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Sunday, August 30, 2009

21st century? I don't think so.


I find myself moved to take up a sign and march again. (I don't mean that I marched with the suffragettes pictured, but have been known to hold up a placard or two) I do not really make a habit of protesting, though I may make many comments to anyone who will listen when outraged by something on the telly. I may even mumble something about writing a letter.
Let me explain.
When birthing the 2nd and third of my children I was able to do so in the comfort of my own home. My first birth in a hospital had been a very long and drawn out affair and I thought that I’d prefer to spend my “waiting” time in the comfort of my home.
I was able to have a beautiful water birth with the 2nd child and felt the whole practice was a lot more relaxed. The third birth was much quicker and sadly there was only 6 inches of water in the bath before he arrived, but he was delivered safely on the kitchen floor. Each of these births was not undertaken lightly. I read expansively on homebirth and was cared for by my chosen Midwife, a woman of many years experience, who brought with her warmth and security to this event. I was able to have continuing care before and after the birth. She was able to ensure that my children were well established into breastfeeding and that my own health was good.
I will explain now that this opportunity will be no longer available to women in Australia. Nicola Roxon MP and the Government are effectively outlawing Homebith in Australia. There will be no insurance for midwives and they will run the risk of prosecution should they attend births in homes.
This kind of near sighted prohibition will drive homebirth mothers into riskier unattended “free” births. I agree that this kind of homebirth is risky.
My own confidence in having a home birth was in knowing the midwife was a trained and competent professional and would take us to hospital in a timely fashion should it become necessary.
I feel that every woman should be able to choose where she would like to birth and be supported in that choice, not demonised. There is alot of misinformation out there. Many European countries and the UK support homebirth as a safe and valid option for women. Really this whole idea belies the fact that we are supposed to be living in an informed and modern world.
So next Monday I will protest in Canberra with many others who would stand by the right of women to birth in the way and place of their choice .

13 comments:

MMFS said...

Outrageous! I live(d) in Holland and allthough had to be moved to hospital while giving birth, I really wanted to have my second at home. (In the end she came so quick that there would't have been time to go to hospital anyway ;)))) In the Netherlands this one can choose where you want to give birth.

I found my own surroundings much more relaxed. In Hospital they intervene much quicker and they make something medical out of a very natural process.

I would protest with you!!!! even though I'm not planning on havind another baby ever!

florcita said...

Yes, I second MMFS.
Here in The Netherlands 60% of women give birth at home. As a matter of fact, you go through the whole pregnancy with a midwife only, going to a Ginecologist if something abnormal or risky arises. You have the right to choose, to the last minute, where you want to give birth and with whom around you. Furthermore, social security sends you EVERYTHING -for free- to make your home ready for a birth... these things to rise up your bed, cloths and stuff like that. After you give birth (hospital or home) you get for a week a sort of nurse/cleaning lady who comes 8hours a day, to care for you and the baby. If you choose to give birth at the hospital, you are ussually released within hours of giving birth (unless something needs to be care for). So the idea is, home is best.
Whether one likes or not the idea of a home birth, everyone should have the right to choose what's best... for yourself and the baby. Risks there are everywhere and always but it has been statistically proven that women that give birth at home, recover faster and ussually have a less traumatic (physycally and emotionally) experience.
I find it weird that as Latin america is going back to home births, more natural look into this moment, Europa makes a big deal about home births and breast feeding (which most women refuse to do), such a modern country as Australia is taking a step backwards. What' s the catch... where' s the money?

I had to go to the hospital because the very last week of my pregnancy my blood preassure went up and nobody wanted to risk it... and I had a horrible experience. Horrible. It was my first child and I ended up absolutely overwhelmed and horrified. Doctors yelling at me, not wanting to help with breast feeding, leaving me there naked and full of blood laying on the same bed where I gave birth all hooked up to cables and tubes and my baby son 10metres away from me where I couldn' t reach him. Horrible. Sure, it doesn' t always have to be that way... but we as women should be able to choose. Isn' t that what a democracy is all about, right to choose?

You go for it, we got your back! :)

Pam de Groot said...

Thanks guys. The Netherlands sound like they have it right. 60% is amazing.I think it is about power and fear instead of fact and good evidence.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Hello,
Your in process photos are marvelous! There is a resonance here. -Jayne

Ladka said...

I know nobody after my mum's generation to give birth at home in Slovenia. There's a debate starting about it but it seems so unusual ... many changes will have to be brought about in this respect. Although I'm fairly past the childbearing age I support your protest.

Debbie Herd said...

Hi Pam, it seems to me that all professionals now live in fear of being sued! The rate of cesarean births is so high now that is seems almost to be the normal thing for older mothers. Strange how in a democratic country, women will no longer have the right to choose. Hospitals are a sterile environment no matter how nice they try to make birthing centers. I can sympathize with florcita's comment and bonding with your baby is the most important thing. My father was born at home in 1912, delivered by his mothers mother who was the local midwife in a very small rural community. My grandmother had 7 children over a period of 25 years. All but the last 2 were born at home and delivered by her mother. I have always thought of this as such a privilege, to be in your own home and share the births with your own mother. My family still own the farm with it's hand made mud brick house that our parents were born in, it is almost like a tribal sacred site. To be able to walk into my grandmothers bedroom where most of her children were born is such a special feeling. Wave your banner high for me!!!!! Debbie.

Cadi said...

Hold up a sign for me, will ya? It always saddens me when I hear of things such as these. Bright blesssings!

SMac said...

hey Pam is there anywhere to email or write? Can't get to march. I had 4 cesareans, not by choice. still guilty that I didn't succeed at something that's so natural to others. I wonder what would have happened to me 100yrs ago. 24 hours of labour & emergency Cesarean with a baby in distress not nice, Hospital & staff were great no issues there. Was Young & naive maybe at home would have been better? We should be able to choose. Informed choice. Our little local hospital was as good as a home birth now they aren't allowed to deliver babies...up to 1Hour drive to nearest now. Go get them Pam will be watching for you on the NEWS....SMac

Andrea Graham- Feltmaker said...

Wow, such a shame to go backwards! In Canada we have a fabulous regulated system where you can have a midwife at home or in the hospital. Hold your sign high for all women, Pam, and our right to make choices for ourselves.

Pam de Groot said...

Thankyou all so much for your support. I promise to raise the flag high for you all.
If you would like to write here is a link to a website with a letter to write to you local member
http://www.homebirthaustralia.org/one-last-thing-mother-all-rallies

yvette said...

good luck for all of you aussies...proud of the Netherlands in this way.

love
yvette

Martine said...

Whats more natural then giving birth?
Hospitals are for sick people.
XXXm

Crafty Little Witch said...

...very proud of you Pam! xxx

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