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 .