Wednesday, 5 May 2010

International Midwives Day

Shouldn’t we all be celebrating? Wouldn’t that be nice. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the Australian government weren’t in the pocket of the Obstetrician-headed AMA? Imagine if Australia would uphold the basic human rights of women, and support them to choose where and how and with whom they give birth.

The government says they’re increasing availability and options for maternity care, that midwives will be able to claim under Medicare and get prescribe under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme. There’s a lot of talk going around at the moment about “eligibility”, though it’s been made plain to anyone who reads between the lines that virtually no one will be eligible, and in order to meet criteria, Midwives must prove that they have been thoroughly indoctrinated into medical-minded management, and beholden to a doctor. For a pregnant woman to be eligible for homebirth… well, they more-or-less “risk out” everyone, don’t they.

I keep hearing from people saying they can’t get a midwife to attend a homebirth any more, thanks to the new laws.

The reality is that in no other department of health care does one need permission from a specialist surgeon in order to see a standard practitioner.

If I had a sore throat, I wouldn’t go straight to see an ENT, just to prove that it’s not life-threatening and refer me to a GP. And while that might be a cute analogy, it’s somewhat irrelevant, as BIRTH IS NOT A DISEASE!

In Holland, the country with the best statistics in the world as far as maternity goes (and a lot of other things), pregnant women must first see a midwife for primary care. If she wants to see an obstetrician, a pregnant woman needs a referral from the midwife, and if the services of an obstetrician aren’t medically indicated, she needs to pay out of pocket for those services, while midwifery care is covered under the government health care scheme.

Having Obstetricians attend normal births is a waste of their specialised surgical training. It’s an insult to women’s human rights.

Anyway, before I end up ranting on forever, I’ll just leave you all with the wise words of Carla Hartley:

Birth is Safe. Interference is Risky. TRUST BIRTH.

Happy International Day of the Midwife


  1. Couldn't agree more MF. My oldest two sons (21 & 17) were born in the US where medical is the norm (oldest was a Csection that wouldn't have happened if I were older, wiser and knew I could say NO!)

    My youngest 3 were born here in Aus... all VBAC with the encouragement of my GP. I saw midwives all the way (except when required, like 2 visits) and showed up at the hospital when it was time to rock n roll (like 45mins before birth lol) and accepted/allowed no interventions.

    I never had an OB present at ANY of their births (aussie born ones that is) and was damn happy of it!

  2. we have a long long way to go don't we?

  3. and you are doing so much so we can all get there... thank you


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)