As many of you know, home birth is on the brink of becoming practically illegal in Australia.
Watch this program which aired today:

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Where did they get those statistics from? Given the size of Australia and moms living in remote areas you would think homebirth would make so much sense....

We in Australia would love to know too!
The Ob in the story who is the head of the Australian Medical Assoc. changed his statastics twice in a week... They might mention the risks involved with Homebirth.. but do they mention risks of hospital intervention... no...

Tracy - most of the women in remote australia give birth in hospitals in the city (they travel before labour)...
This was sent out to Australian Midwives today to share with anyone who saw the Sunday Night Program.


I would like to impart to all Australian women and their families- that our family is so disappointed with how Australia Sunday Night chose to edit our story down to its most tragic details and infer through their choice of tableaus and pictures of our grieving family, that we somehow wanted to be portrayed as nothing more than victims of bad home birth midwifery where a doctor saved the day.

The doctor is just a part of the story, perhaps if I had used a more negative word instead of "poor doctor" they would have edited it differently- For the record, the same doctor will not help us in our efforts to hold this midwife accountable, he has not even returned my letter and follow up phone call requesting his help in this matter. We have invited him to hold this midwife accountable for her actions that affected him and his staff. As I like to say: "Apparently, home birth lost a baby that day, not our family."

What we would have liked to impart to all home birth parents in Australia is that we never agreed to a story that would play into the skewed and unoriginal rhetoric of doctors, who think a hospital birth is superior to a home birth. In our particular case the crux of the issue is that in our state, midwives have no standard licensure and anyone virtually can call themselves a midwife regardless of whether or not they are astutely trained as out of hospital midwives. The competence and training is our issue, not necessarily the licensure.

We believe good midwives need this distinction and poor providers need to be sanctioned through something that the state provides such as a board of registration of midwives where midwives decide what the credentialing process would be and where consumers can trust that they can get statistics on sanctions, IUFD, etc. so they can choose safe home birth knowing that their provider is trained at the gold standard of out of hospital birth care.

Secondarily, we believe that by doctors and legislators refusal to acknowledge that out of hospital birth is safe and cooperate with home birth parents and midwives, they are saying that mothers and babies are collateral damage for their reckless and dangerous policy of non-cooperation with mothers who birth at home and their trained providers.

Lastly, we said everything we did- which the show of course didn't show - in an effort to try to show legislators and doctors that we are the human toll for bad health care policy. This is for our own family, in our own state. We did not intend in any way to support the myth propagated by doctors and in this case- Sunday Night Australia - that home birth is dangerous. Bad health care policy and non-cooperation amongst professionals in perinatal care- now there is something dangerous!

Jenifer Holloman

The Emmet Foundation

Offering Comfort to those who lose a baby



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