Thursday, July 02, 2009

ABC Radio - Life Matters

As if to celebrate the expected demise of private midwifery and homebirth by this time next year, the ABC Radio's Life Matters program has presented an outrageous interview with Dr Hilary Joyce, the new president of the College of Obstetricians and Gynae's.

You can listen to the podcast here.

I have left a comment at the guestbook.

I would like to suggest that midwives working privately should be treated no differently from doctors or other professionals working privately.

Many women who employ a midwife want to know the person who will be with them throughout their active labour, promoting normal birth, and supporting them to make informed decisions. This is best practice in midwifery, yet it's as scarce as hen's teeth in the public system. That's why women employ midwives privately. There is nothing synister about homebirth. Evidence from international and Australian homebirths shows clearly that homebirth is a reasonable choice for well women with a midwife primary carer who is able to refer to obstetric specialists if and when complications arise.

Most midwives in private practice are highly competent midwives, and we have excellent outcomes. I am one. I have practised privately for the past 15+ years, and I stand to lose my livelihood next year because I can't purchase professional indemnity insurance.

The bias of the guest Dr Hilary Joyce in this interview was not explored. The claims linking Australia's maternity obstetrics with obstetric oversight of birth cannot be supported. An outcome for which obstericians are primarily responsible is that more than 30% of Australian babies are born by caesarean surgery.

Obstetricians do not practise midwifery; midwives do not practise obstetrics. The midwife has, by definition, a duty to promote normal birth. The obstetrician is a surgeon, who should be consulted only when illness or complication arise in pregnancy or birth.

Remember, pregnancy and birth are not an illness.

You can read comments, and leave your own at Life Matters Guestbook.

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