49 responses to “Make a difference? Join the protest”

  1. Janet

    I’m looking forward to seeing you there. <3
    http://janetfraser.id.au/blog/2011/08/23/endangered-birth/

  2. New Grad

    I think the MC have absoutely nailed it in their submission. In particular these two statements really resonate with me:

    “Women should not be abandoned by their careproviders (or threatened with abandonment) as a result of the decisions that they make, or in order to coerce them to make particular choices, in any care setting.”

    “Recognition of women’s rights to informed consent and refusal is meaningless in a context where women will be denied care if they make particular choices.”

    I dont care whether you are a homebirth midwife, a hospital midwife, obstetrician, the ACM or the AMA …… how can you possibly deny the validity of the above statements. It’s basic human rights!!!!!

    I am so disappointed that my College has acted without consulting and stuck a knife in the back of the homebirthing community. It was such a massive opportunity, a crucial moment in the future of maternity care, and they absolutely stuffed it up. When I was a student midwife last year there was such an air of excitement and hope for the future… we felt like we were standing on a precipice of a new era….. sadly it seems like indeed it is a new era but a bad one, not a good one. Leaves such a bitter taste. I hope they can make amends and get it right now. And stop with the secrecy. Or the ACM may find themselves losing members when they have been so proud of themselves for building their membership – so it gives them a louder voice in maternity policy direction……and this is how they use this power? I personally have lost confidence in them and will wait and see what happens before I renew my membership! And I’ll continue to support the MC with my dollars because I think they are the only ones who stand behind women No Matter What.

    I am a new grad in a hospital, but I hold the teachings of my wonderful uni lecturer very close to my heart every shift that I do, with every woman I come into contact with. She is a homebirth midwife who blends serenity and kindness with strength and a depth of knowledge I will always aspire to, in this challenging model of care that I work in. xxx

  3. Mich

    Thank you for standing up for those ‘high risk’ women like me.

    Ill be there to march with you… even though it should have never got to this point in the first place.

    United we stand….. :D

  4. Hannah

    Thank you for encouraging Australian women to stand up and be counted. Fabulous work, as always.

  5. Concerned

    Lisa, it’s a fact( shown by published facts), that there is a higher rate of babies dying in home births than there is in hospitals. Like it or not it would be wrong for the college not to take notice of these figures and adjusts it’s recommendations accordingly.

    Providing a duty of care to a client/patient is NOT simply acknowledging a women’s right to birth where they choose and supporting that choice. Duty of care is integral to nursing/ midwifery and ensures that by “taking on” a client you can provide them with safe competent care. If you take on a high risk client or delivery of a prem bub, you are( by virtue of duty of care) saying you can provide advanced neonatal resuscitation, can handle high risk deliveries etc.

    Maybe the reason that people want home birth practices reviewed is because of people like you acting outside your scope of practise.

    1. Meg

      can you please cite your statistics, ‘concerned’?
      And also please tell me how this can possibly tally up, when “homebirths” that do experience complications (like mine), get transferred to hospital and then counted in the statistics as hospital, not home births?
      Even if homebirths do have ‘a higher rate of deaths’ (which I’m yet to see substantiated) the figures are skewed anyway because planned homebirths that have complications end up out of the homebirth statistical pool.
      And since you have access to all the facts, perhaps you can also enlighten us as to comparative morbidity, not just mortality. I think I know which building gets the nasty rep there, and it’s not your own home.
      Duty of care has to include respect for individual rights and freedoms. Hospital policies have little respect for the individual, by nature this is how institutions are. which is why we need access to homebirth supported by qualified attendants for the small number of women who freely choose this. the issue everyone has with the guidelines is the instruction to refuse to attend women who won’t comply with the guidelines..such guidelines are conservative as to risk and include a ‘high risk’ some scenarios (eg VBAC) where the relative risk is debatable.
      My last pregnancy was achieved through IVF and this made me ‘high risk’ for no good reason I can see. My labour was fairly normal, just long. Should I be refused a homebirth attendant?
      who decides what I can and cannot do?
      what next…I decide to birth at home no matter what, because I don’t dare go back to a hospital that so traumatised me I’m still in psychotherapy 3 years later, and the ACM deems it’s preferable that I do so unattended???!!!???!!! Or do they send around an ambulance and force me to go to hospital?
      duty of care is about providing care as best you can. If you force someone else to take any action the expressly have said they do not want, even if you have the best of intentions, it’s still abusive, it’s still a use of force to get what you want.
      (refer above…3 years of psychotherapy, etc).

  6. Meg

    On you Lisa! I won’t be able to make the protest but will be working from the ‘inside’. I have become a consumer member of the ACM so I can nosey on what’s happening. The motions for the AGM are all very positive, challenging what has happened and it felt good to cast my proxy vote. good luck with the rally : )

  7. Concerned

    A home birth that is transferred to hospital is not a home birth. It occurs in a hospital.

    I could quote study after study re morality, morbidity of home birth vs hospital birth, but these are easily found with a simple google search. The reality is if there is a unexpected emergency ie shoulder dystocia, fetal bradycardia, PPH etc in a home birth you are without immediate access to a caesarean and expert resuscitation which equals poor outcomes.

    Yes patients have a right to autonomy, but not if their requests/wants go against evidence of safe practise. Wanting to go against safe practise does not also give you a right to have a health professional care for you. If a nurse or midwife agrees to provide care for someone that goes against “best practise”( which is developed my looking at evidence ie studies, research), or is outside their scope of practise ie being able to provide expert resuscitation
    then they are breaching their duty of care.

    Duty of care exists to provide a certain standard of care across the board so to speak. I feel the College is being responsible by wanting to ensure this.

    I too have had a baby through IVF. A very high risk pregnancy, resulting in lots of monitoring throughout, a cesearean and a bub in NICU. Thank god this was available to me and my bub. I have a healthy, happy little girl because of it. Meg I feel really sorry for you that you are so “caught up” in the birth experience. After going through IVF aren’t you just glad to have a bub? Many people go through IVF only to never have a baby and you are really telling me you need three years of therapy because your baby was born in a hospital rather than your home? I’m sure your child doesn’t care where they were born, just that they are healthy. At some point isn’t birth also about the right of the child to a safe delivery?

    1. One Angry Mumma

      Oi, “Concerned”, don’t you DARE quote the ‘Be happy with a live baby’ bullshit at me! I wasn’t treated nearly as bad as some, and my ‘live baby’ hospital birth caused me to have 2yrs of PTSD and suicidal thoughts. And I was a complete ‘yes’ girl. I didn’t even know why I was feeling so ‘wrong’ until it was brought to my attention. Please go to any parental forum and you’ll see a Traumatic Births section, where SO many women can’t figure out why their births made them feel SO bad – but to a survivor, I can see plainly it was the treatment they received at the hospital. From birth, we are told and programmed that our bodies are ours, we can say No. But then once we start gestating, we are suddenly nothing more than breeders, incubators with no rights to our OWN bodies and those of our children? Screw that!

      I would also like to see these ‘easily found Google results’ that you are quoting. If they are so easy, post them.

      Just because I home birth, or others home birth, doesn’t mean that we are denied the use of hospitals. Neither are we willing to put our children’s lives at risk, if anything, if we need the hospital, then we go. We do not carry these children under our hearts only to risk them, and you are a short-sighted, narrow-minded person if you think that! In my case, I birthed my second child at home to PREVENT the dangers presented at hospital. My second child deserved the right to a safe delivery, you are totally correct there, so therefore I home birthed!

      Please also explain to those children that have been hurt and damaged solely by their birth in hospital at the hands of overworked, overstressed, over regulated, understaffed and poorly trained staff. Please explain to my friend, who had a C/S due to ‘failure to progress’ (little more than 12 hours) where the Dr sliced open her son’s back, that it was ‘safer’ there. Or to my friend that was screaming she didn’t want the episiotomy and was held down and cut. What about the woman who had her daughter forcibly removed from her because she didn’t want the Vit K injection done? Or other one that was told to shut up and stop carrying on? Oh, hang on, that last one was me… Any of the hundreds if not thousands of hurt women and children out there, explain to them why it was ‘safer’ that in the hospital that damaged and hurt them.

      It is ONLY valiant fighters like Lisa that women like me have a voice. When I complained, I was told to shut up and ‘be happy I have a live child’, well fuck that. Thank GOD Lisa and others like her are out there. Shame on you for perpetuating lies, propaganda, misinformation, vitriol and plain hate. Shame!

      1. Meg

        you rock, Angry Mumma. Stay angry! : )

    2. Meg

      of course I am glad to have my son. As you would know the pain of years and years missing someone you’ve never met is excrutiating. I loved the IVF process, I felt nurtured and well cared for throughout and I am ever greatful that technology was there to help my family finally get together. I transferred to hospital with no reason to expect anything different. I have nothing against hospitals and at the time of the birth was really ambivaelent about whether we’d end up at home or hospital…but the treatment my son and I received there was appaling, unprofessional and extremely traumatising. This means that hospital will never feel like a safe option for me again.
      I am glad you have been helped through a complicated medical situation with your high-risk pregnancy and birth and feel greatful; if you were well supported and cared for then that’s great but please realise there are many of us who have had even ‘normal’ births but been treated so poorly the result is trauma.
      I do not feel greatful about my hospital experience.
      Yes I am “caught up” in the birth experience. It’s called PTSD.
      This is not the forum to share the details of my story and I should not have to in order to have my perspective respected. All I ask is that the ACM recognise that it’s every woman’s right to make her own informed decisions about what treatments she decides to accept, and to ensure that all women have the right to a qualified and willing attendant at their birth, whatever her choice.
      The UNHCR seems to think so, anyway.
      I am not asking, BTW that midwives be forced to attend births in circumstances that they feel are outside their scope of practice. Midwives should be free to choose that too. But the current guidelines makes it impossible for those brave midwives who do choose to stand by women who make decisions outside the ‘guidelines’, to really be ‘with woman’.
      And yes, children do have a right to health, and for a neonate having a healthy mother is pretty essential. A traumatised, unresponsive mother is not really the healthiest start is it? Because of my trauma and failure to bond, my son and I endured a readmission for jaundice and feeding difficulties. He suffered too. Is that preserving his right to health?
      So..again I ask you to consider – a woman who has had a previous hospital birth, where the treatment she got was poor, where she was traumatised, and now has PTSD and a scarred uterus. This woman wants medical support, she NEEDS good support if she is going to get through this next birth in any psychological shape to care for her baby, but to go to hospital endangers her mental health (and therefore also risks compromising her baby and existing child’s psychosocial security). Does she take another punt on the hospital system? Freebirth? Neither suits her needs.
      What is your duty of care in her case?

      1. Meg

        oops I mean UN Declaration of Human Rights, not UNHCR, which stands for refugees. though at the moment i’m feeling a bit like a refugee from the hospital system, I must say!

  8. Early Grayce

    It is true that there is an a acceptable number of babies dying because you think a taxi is an acceptable mode of transport in a life threatening situation.

    1. jelikin

      I have NEVER transfered anyone in a taxi. Or stolen a baby from an ICU or taken a “breached” baby to Llyl Mac, the advertiser will pay for making up such lies. Small minded people like yourself who believe such crap deserve to live in it.

  9. Sarah

    Concerned, I think you have missed the point! You may well be “just glad to have a bub” (as am I after 2 IVF babies, both born at home – both of these avenues my choice) and of course having a healthy baby is the desired outcome in any pregnancy. The issue here is not about whether a mother should be so grateful to just have a baby that the circumstance surrounding the birth is irrelevent but that where and how she births and the care she has selected is based on her own (informed or otherwise) choice. There may well be some difference of opinion about what ‘duty of care’ means and I suspect that there is a philosophical difference between how an Independent Midwife or Birth Attendant/Advocate and homebirthing mother view this term and how it is used in the hospital system. The relationship between a woman birthing at home and her chosen attendant is based on trust and a shared view on the innate ability of a woman’s body to birth her baby. That is not to say that there are never any risks and that there cannot be complications – that would be a niave view and one that I doubt you would ever hear a homebirth midwife express. The key difference when making the choice to birth at home and when selecting your care provider is that the dialogue is not based on risk or ‘what if’s’ but on the assumption that your pregnancy and birth will be normal unless there are indications otherwise. The hospital model of care and indeed the model suggested by ACM based on the guidelines is at it’s core in opposition to that philosophy.
    The second issue is the lack of respect of midwives inherent in these recommendations- and I say this as a consumer not as a midwife. A midwife that chooses how to offer care to a woman during pregnancy and labour based on a set of guidelines that basically prescribe how and where that care is offered would not be my choice when considering who will attend me and my family my babies birth. But I respect the fact that it may be yours. I make my choice based on the willingness of my care provider (thanks Lisa!) to do what is right by the woman she serves – and I use that term intentionally! A midwife has a servant heart and a generous spirit. She is governed by a set of values so intrinsic to her make-up and her soul that she will always be led by a womans choice. Of course she will offer her experience and her expertise and will make recommendations based on fact and evidence – which is why she is, in fact the safest bet!
    In my mind, the issue we don’t often talk openly about as women is the lasting impact your birth experience can have on you and your child. ‘Concerned’ I am so happy for you and your daughter that your birth experience has not gone on to have a negative impact on your relationship with your child and that you were simply happy to have a healthy baby. But to all the women out there who have been raped and brutalised by the hospital system, who have not only been personally traumatised but have had their breastfeeding relationship with their child damaged, who have gone on to have a child with whom they struggled to bond in the early weeks, who may have had a child ‘forced’ onto forumla prematurely, whose child may then had sleep issues, health issues related to formula, who may be considering never having any more children because they simply can’t face the experience again – to these women, my heart bleeds. For these women and for our children, we owe more.

  10. Murasaki

    Its not a child till it out of the uterus! If we subjugate the rights of women to the rights of the fetus we remove humanity from women. Fetus lovers I suggest Oxfam, World Vision, Salvation Army as ways to save some FULLY REALISED fetus’. Fantastic organisations that really need some more CONCERNED volunteers.

    Why Concerned should someone like me (the dreaded scarred woman) be forced into hospital with less than 20% chance of a vaginal birth and next to nil chance of a normal physiological birth to escape a 0.07% chance of rupture? I can stay home and my chances of a normal birth are more like 95%. I’m more likely to get hit by a car on my way to the hospital, catch an infection in the hospital or have my baby given to a stranger by accident than I am to have a fatal rupture. I deserve to have the option of a midwife if I want one. No-ones going to put a gun to the individual MWs head. We’re all grown ups and we are aware of the risks – but feel when you balance them all out homebirth is the safer option. If you want to have a fully medicare funded c-section simply because your baby was IVF then fantastic, off you go! – how would you feel if that was being taken off the table and you were told your only option was homebirth or freebirth?

    I had a relatively good experience in hospital having a c-section for failure to wait yet 5years on I struggle to talk about it without crying. Some of the stories of things that have happened to women in hospitals all over the world turn my stomach. Maybe your experience wasnt so bad – why dont you try reading some of the stories of birthrape and tell me you’d be cool with that as long as you had a live baby. The trauma doesnt negate the joy or love for the baby – but to say it doesnt matter – well thats just woman hating.

    See ya on Wednesday women!!!!!!!

    1. Meg

      : )

    2. Concerned

      Quote “it’s not a child till it’s out of the uterus”. You disgust me. What a revolting attitude. More important to be a “Birth warrior” and have a vaginal birth whatever the cost. Truly disgusting, you should be ashamed of yourself.

      And yes I will give you “that crap” about just being glad you have a healthy baby crap. Because you should be. Oh and my “Medicare funded caseareans just because I did IVF” was actually because I had a bub diagnosed with a brain condition at 26wks. I was told she might die before she was born. A caseareans was needed so bub wasn’t stressed by labour as bub was already stressed.

      It pisses me off hearing self righteous idiots like you carrying on about your right to this, your right to that and forgetting about your babies health. You all risk your babies by home birthing and trust me bubs with brain damage do it tough. And you morons are telling me you are happy to risk that for a home birth( three times higher risk than hospital) Just disgusting.

      1. Author of the guest post!

        I believe your comment and errrr… “quote”:
        “Oh and my “Medicare funded caseareans just because I did IVF” was actually because I had a bub diagnosed with a brain condition at 26wks.”
        Is in response to my guest post which Lisa posted on her blog… I urge you to READ IT AGAIN!!!

        In the post I am referring to NON-medically indicated caesarean sections…. a brain condition at 26 weeks is clearly an ABNORMAL condition which (in some instances) indicate the NEED for a caesarean section – which would be a MEDICALLY indicated caesarean section (and I only say “in some instances” because I have no idea what was wrong with your baby and not all conditions require a caesarean section for survival so I am not about to pigeon hole all ‘babies with brain conditions’).

        I have an issue with medicare funded caesarean sections for no reason other than vanity or the incorrect belief that it is a “safer” birth for the ‘normal healthy mother with a normal healthy pregnancy and a normal healthy baby’… quite the contrary – it is more dangerous! Go across to New Zealand… if you want a NON-Medically indicated caesarean section – you have to pay for it yourself… I have no problem with that!

        No need to attack Lisa around this one because it was me that wrote the post. But I think you need to read it a little more closely before jumping on the comments page and going on a rant about something that has actually not been posted on the blog in the first place.

        1. Concerned

          My reply was only directed at Murasaki, no one else.

      2. Meg

        Concerned, I feel for you and your situation with your child, believing their life to be in danger. It is a terrifying experience. I’ve been there too. Maybe we are not so different? It’s just the thing you are scared of, and the thing that helps you feel safe, is opposite to me. A twist of fate and we could be in each other’s shoes.

        1. Concerned

          Hi Meg. Yes you are right. Perhaps we could have been in each others shoes. I think regardless of how our bubs came into the world we are both great Mum’s for dealing with the issues we have had to deal with ie death and disability.

          Maybe I am lucky, but I have just never felt my birth was traumatic. I’ve never felt like less of a mother because of my birth, because I wasn’t able to breast feed, because my bub went straight to NICU. I have seen so many friends beat themselves up over births, breastfeeding etc. I guess I just see birth in a lot of ways as being out of our hands. I’m an incredibly health conscious person. I ate well, avoided everything you should etc when I was pg. But despite that there was still a problem picked up with my bub and bang went any thoughts I had about a vaginal birth.

          I can kind off understand why things like breast feeding, vaginal birth etc are promoted by WHO etc. But I worry that it also takes it to another extreme where anything less than a drug free, vaginal birth is seen as a failure on the mothers behalf. Is this what is behind people seeking home births( I am genuinely interested in this question)?

          1. Meg

            Hi concerned. I think the movement around homebirth is one aspect only of women’s desire to be respected, to have autonomy and not made to feel less than human, inferior, helpless, alone or afraid.
            There are many choices out there and I applaud you for your bravery in making the choices you did. I am not anti bottle feeding cesarian or any intervention. They all have their place and no-one should be made to feel less worthy for making any particular choice, providing it is well informed and does not immediately harm anyone (recognising that theoretical ‘risk’ of harm and actual present harm/danger are two very different things).
            I AM pro women making their own choices. You got to make your own choices in a difficult situation, which despite very difficult circumstances seems to have been empowering for you. I don’t care what choices you made because they are YOURS and I am happy for you because you had your rights to make your own decisions respected. On the other hand, I had my rights curtailed, my autonomy called into question, any my own and my baby’s needs were disrespected. Whether this had happened at home or in a hospital doesn’t matter, wherever it happened it is just NOT OK.
            The battle here is not about deciding what procedure is best, or least traumatising. Its about women having the right and means (information, lack of coercion, freedom, etc) to decide for themselves and their children what is safe and having that right absolutely protected.
            I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about birth trauma and ceasearians. Trauma stems from experiencing extreme fear, helplessness and being unable to control what is happening to you. It can happen regardless of the birth circumstances.
            I recommend you check out birthtalk.org for information, they really helped me understand what was going on for me, and why it was I felt so bad after what was, on paper at least, a ‘normal’ – vaginal birth, 2nd deg tear and admission for jaundice. On the outside it all looks pretty routine but because of poor practice at the hospital, my experience was anything but normal. On the other hand, your hospital notes I’m sure looked pretty hairy but in your own words you “have just never felt your birth was traumatic”.
            Trauma is in the eye of the beholder. And it can happen anywhere.
            If I was traumatised during a homebirth I would not want to do homebirth again, and I would not have to.
            But what happened to me in hospital was traumatising, it was preventable, there was no medical reason the birth should have been traumatic but it was.
            I would love it if there were such things as birth homes, where I could check in early in labour with no-one watching a clock, where no-one would be waiting behind curtains to coerce me into treatments I don’t need or want, to give birth safely with medical help nearby and feel secure that provided there were no life-threatening complications myself and my baby would be kept together physically and allowed to bond properly. Where i could be confident my birth plan would be followed and taken seriously as my voice when I am voiceless. Where i could stay with my family around me to care for me while I am helpless and unable to move, so I could care for my beloved baby.
            Such a place does exist, it is my home, WITH a qualified midwife present – the only ‘safe’ option for me. If hospitals could match it then that would be great, but they don’t. Even if hospitals did offer this I would still support the right of other women to choose not to use hospital service. I do believe all mothers make the best decisions they can on behalf of their babes, from love.
            Judgement of other mother’s choices is just too prevaelent at both sides of this debate, I also have felt judged at times and ‘less of’ a mother for my choice to transfer for pain relief. But I stand by my decision, and I stand by the right of all mothers to make their own decisions for their babies and themselves.

      3. Meg

        you are not listening to anyone here. we are all concerned for our babies above all else. For you to continually typecast me as a selfish mother with no regard for my beloved child is totally offensive. ONE of the reasons SOME women choose to homebirth, is to protect their children and theirselves from actual damage done to both mothers and children. you are concerned about malpractice in homebirth, and wish to pursue a safe birth in a hospital, an option which is available to you to choose. I am concerned about malpractice in hospital birth and wish to persue a safe birth at home, which is an option rapidly disapearing. I don’t deny you your right to choose your definition of safety, don’t deny mine. And particularly, please STOP engaging in offensive and hurtful talk that aims to demonise anyone with a different worldview than your own, by attacking mothers like me who, just like you, have lived through fear for their child’s life and fought tooth and nail for them. To do so is just CRUEL and you should know that.

  11. Concerned

    I have a new iPad and haven’t yet worked out how to cut and paste.

    The stats I am referring to are- Pregnancy Outcome in South Australia 2009. An article just showing figures for neonatal, perinatal and stillbirth in hospital, birth centers and home births in 2009. Home birth came out with the highest death rate.

    - 13th Report of Perinatal and Infant mortality Commitee of W.A. Deaths 2005-2007. This showed the perinatal death rate in home birth to be three times higher than hospital birth.

    Duty of care is something that has always been applicable in any nurse/midwife/patient relationship. A nurse/midwife has never been mandated to give care if the patient is wanting make a choice re their care that goes against safe practise or is outside the scope of practise of the nurse or midwife. Standards of care may be viewed on the APHRA website( the registration board for nurses/midwives).

    As I said in my previous post patients ie pregnant women have a right to autonomy( ie right to make choices), but they then don’t also have a right to care if the choice goes against safe practise.

    Given the above articles the College is correct in wanting a duty of care included. Duty of care means providing safe, competent care to clients. Managing births in particular “high risk” ie twins, breech etc is outside the scope of practise of midwives in terms of monitoring and resuscitating. These pregnancies for example are more likely to require neonatal resuscitation. Midwives are simply not trained in providing advanced life support ie intubation, emergency drug administration, line insertion etc. Likewise intermittent doppler assessment of fetal heart rate doesn’t show brief decelerations( first signs of hypoxia) in heart rate that CTG monitoring does. By the time allow heart rate is heard on Doppler the baby has probably been hypoxic for a period of time. You then have to get to a hospital, be seen by a doctor and then get to theatre.

    What is the reason for hiring a midwife for a home birth? It’s to have someone there that you are counting on to make sure you and your baby are safe and can “handle” a situation adequately to ensure a good outcome. Otherwise why not just free birth? There are situations like I have described that a midwife cannot competently manage. Hence the Colleges recommendations. The recommendations are there to ensure safety and midwives accountability. I would be very concerned if a home birth midwife assured me that it was safe to deliver twins, breech at home.

    I just want people to consider the reasons behind the College’s recommendations. Hospitals aren’t perfect either but they do have immediate access to life saving caseareans and expert resuscitation. I’m bringing this next point up as Lisa has chosen not to publish my comment re the court case. I work in health care. There have been times in my career where patients deaths have occurred that have been reported to the coroner. Not once have I been concerned about this as the care I have provided has not been outside of my scope of practise, and I have fulfilled my duty of care to the patient. I question why Lisa has not welcomed the enquiry as well as she states that the death would have occurred anyway if it had been in the hospital. Instead of bleating on about it being an attack on home bith, be accountable and show your followers that you are competent to adequately manage emergency situations. As isn’t that what you are ultimately the reason you are being hired.

    Just wondering if anyone can tell me where the birth stories are about women that have home birthed and the baby died but they are still glad they home birthed. I can’t seem to find any on this website?

    1. Meg

      well if only it was safe to deliver twins, breech etc at hospital no doubt women would go. but if your experience is of trauma of being raliroaded into treatments you don’t want, bullied, coerced and then told ‘everything’s fine shut up’, how can women possibly see this as a safe option regardless of the complication they face?
      Concerned you haven’t even bothered to address the very real concerns posted here by myself and other mothers who are suffering trauma.
      If you really are concerned then maybe you can offer us your opinion on how traumatised women should be handled under your ‘duty of care’.
      Specifically how would you handle your ‘duty of care’ in the situation I described earlier, when the woman with the PTSD and scarred uterus knows she faces little chance of a natural birth in hospital, and a high likelihood of re-traumatisation
      Just for fun, let’s also make it she has a perfect presentation (LOA) and the labor starts on the dot of 40 weeks.
      As far as I know, hospitals have nothing to offer this woman that will keep her safe both physically and psychologically. But what would I know, eh? I’m just a mother not a midwife and clearly unfit to make decisions for my child.

      1. Meg

        oh..and by the way. You asked whether I ‘seriously need 3 yrs of psychotheraphy just because I gave birth in hosptial not home’. the reason I need a psychologist to help me with PTSD has nothing to do with the building in which I birthed but everything to do with the midwives who work there. Like you, all of them felt they had the right to make decisions for me. I felt less than a person.
        Compare – a man decides to do something to your vagina because HE FEELS its for ‘your own good’. They call that RAPE and the definition of rape rests on free and active consent.
        It’s the lack of FREE and ACTIVE consent that defines rape as abuse. Any other activity, sexual or not, that denies any person their right to FREE and ACTIVE consent over what happens to them is also abuse. I don’t care if it’s enshrined in medical process as ‘duty of care’ or not, it’s still abuse and I will name it as such.
        Until recently it was legal to rape your wife under ‘conjugal rights’. the 1980s folks, not so long ago. It is still legal to hit your children too, under the guise of ‘discipline’. And it’s legal it seems to abuse patients under ‘duty of care’. I know plenty of stories from patients outside birth for whom this is also the case.
        Once those last two loopholes are closed we might see our way towards equality for all people all the time.

  12. Concerned

    Oops. It should read ” show your followers, by way of being cleared by the Coroners court that you, as you say acted appropriated in that emergency situation”.

  13. Concerned

    Wasn’t it a student midwife who was at the birth in a friend capacity to the mother that actually freed the baby’s arm allowing it to be born as you could not do this? This by the way was evidence provided as sworn evidence at the Coroners inquest. So no need to threaten defamation.

  14. Concerned

    Meg check out some of the protocols online. RWH being an example, presenting at term in spontaneous labour with a history of VBAC you are able to labour. Do you think a dead baby would cause psychological harm?

  15. Concerned

    Oh and I know you love evidence being quoted so could you please provide some evidence ie studies/figures showing that home birth is better for the child. All I’m hearing is your feelings about your delivery. You were traumatized, you were raped etc. Surely your decision to home birth must also be the best one for the baby, as backed up by evidence rather than you having what you call a good experience.

    1. Meg

      You obviously have not understood my post. I explained to you, when i had my baby I was totally ambivalent about where I birthed. I ended up in hospital. I have nothing against hospitals. However there is the very real fact that many women do come of out hospitals sicker than they went in, and for no good reason. Not everyone follows protocols. Not all protocols are logical, or sensitive to the needs of mothers and babies.
      If a VBAC woman in your protocols is “allowed to labour’ then why not let that happen at home – if that is her choice, if that is what will allow her to feel safe. How well is she going to labour and birth if forced to go to a venue that she is petrified of? You might let her labour but how likely is she to deliver once she’s been strapped to a bed constantly monitored and unable to move around.
      These situations are not black and white, so why force a black-and-white protocol onto everything? No one should ever presume to know what’s best for other people and their children.
      There is really no point continuing this conversation. I and others like me will continue to make free choices, as is our basic human right, out of love and to protect our children, our families and ourselves.

      1. Meg

        PS I did not say I was raped, although I understand that some women have experiences in birth where consent is not obtained, that feel very similar to rape. I was trying to make a point, that forcing any action onto someone is abusive whether that action is sexual or otherwise. And that somehow the law seems to turn a blind eye to such abuses when they happen in a medical setting. Pretend all you like that it doesn’t happen but it does.

  16. Concerned

    Meg, you asked me to provide the figures I was referring to and this was done. You said a hospital couldn’t offer a VBAC that you were aware of, and I provided a reference that shows you can. I simply asked you to then provide evidence of what you are claiming, and your response was to end the conversation. Interesting. I can only take this to mean that there is no evidence to support the safety( as you claim) of home birth.

    1. Meg

      I am not trying to argue safety of homebirth vs hospital. There are obvious situations where hospital is indeed safer. I have told you my own story where I willingly transferred from home to hospital and faced with the same situation I would go to hospital again, but if I ever fall pg again (unlikely anyway) I want the OPTION of giving home a try if I CHOOSE IT and I deserve that option to be supported by a known midwife of MY CHOICE. I am just trying to open your eyes to the complexities that exist for women who have had bad experiences, who are then in effect forced into going to hospital for their next birth, or going it alone. Have a bad homebirth and no-one’s forcing you to do it at home again. Have a bad hospital birth and sorry sister, but you have to do it again or go it alone. that’s beastly. Even if the evidence of safety in hospital is debatable (eg – my example, weighing up of relative risk of harms physically and psychologically for a woman seeking a VBAC after traumatic hospital experience).
      I know hospitals technically offer VBAC but as Murasaki kindly pointed out below, the reality of actually being supported through a whole birth not just ‘allowed to labor’ is slim.
      You have still not bothered answering my question about how your protocols ensure a ‘duty of care’ to a woman with complex psychological issues and a scarred uterus in the hospital system. As far as I know, VBAC protocol or not, hospitals have nothing to offer a woman suffering PTSD due to events previously occurring at that same venue.
      There were at least 3 hospital protocols breached during my hospital birth so how am I supposed to trust this wouldn’t happen again? How am I supposed to feel safe?
      Hopefully now you might understand my question but if you still don’t then what’s the point of continuing.

  17. Murasaki

    Concerned, VBAC in hospital rates for SA are 17% for 2009. Maybe some of us consider that a bit pisspoor (just a tad) given the success rates at home are 97.6%.

    If like me, you birth past doomsday (I mean 40weeks), you have larger babies and you have a teensy tiny little vagina that babies dont just fall out of but rather requires some stretching then your chances are even lower.

  18. Concerned

    Hey fabulous. 97 percent chance of VBAC at home, three times higher risk of the baby dying during a home birth. That’s fantastic stuff.

    Stats on home birth being safer for bub?????? Still waiting, anyone????????

    1. Murasaki

      Google is your friend. Some of us have lives.

  19. Danielle

    I think the biggest problem is that there is a less than 20% success rate of VBAC in hospitals when statistics suggest that AT LEAST 80% of women with a previous caesarean section are good candidates for VBAC and should be able to achieve that. The issue is why are less than 20% of women who attempt VBAC having success in our hospitals?

    We are supposed to have all this technology and monitoring to ensure the safety of delivery (after all, that is why they are saying they should occur in hospital not the home) yet with everything that is available, we still cannot safely deliver many of these babies vaginally in hospital? There are many private hospitals around me that WILL NOT ALLOW VBAC! What right do they have to not offer women the choice? (and they do not refer to alternative places to assist the women either!) People wonder why women just go straight to the repeat section or decide to stay at home.

    The sad fact is, while women do not feel able to be support to VBAC in hospital in their own time with their chosen care providers they will continue to seek out to birth them at home. It should be their right to make that decision, but more importantly, it should be their right to go to hospital and feel supported too.

    The fault is with the system, not with the women.

  20. Sarah

    Essentially the hospital system operates under a code of risk management. Birthing at home is about choice. There are 2 quite separate issues at play here- one is about risk and I am not nearly qualified enough to enter into that debate. So I’ll let those of you who want to make the homebirth debate about risk and statistics dazzle yourselves and eachother with science! As a mother and as a woman, I excercise choice when deciding to birth at home and in considering my choice of attendant. For me, and I suspect for most women who choose to stay at home where they feel safest and most comfortable, this is fast becoming a battle over our bodies and about who is entitled to make decisions on our behalf. Personally, I give no-one else that right.
    We can argue indefinately about where it is safest to birth based on statistics, but lets face it, those of us in the homebirth corner have no chance where data is concerned – we do not have the infrastructure or resources at our disposal to win that fight, or the inclination to manipulate statistics! There seems to be general consensus that homebirth is a ‘safe’ and therefore the powers that be have decided, a ‘valid’ option for those lucky enough to fall into the low risk bracket. But for those women choosing to birth at home under circumstances that the medical fraternity have deemed too risky, this fight continues to be about choice.

  21. Miss K

    Concerned, i’m not sure evidence you would be seeking about homebirths and safety/wellbeing for babies would be possible to quantify, other than looking purely at how many babies die in the respective situations. I think that comparison alone misses many of the issues women are raising here of what constitutes safety and wellbeing of women and babies. I don’t think, for example, you can easily measure a woman’s sense of wellbeing from birthing in a home environment vs a clinical one, and how this impacts on her health.

    I’m also not sure advocates are claiming homebirths as safer for babies (though there may be some women that believe so), but the issue seems more about defending that homebirths are dangerous, and i don’t think the study you quoted demonstrates that so much as that there is a slightly higher risk. But if you’re birthing at home the chance of intervention is lower than in a hospital but so is unnecessary intervention, so it seems really difficult to compare.

    Perhaps a similar argument could be used about vaginal birth vs caesarians, in the latter the chances of a baby getting stuck halfway are nil. Do we then employ a risk management approach that all women have Caesareans to prevent this, even if many thousands more women are disempowered from their choice to birth vaginally? I know an extreme example, but maybe appropriate comparison based on the above argument that life is the only success measure of birthing.

    I don’t feel any need to deprive others of their right to birth decisions as I’m sure you don’t, so that leaves us in a position of providing women with the best possible care for their choices. Sadly the motivation behind this inquest and now investigation seems to be more about frightening midwives out of participating and generating poor publicity for homebirthing than Lisa’s actions, and that’s really disgraceful.

    1. Concerned

      Hi Miss K. The figures am referring are not from studies, they are the stats from the mentioned year of the death rates of hospital and home births. Three times higher risk of a baby dying in a home birth. I wouldn’t refer to this as a “slightly higher risk”.

      I’m not sure of the point you are making in the second paragraph. You said that no one in favor of home birth is saying it is safer for the baby, but saying that home birthing is not dangerous. Please feel free to clarify this, as I would like to understand your point of view.

      Yes, a women’s health and choices are important. Again what I am questioning is wether pg women are informed of the higher risk of the baby dying, so they are making a truly informed decision. How do you feel about the effect on a women’s mental health, the preventable death of a baby has upon her?

      1. Lisa Barrett

        I could imagine that the mental health of a woman who has a baby die from a preventable death at home would be the same as a woman who had a baby die from a preventable death at the hospital, not all deaths are preventable whatever the venue. Homebirth women are among the best informed of all birthing women. I’m sure a quick google brings up plenty of the American Bloggers crap and lots of governmental and medical information. Why is it that you would assume homebirth women to be less educated or gulible or victims or whatever it is you think. No amount of explaination or understanding would convince you of anything as you just don’t want to hear it. I feel sad for your vulnerable position and lack of sensibility.

        1. Concerned

          A recent blog I have read- a women pg with twins. Saw an OB who advised a c/s because of the babies position etc. When she spoke to her home birth midwife( this was a lady in W.A.), she said the midwife told her not to worry about the OB’s advise, that the OB was just trying to induce fear etc. She had her home birth and one of the twins died.

          My point is that a responsible midwife would say ” yes this will be a risky home birth for these reasons. If you decide to home birth I will support you, like I will support you if you choose hospital”. Wouldn’t you agree Lisa??????

          1. Meg

            I agree with you Concerned. absolutely.
            A responsible midwife will 1. support womens’ choice 2. not abandon them 3. inform them accurately.
            Responsible and irresponsible practitioners are to be found in every venue.
            will you please stop insisting on this ‘all HB midwives are dangerous’ crap. It’s as silly as saying ‘all hospital obstetritians are monsters’.

          2. Lisa Barrett

            I agree concerned that is exactly what a practitioner would say and I personally have a very frank talk with women about risk and responsibility. I don’t know a woman who is planning a homebirth no matter how many babies she is carrying or what position they are in would not understand both risks and advantages to any birth scenario. It is also important to understand that a woman is entitled to make any choice she wants and it is better that someone rather than no one is there to support her.

            responsibility is a big issue in birth and is even bigger for anyone wanting a homebirth. It would be unadvisable for ANY practitioner to pretend that the responsibility taken on for a woman who home births and her birth worker/midwife is anything other than enormous in the culture we live in. People like you with passive agressive questions assuming that birth workers or birthing women wouldn’t know or understand the pros and cons of their actions is verging on pathetic. either ask a direct question or refrain from posting.

  22. Justin

    Just wanted to point out that the 2009 SA study does not show a statistically significant higher rate of stillbirth for homebirths (95% C.I. 0.15x – 7.8x R.R.). The 2007 WA however does point to a higher perinatal mortality (95% C.I. 1.5x – 9.3x R.R.), however in the authors’ own words, “caution must be exercised in interpreting home birth data due to small absolute numbers”.

    Personally, I would like to see the these C.I.’s reduced so a clearer picture of the actual risk being taken emerges. My subjective opinion is that with increased numbers, the mean actual risk will decrease as the level of community support, and availability of qualified practitioners rises.

    These cold statistics may reveal a ‘risk premium’ for homebirths due to the obvious logistical advantage of hospitals in life-threatening situations. However due to the many benefits of homebirthing to mothers, babies and society, the premium may be justified – according to your opinion of these benefits. Hence it would be helpful to find evidence of these benefits, and indeed sometimes this is easy (e.g. fiscal savings, incidence of PND). The problem is how to justifiably apply a risk of death premium against financial or mental health benefits? (well the latter has mortality of it’s own). The solution of course is to minimise this premium, by intensively supporting the safest possible homebirthing best practices. You can not deny a women their choice of birthplace.

  23. celticharp

    ,Concerned. Please provide solid evidence of home birth death rates being higher in south australia, then the death rates resuting from south australian hospital births?

    If you did an internet search for home birth deaths in south australia would you be able to find some documents on the internet that mention the cause of home birthing deaths in south australia?

    And If you did an internet search for child birthing deaths in south australian hospitals. Would you be able to find some documents on the internet that mention the cause of deaths through childbirth within south australian hospitals?

    Or can Australian Hospitals who are apart of The Medical Industry in Australia. Prevent most of the child birthing death rates that Happen in Australian Hospitals, from actually reaching the news. This way the Australian Medical Industry is protecting the jobs of those who are working for the Australian Medical Industry through working in Hospital Childbirths and Neonatal Medicine in Australian Hospitals

    Also statistics are not always truthful. There are Statistics that can be created for members of the public to see, if someone/some people/followers/groups or organisations, want others to think that statistics are evidence of what should be allowed and what should not be allowed.

    Dr Amy who is an Obstetrician who blogs about her resentment towards homebirth. Since her job as an Obstetrician is to follow the medicinal field of childbirth and not child birthing outside of medicinal childbirth. Like home birth or free birth.

    I wonder if Dr Amy really posts here on Lisa Barrett’s South Australian Home Birthing Werbsite?-Or any other Home Birthing Websites or Home Birthing Blogs for that matter? Under a made up user name or under more then 1 made up user name?

  24. Hip Mum

    Hospitals are known baby killers. It is a well known FACT that hospitals kill babies. Home birthing is far safer and more natural.

    At the end of the day, it’s the mother’s choice what to do with her body, and she should be able to choose a home birth if she wishes, regardless of the dangers towards the baby.