amy Tuteur is an obstetrician gynecologist. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1979 and her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1984. Dr. Tuteur is a former clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. She left the practice of medicine to raise her four children.

    So I’m not too impressed that it took your doing “research” to figure out that she got her MD from Boston University and that she hasn’t practiced in several years.

    Dr. Tuteur, as she calls herself has out of practice in since ages. She has found a niche as a blogger who is against home births. She rants above evidence but provides scant references herself. She demands people provide references even when they are giving opinions, most of these opinion actually more thoughtful than hers. That’s her ammo – the one who shouts the loudest gets heard the most. She gas a small but very TV group of fans who will respond numerous times to each blog, who resorts to low forms of debate such as attack of verbage and name calling to anyone who objects. She has made a nice living and fame/infamy out of her blog. She is not longer in the trenches of the real work. Her bio states that she graduated from Harvard, but she did not in reality go to medical school in Harvard. It was likely a undergraduate degree, but she makes a point of it, such that if you were to ask one of her supporters, they actually believe that she went the medical school there. She was also never faculty. As someone in the field, I know that a clinical instructor is no more that someone who has students following her when she practices, which most practitioners have had at some point in the careers from several universities. It’s not much of a merit or something to brag about, but again, if you asked her supporters, they will say she was faculty. This is her technique. White washing the truth. She is a blogger, not an OB is any practical sense of the word, and she out of monopolize a niche by fighting against a strong group of natural birth advocates are are frequently discussed in the media. She was a piece of that action, and she’s gotten it being on the opposite site. In media, it’s always about conflict, so she gets called upon. Commitment she has – to her popularity. Intelligence? Well, she has proven to be successful in self promotion. A good doctor? No one knows, and no one is even able to tell
    through the “credentials”

    “crossing the line into ad hominem attacks and outright lies is not the way to go here. . . .I don’t agree with a lot of her rants, but it isn’t appropriate to tear down her intelligence or her commitment to her work.” Yet that is a concise description of Dr. Amy’s own blog. Add in name-calling, condescension, personal attacks and a visceral hatred for any woman who believes in home birth and there it is- “the skeptical OB”, Dr. Amy. Her rants are so intense, almost violent, I actually feel like she might punch me in the face if we were in the same room and I said I supported midwives. She’s very hateful. It’s a shame because there is certainly room for criticism and improvement in midwifery and homebirth, just as there is in obstetrics. She may have tons of education but, unfortunately, she uses it to create divisve controversy and stir up aggression toward a certain group of women rather than trying to build a better system for all of us. Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/

    This comment that is not about Dr Amy is an excellent statement.

    Hi everyone,

    I live in Ontario, Canada. Our midwives here are all very well trained in hospital and home birthing. There is no separation between midwives and their education, all midwives attend the same rigorous and regulated University training.

    I have had a home birth and a hospital birth with midwives and both experiences were fantastic!

    I experienced shoulder dystocia with my son during my home birth and he required sudden expert assistance during delivery and then resuscitation. The midwives preformed tremendously! There was no medical emergency that they were not prepared for and extensively trained to do. Because of my shoulder dystocia experience, my midwife and I decided a hospital birth was the best choice for my daughter. I had an amazing birth in the hospital and I was still able er have the wonderful continuity of care that only a midwife can provide.

    It seems you have separate tiers of midwifery in the United States and that doesn’t seem
    Like a good thing to me.

    like a good thing to me.

  112. interestingopinions

    I am sickened that Time would allow a person with no credibility, such as Amy Tuteur, to write an article about homebirth. Amy Tutuer is known for being staunchly anti- natural birth and very pro c-section. She was asked to leave Science Based Medicine a few years ago, because she repeatedly wrote articles that were unsupported by any scientific evidence. She is well known for basing many, if not most, of her statements, merely on her own opinion. What an embarrassment for Time. I truly hope that no one reading takes her seriously.

    It is not about a comparison. They are both equally bad as a source of valid information. One is a talk show host and one is an unlicensed doctor who sells “medical advice” online. Neither one is a credible source.

    Amy Tuteur was a doctor twenty years ago. She now writes a blog that is full of extreme ideas, very few of which are actually based on scientific evidence. If you ask her to provide data, she will turn around and call you names. I agree with the poster below, this woman is a complete quack.

  113. interestingopinions

    Extreme? Her positions are in line with those of the ACOG. Are they all quacks as well?

    @ Babalon- Amy Tuteur’s ideas are not in line with ACOG at all. Find some practice bulletins from ACOG and show us how they are in line with ACOG.

    Roberta, can you enlighten us as to which of the facts in this article are “made up” or Dr. Tuteur’s opinion?

    bystander, I’d like to tell you which “facts” are “made up”. The idea that 3 times more newborns die from homebirth is the main one. A study endorsed by ACOG made headlines last year. Less than a week later, doctor’s organizations from around the world lambasted them for their weak attempt at discrediting home birth. You see, the study used accidental home births without a professional present. It included very premature babies and other accidental births. They presented this information as if it included planned births at term with a midwife. This was very slick because the headline read “3 times more babies die from home birth”. ACOG knows the general public in America doesn’t read full articles–and that they will believe anything a doctor says. Within a few weeks, the real facts came out and ACOG turned away with their proverbial tail between their legs. Now, Amy still perpetuates the myth. So, did she lie? No. We can all find that headline somewhere. It is true, more babies die if they are born accidentally, premature, at home without a professional present. But, that’s not what Amy said, is it?

  114. interestingopinions

    Comments, from others, that I came across

    As a medical professional who has worked on a hospital OB unit where we lost a laboring mother due to an amniotic fluid embolism. I can tell you that women also die in a hospital, just a few short feet from the emergency c-section operating room. Once you get to the stage where the baby is crowning or close to it, when a medical emergency arises it is better to be lucky than good. I’ve also witnessed firsthand and assisted in delivering a baby who’s mothers uterus ruptured, thankfully that baby lived and all was well. I’ve also delivered my 3rd baby at home in a planned homebirth after careful consideration of the risks, precautions and my own faith in myself.

    Sadly, there will always be a percentage of woman and newborns who will die during childbirth. What is more important is that it’s proven that there are more deaths in hospitals than in the home. Any homebirth death will get extensive media coverage, but sadly there isn’t ANY for a woman or her baby who dies in a hospital birth.

    I HAD A HOME BIRTH :) AND I WOULD DO IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I HAVE TWO SISTERS THAT HAD HOSPITAL BIRTHS THAT ENDED IN TRAGEDY.. SO FOR ME, IT WAS AN EASY DECISION. ITS A CHOICE OF COMFORT, SECURITY AND SAFETY AND I WISH MORE WOMEN WOULD AT LEAST INVESTIGATE THEIR OPTIONS BECAUSE THERE ARE CHOICES :) … THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN WITH RICKIE LAKE, SEALED THE DEAL FOR ME. GOOD LUCK TO ALL YOU EXPECTANT MOMMIES NO MATTER WHAT YOU CHOOSE.

    I’m planning my first home birth with my 4th child after having 3 children. Just a few months ago I know a woman who lost her baby in the middle of delivery AT THE HOSPITAL and nothing could be done. Tragic in this case and that one.

    If the media reported every time a baby or mother died in a hospital because of interventions , women would be scared to give birth at hospitals. But they don’t. The US has one of the highest baby and mother mortality rates among all “civilized” countries. That is the truth that is not told. I am grateful that I live in Colorado where we have one fully licensed and accredited natural free standing birthing center. If we didn’t, I would have had a home birth.

    I’ve had all 4 of my children at home with midwives. I still wouldn’t do it any other way.

    My mother is an RN and right now is doing traveling nursing. She works ER in hospitals, and even she believes that home births are MUCH safer than hospital births.

    When I got married & we were getting ready to have a baby, my husband wanted my mom to be there, because he was afraid of the whole situation. My mom lived 13hours away, and thought we must be doing a hospital birth if he was frightened. When she realized we were planning a home birth, she kind of rolled her eyes, and said what the hecks the problem then?? I also have a friend who is a nurse in Labor & delivery in the hospitals…and she also supports home birth 100%.

    Fact is, that women die in hospitals all the time. Home can be a much more relaxed & safer alternative. I feel for this family, but the fact is that she could of died in the hospital too. Some times things are unavoidable :( I’m proud and happy that she took every precaution she could to avoid the avoidable complications that can arise from being in a hospital.

  115. interestingopinions

    More comments

    The US has the HIGHEST maternal and infant mortality rate. Yet the US has the highest OB and hospital birth rate. Hmmmm. If home birth was so dangerous then why are all of my friends and babies alive who’ve had one?

    For women with low-risk pregnancies, the ‘risks’ are actually greater if they chose to deliver in a hospital. And talking to a NICU nurse about all the “stories” isn’t an accurate picture- all they deal with are those “stories” and not all the other healthy deliveries (of which there are many many more).

    everyone told me to have my baby in a hospital cuz I would feel better with my anxiety and everything…my daughter was born at a military hospital that was supposed to be one of the best and they almost killed both of us and it was so traumatic I had a serious panic attack and had to be on oxygen for most of the time…but then some have amazing hospital births…so I think it just depends on what’s best for you

    Going by just statistics, women with low-risk pregnancise actually have a greater “risk” for things going wrong at a hospital than outside of one. Ironically, with all of the “life-saving” intervention at our hospitals, the US has one of the highest materal & neonatal death rates out of all industrialized countries (and even non-industrialized). Had she known she had heart disease, it would have been wise to choose a hospital. But even then there’s no guarantee they could have saved her~ women die of the same thing while birthing there!

  116. interestingopinions

    why is it that hospital-birthing moms who die tragically do NOT make the news? Maybe because it isn’t news. Both high risk and low risk laboring mothers as well as their newborn babies die in droves every day at hospitals. Using articles against home birth, to scare people into thinking home birth is not safe.

    1. Concerned very concerned

      In my 20yrs of working in a tertiary hospital, attending MET calls and Code Blues( these are resusitation and emergency situations) I have seen one mother die. This was from an amniotic embolism. I have seen countless PPH, very severe ones where if the mum had been anywhere else other than hospital would have died. “Interestingopinions” where is your information coming from re the “mothers and newborns dying in droves in hospitals”?????????? That is not accurate information.

      1. Danielle

        You need to ask yourself what caused these problems in the first place? If they were normal, low risk mothers and babies I suspect the cause was intervention. Inductions? IV oxytocis? Poorly managed 3rd stage – i.e. pulling a placenta that has not yet separated? Extended episiotomy???
        If the cause was something more serious, say Pre-Eclampsia or infection the woman would have already have been transferred in to hospital because she is clearly no longer low risk!
        I have tried to be polite “Concerned” but I am totally fed up with your ignorance. Get your head out of your arse because you do not know what you are talking about. To suggest that I would ever put one of my mothers or babies at risk by allowing them to birth at home is personally insulting to me… at the hint of trouble they are transferred to hospital!
        I also think you should check out the perinatal morbidity and mortality statistics. There are maternal deaths from a variety of causes every year in every country. To say you have only had one in 20 years tells me that you are clearly clueless! (Or have been working in homebirth, because that is Australia’s maternal death rate as it stands right now, one in the last 20 years!!!)

      2. Icarus

        How severe is very severe and are you SURE they would have died without a managed third stage? I managed to lose 2 litres of blood at home, was determined not to have a managed third stage (although my midwife took bubba and told me if I keeled over I was getting it in the leg:-), and two weeks later my haem levels and stored ferritin were better than they had been the whole pregnancy. How many hospitals actually wait to see if the body can reach homeostasis before starting interventions and manage the third stage naturally? So how would you ever have seen anyone really try, or know what the body can do without help? Just sayin’?

      3. Icarus

        PS…One poor lady died in Manly hospital the same week as Caroline – and noone heard boo about it. The only reason I know is because mothers in my local mothers group were delivering next door and had asked staff why the man and baby in the next room were screaming – they were told the mother had just died. And that is as it should be, the poor family left alone to grieve in peace.

  117. erin

    Birth is a marvellous miracle. Most of the time it goes right, women are designed for it, our bodies know what to do. But sometimes it goes wrong. Mother nature factors in that a certain percentage of mums and bubs will die when left for all things to go au naturale. All midwifery and medical interventions should be about supporting the majority to birth naturally and helping the minority to birth safely. And it’s not an exact science, knowing who is who, sometimes things arise “out of the blue”, and any workable birth plan needs to accept that it’s a flow process, you can’t control it, sometimes things don’t work as smoothly as you’d hope.
    Midwives and doctors need to be working together to help each woman have the best experience and outcome that she can have. It doesn’t do women or babies any good if midwives and doctors are running a scare campaign against each other and making patients frightened to seek help from the hospital if they need it, or having a homebirth if it’s a low risk pregnancy.
    I’m outraged when a doctor is cold and unnecessarily interventional and disempowers the woman and partner. I’m outraged when a home birth advocate misleads the woman on what the risks are or tacitly encourages her to put her baby and herself at risk when it is a high risk labour.
    But most of us are in the middle and in a more perfect system, properly consented, low risk homebirths would occur with experienced medical backup and hospital births would be supported by experienced midwifes doing what they do best to achieve an empowering birth experience, with sensitive medical practitioners on hand to help do anything interventional that is required if something is not right and the risks have increased.
    It worries me that some people may be frightened into thinking that the medical profession has an evil agenda and will force women into an unpleasant experience. Some of us are women too, and we care about women and their babies. I don’t know the details of the story above but I know that it wouldn’t have been one doctor who made the decision it would have been a team decision and it would have been motivated by concern- if there are factors that increase the risk of infection or other complications developing it is normal to want to observe the baby for a while. The early signs are not always obvious to pick up for staff or parents, so a watchful wait is good and then, as in this case, most of the time it has been a case of better safe than sorry, the baby is fine and can go home. I think it much more likely that the team was worried that they might miss a complication developing in a baby with risk factors than that they were punishing the parents for having this particular birth advocate present.

    1. Meg

      There doesn’t need to be an overt ‘evil agenda’. good intentions plus fear = desire to control = potential for abuse of patient rights. can happen anywhere, does happen often, and because there is this silly polarisation over VENUE of birth, this means that yes, if you are a ‘homebirth’ mum assumptions will likely be made by people who fear homebirthing and due to their good intentions, you may have your rights infringed. Having good intentions doesn’t safeguard the team from making decisions out of prejudice that endanger the safety of families.

  118. Icarus

    Lisa,

    Just wanted to drop in somewhat belatedly to congratulate you…shocking that you have been in this position but great they couldn’t muster enough bullshit to take it any further. Keep it up, you’re an inspiration:-)

  119. naturalchoices

    Attorney General rejects AMA’s calls for homicide laws to be used to prosecute homebirth mums

    Attorney General Christian Porter has rejected Australian Medical Association (WA) President Dave Mountain’s calls for proposed Western Australian foetal homicide laws to be used as penalties for women who homebirth and those who support them.

    The Attorney General told GNW7 News yesterday that he won’t consider the WA AMA’s call to include homebirth related deaths in new proposed foetal homicide laws in WA.

    ‘To propose criminal charges for women giving birth and their midwives is an outrageous suggestion breaching women’s reproductive rights and Australia’s international legal obligations,’ said Homebirth Australia spokesperson Michelle Meares.

    The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2010 that it was a woman’s right to choose where to give birth. The Court found in Ternovszky v Hungary that a woman’s right to choose the circumstances of becoming a parent is protected under Article 8 of the European Convention (right to private and family life). In its judgment the court also found the threat of sanctions are detrimental to a woman’s ability to choose home birth. This in turn constitutes a violation of the legal security for the exercise of privacy rights, and in particular, violates the principle of legal certainty. The High Court in Australia has made reference to numerous decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in several recent high profile cases.

    Latest nationwide figures from 2009 show that there were 863 homebirths across Australia. There were 2 foetal deaths at homebirths. Homebirths had a 99.8% live birth rate. In the same period 2,339 foetal deaths occurred in hospitals or birth centres.

    ‘We would like to see the same level of scrutiny by the Australian Medical Association into why so many thousands of babies and also mothers are dying in Australian hospitals every year.’ Ms Meares said.

    Over 2000 babies and more than 20 mothers are dying in childbirth across Australia in hospital in obstetric managed care each year.

    ‘In the United Kingdom, homebirth is supported by both the Royal College of Midwives (RMA) and Royal College of Obstetricians (RCOG) and many mothers birth at home safely. The ongoing refusal of the Australian Medical Association to support homebirth just doesn’t make sense.’

    ‘Trying to ban or criminalise homebirth won’t work and places mothers and babies at risk. We’d like to see them come to the table and work with us to improve homebirth options for women and their families.’

    Contact: Michelle Meares 0439 645 372

    Source – Statistics from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Australia’s mothers and babies 2009 report

    MEDIA RELEASE
    27 February 2012

    Proposed WA foetal homicide laws dangerous to mums and babies

    Australian Medical Association West Australian President Dave Mountain has called for proposed Western Australian foetal homicide laws to be used as penalties for women who homebirth and those who support them.

    ‘This call to criminalise homebirth mums and their care providers is an outrageous and frightening suggestion,’ Homebirth Australia spokesperson Michelle Meares said.

    ‘While we absolutely support all steps to protect the safety of babies and mothers, the use of the criminal law system to police pregnant mums and their behaviour will take reproductive rights away from women by granting a foetus independent legal rights. What is next mandatory detention of pregnant mums and forced caesareans if they don’t comply with doctor’s orders?’

    ‘The medical decisions made by a mother who nurtures an unborn baby in her womb should be solely her legal responsibility and a woman should not be facing the threat of criminal charges for giving birth.’

    ‘To criminalise women for their birth choices in this day and age is completely unacceptable and unlawful as it breaches Australia’s international obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),’ Ms Meares said.

    The suggestion by the West Australian AMA president to use the proposed laws in this way demonstrates a significant misunderstanding of the law of homicide. The NSW Council for Civil Liberties in a submission to a review of similar laws in New South Wales in 2010 noted that ‘for centuries it has been the position of common law that before anyone can be killed they must first be born.‘ The proposed changes in Western Australia would reverse laws that say a baby must be born alive to be considered a “human” for criminal purposes.

    A review of laws surrounding criminal incidents and the death of an unborn child was held in NSW in 2010 by the Honourable Michael Campbell QC. He did not recommend that NSW introduce any other specific offences for the death of an unborn child and considered that current legislation responded appropriately. A submission by the NSW Australian Medical Association to this review also opposed the creation of a criminal offence which recognises an unborn child as a legal entity independent of its mother recognising that this would create ‘unecessary complications’ in obstetric care.

    Homebirth Australia believes that the expansion of foetal rights has wider implications that must be considered and threatens women’s right to make consensual medical decisions during pregnancy and birth. These proposed laws impact on all women’s reproductive choices around abortion, pregnancy and childbirth and must be resisted in an open and democratic society.

    ‘To suggest that traumatised women who are refugees from obstetric medical care and their care providers, should be charged with a crime is a proposal to move back to the dark ages by the AMA WA President,’ Ms Meares said. ‘We need to ask why are these women so reluctant to return to hospital based obstetric care and how can we support them to give birth at home safely? ’

    Contact: Michelle Meares 0439 645 372

  120. life offers choices

    VIC: $33.2 millon paid in compensation for negligent deliveries in Victorian Public

    Hospitals

    A record $33.2 million in compensation payouts have been made in the past year over bungled

    births in Victoria’s public hospitals. Victorian Managed Insurance Authority figures reveal

    payouts were made in compensation for 29 botched obstetric cases in the year to June 30

    2011. A further $4 million was paid to two claims over newborns, while across all

    specialties 154 patients received more than $57 million. This compared with the previous

    year, where 31 obstetrics patients were paid $27 million.

    Source: Herald Sun online, 30.07.11.

    08.04.11

    QLD: $6.44 million compensation payout for cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence

    Simone and Steven Ward and their son Zac, aged 6, lodged the claim in Brisbane’s Supreme

    Court in 2007 for personal injuries and consequential loss as a result of alleged negligence

    by Dr Robert Watson and HCoA Operations (Australia) Pty Ltd (North West Private Hospital).

    Compensation was awarded today at $6.44 million.

    Court documents state, had a “foetal compromise been detected, appropriate obstetric

    management could have been undertaken such that the third plaintiff would have been

    delivered without sustaining the effects of hypoxic injury to his brain”. The Wards claim

    Zac’s brain injuries were caused by negligence by the doctor and the hospital. Zac requires

    assistance to feed himself, is unable to walk or stand unaided and suffers other health

    complications, court documents state.

    Source: The Courier Mail online, 08.04.11.

    21.08.10

    NSW: Horror error at St George Hospital – woman injected with cleaning fluid

    According to news reports, a patient at St George Hospital was injected with a powerful

    antiseptic instead of anaesthetic, in what should have been a routine epidural. The Herald

    understands the two substances had been transferred to separate metal dishes on the sterile

    table, contravening the standard practice of drawing them directly from their packaging into

    a syringe to avoid confusion. News reports suggest that the medical error has poisoned the

    patient’s nervous system, leaving her distressed, confused, in shocking pain, unable to walk

    or even sit and that her condition continues to deteriorate.

    Source: Sydney Morning Herald online 21.08.10.

    UPDATE: 30.06.11

    33-year-old Sydney mother Grace Wang was left paralysed from the waist down and suffered

    painful nerve damage after she was injected with a powerful skin antiseptic instead of a

    saline solution during an epidural while giving birth to Alex. She has gone through two

    brain surgeries and rehabilitation since the mix up at Sydney’s St George Hospital in June

    last year.

    In a statement to Mandarin News Australia, St George Hospital said the mix up was an

    “extremely distressing case” and it has admitted fault. “The Hospital and the Local Health

    District are deeply sorry for what has happened to Grace and will continue to care for her

    and her family.”

    Source: SMH online 30.06.11.

    31.05.10

    NSW: Birth trauma death

    Jim Murray’s wife Rebecca bled to death after a caesarian section, and a coroner has found

    that there were errors at both Bathurst and Nepean Hospitals. Despite a coroner’s finding

    last year the hospitals were to blame and a letter by the Greater West Area Health Service

    agreeing the care was “suboptimal”, Mr Murray is still waiting for compensation.

    Source: news.com.au 31.05.10.

    NSW: Public Hospitals birth trauma compensation totals $115 million

    The NSW State Government has reportedly paid $115 million over 5 years for medical

    negligence compensation for birth trauma (such as cerebral palsy, brain damage and injury to

    mothers), with Sydney West Area Health (which runs Nepean) having the highest bill.

    Source: news.com.au 31.05.10.

    24.10.09

    W.A: Allegations of misconduct and gross carelessness involving an obstetrician and

    gynaecologist

    An obgyn at the centre of a medical scandal involving more than 100 female patients has

    admitted to misconduct charges against him.

    The admissions of guilt came during closed-door discussions with the Medical Board days

    before he was due to answer allegations in a series of public hearings before the State

    Administrative Tribunal.

    It has also been revealed that the doctor is being sued in the Perth District Court for

    allegedly performing botched gynaecological operations – some without consent – on women.

    A blanket suppression order has barred publication of all details and his identity.

    Source: news.com.au, Perth Now 24.10.09.

    22.10.09

    VIC: Obstetrician and Anaesthetist under investigation

    Piyanat Siriwan died six hours after delivering a healthy baby in South Eastern Private

    Hospital in 2004. She suffered from severe blood loss after giving birth.

    Coroner Spanos said not enough was done to save Mrs Siriwan’s life, and she recommended the

    Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria investigate the doctors’ management of her case.

    Yesterday, the doctors involved in her care, Dr Lichter and Dr Williams, appeared at the

    Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal accused of unprofessional conduct for not caring

    for Mrs Siriwan at a level expected by their peers and the public. Both are accused of

    failing to assess and adequately address Mrs Siriwan’s blood loss and physical instability

    by not starting an aggressive blood transfusion, among other treatments.

    It is also alleged Dr Maurice Lichter, OBGYN should have performed a hysterectomy following

    an examination he performed about 90 minutes after Mrs Siriwan gave birth, and that he

    inappropriately transferred her to Monash later in the day.

    Dr Emlyn Williams, Aneasthetist is accused of not staying with Mrs Siriwan at times when he

    should have at South Eastern Private, consenting to her inappropriate transfer, and not

    commencing ”basic or advanced life support” during her transfer by ambulance to Monash.

    The hearing continues.

    Source: The Age 22.10.09.

    26.01.08

    VIC: Mother dies giving birth- coroner rules her death was preventable

    Piyanat Siriwan began hemorrhaging uncontrollably after labour at the South Eastern Private

    Hospital, but her transfer to another hospital for life-saving surgery was delayed. The

    coroner found obstetrician and gynaecologist Maurice Lichter and anaesthetist Emlyn Williams

    contributed to Ms Siriwan’s death.

    She recommended the Medical Practitioners Board take whatever action it deemed appropriate

    against the doctors.

    Source: news.com.au 26.01.08

    26.08.06

    Obstetric cash-in with net
    Obstetricians have increased by one-third the out-of-pocket costs they impose on patients

    under Medicare, sparking renewed claims they are cashing in on the federal Government’s

    safety net scheme. (Australian, 26 August 2006)

    16.08.06

    Fears rise of a drop in heel-prick testing in babies
    A requirement that hospitals seek written consent from parents before carrying out

    heel-prick tests on newborn babies has raised concerns there may be a decline in the number

    of babies screened, and diseases may not be detected early enough to treat them.

    National guidelines on newborn screening are also being developed to improve consistency

    around consent, and the collection and storage of information between the states. A

    committee has been working on the issue for the past two years and aims to report back to

    the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council next year.

    (The Age, 16 August 2006)

  121. life offers choices

    VIC: $33.2 millon paid in compensation for negligent deliveries in Victorian Public Hospitals

    A record $33.2 million in compensation payouts have been made in the past year over bungled births in Victoria’s public hospitals. Victorian Managed Insurance Authority figures reveal payouts were made in compensation for 29 botched obstetric cases in the year to June 30 2011. A further $4 million was paid to two claims over newborns, while across all specialties 154 patients received more than $57 million. This compared with the previous year, where 31 obstetrics patients were paid $27 million.

    Source: Herald Sun online, 30.07.11.

    08.04.11

    QLD: $6.44 million compensation payout for cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence

    Simone and Steven Ward and their son Zac, aged 6, lodged the claim in Brisbane’s Supreme Court in 2007 for personal injuries and consequential loss as a result of alleged negligence by Dr Robert Watson and HCoA Operations (Australia) Pty Ltd (North West Private Hospital). Compensation was awarded today at $6.44 million.

    Court documents state, had a “foetal compromise been detected, appropriate obstetric management could have been undertaken such that the third plaintiff would have been delivered without sustaining the effects of hypoxic injury to his brain”. The Wards claim Zac’s brain injuries were caused by negligence by the doctor and the hospital. Zac requires assistance to feed himself, is unable to walk or stand unaided and suffers other health complications, court documents state.

    Source: The Courier Mail online, 08.04.11.

    21.08.10

    NSW: Horror error at St George Hospital – woman injected with cleaning fluid

    According to news reports, a patient at St George Hospital was injected with a powerful antiseptic instead of anaesthetic, in what should have been a routine epidural. The Herald understands the two substances had been transferred to separate metal dishes on the sterile table, contravening the standard practice of drawing them directly from their packaging into a syringe to avoid confusion. News reports suggest that the medical error has poisoned the patient’s nervous system, leaving her distressed, confused, in shocking pain, unable to walk or even sit and that her condition continues to deteriorate.

    Source: Sydney Morning Herald online 21.08.10.

    UPDATE: 30.06.11

    33-year-old Sydney mother Grace Wang was left paralysed from the waist down and suffered painful nerve damage after she was injected with a powerful skin antiseptic instead of a saline solution during an epidural while giving birth to Alex. She has gone through two brain surgeries and rehabilitation since the mix up at Sydney’s St George Hospital in June last year.

    In a statement to Mandarin News Australia, St George Hospital said the mix up was an “extremely distressing case” and it has admitted fault. “The Hospital and the Local Health District are deeply sorry for what has happened to Grace and will continue to care for her and her family.”

    Source: SMH online 30.06.11.

    31.05.10

    NSW: Birth trauma death

    Jim Murray’s wife Rebecca bled to death after a caesarian section, and a coroner has found that there were errors at both Bathurst and Nepean Hospitals. Despite a coroner’s finding last year the hospitals were to blame and a letter by the Greater West Area Health Service agreeing the care was “suboptimal”, Mr Murray is still waiting for compensation.

    Source: news.com.au 31.05.10.

    NSW: Public Hospitals birth trauma compensation totals $115 million

    The NSW State Government has reportedly paid $115 million over 5 years for medical negligence compensation for birth trauma (such as cerebral palsy, brain damage and injury to mothers), with Sydney West Area Health (which runs Nepean) having the highest bill.

    Source: news.com.au 31.05.10.

    24.10.09

    W.A: Allegations of misconduct and gross carelessness involving an obstetrician and gynaecologist

    An obgyn at the centre of a medical scandal involving more than 100 female patients has admitted to misconduct charges against him.

    The admissions of guilt came during closed-door discussions with the Medical Board days before he was due to answer allegations in a series of public hearings before the State Administrative Tribunal.

    It has also been revealed that the doctor is being sued in the Perth District Court for allegedly performing botched gynaecological operations – some without consent – on women.

    A blanket suppression order has barred publication of all details and his identity.

    Source: news.com.au, Perth Now 24.10.09.

    22.10.09

    VIC: Obstetrician and Anaesthetist under investigation

    Piyanat Siriwan died six hours after delivering a healthy baby in South Eastern Private Hospital in 2004. She suffered from severe blood loss after giving birth.

    Coroner Spanos said not enough was done to save Mrs Siriwan’s life, and she recommended the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria investigate the doctors’ management of her case.

    Yesterday, the doctors involved in her care, Dr Lichter and Dr Williams, appeared at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal accused of unprofessional conduct for not caring for Mrs Siriwan at a level expected by their peers and the public. Both are accused of failing to assess and adequately address Mrs Siriwan’s blood loss and physical instability by not starting an aggressive blood transfusion, among other treatments.

    It is also alleged Dr Maurice Lichter, OBGYN should have performed a hysterectomy following an examination he performed about 90 minutes after Mrs Siriwan gave birth, and that he inappropriately transferred her to Monash later in the day.

    Dr Emlyn Williams, Aneasthetist is accused of not staying with Mrs Siriwan at times when he should have at South Eastern Private, consenting to her inappropriate transfer, and not commencing ”basic or advanced life support” during her transfer by ambulance to Monash.

    The hearing continues.

    Source: The Age 22.10.09.

    26.01.08

    VIC: Mother dies giving birth- coroner rules her death was preventable

    Piyanat Siriwan began hemorrhaging uncontrollably after labour at the South Eastern Private Hospital, but her transfer to another hospital for life-saving surgery was delayed. The coroner found obstetrician and gynaecologist Maurice Lichter and anaesthetist Emlyn Williams contributed to Ms Siriwan’s death.

    She recommended the Medical Practitioners Board take whatever action it deemed appropriate against the doctors.

    Source: news.com.au 26.01.08

    26.08.06

    Obstetric cash-in with net
    Obstetricians have increased by one-third the out-of-pocket costs they impose on patients under Medicare, sparking renewed claims they are cashing in on the federal Government’s safety net scheme. (Australian, 26 August 2006)

    16.08.06

    Fears rise of a drop in heel-prick testing in babies
    A requirement that hospitals seek written consent from parents before carrying out heel-prick tests on newborn babies has raised concerns there may be a decline in the number of babies screened, and diseases may not be detected early enough to treat them.

    National guidelines on newborn screening are also being developed to improve consistency around consent, and the collection and storage of information between the states. A committee has been working on the issue for the past two years and aims to report back to the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council next year.

    (The Age, 16 August 2006)

  122. BIRT_ADVACAT_155

    I LOVE YOU LISA!!!! YOU ARE A CREDIT TO ALL MIDWIVESES!!! IF IT WERE UP TO THE HOSPITALS THEY WOULD KILL ALL DA BEBEZZZZ!!

  123. Kelly

    Wow Lisa what an incredible blog!

    I am a fairly new midwife and new to Australia, I was in seach of some inspirational midwifery and stumbled across your site.

    I truly admire you for being so open at such a crazy time. You have some wonderful midwifery on your page. I just seen the pictures of a breech delivery and a waterbirth. What I really enjoyed was how you allow the women to birth their own baby, no unneccesary handling, so empowering and a protector of birth.

    Big Love at such a mental time.

  124. kylie

    Hi Lisa,
    I can not believe what Im reading! Generaly from john & concerned. I cannot mention the others as I dont believe they should be acknowleged. I am a lovely target for these type of people. I am currently HOUSE BOUND because of the trauma caused to me and my family.

    Due to this distrust of OBs and there dutifull midwives there currently is only one person I could trust for advise and that is you. I have never blogged before so this is progress for me I guess and I owe it to you and the warm souls who support you.

    To the nasty person that attacked emotionly frail people, I was not always this way!
    It was caused by your beloved OBs and outstandingly corrupt medical system. Furthermore seeing that these hatefull people love the media so much surely they have seen the effects of bullying, it has litrally killed people! But reading what they have had to say I dont supose they care.

    Please keep fighting for us Lisa because you save lives like mine.