Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rogue midwives

I have to tell you, dear reader, that midwives like me have now been called 'rogue midwives'. Our governments, both state and federal, are attempting to make private midwifery practice for homebirth unlawful. As one of the midwives who faces this fate, I must assume that I am being considered a rogue midwife.

How does one answer such a charge?

My husband received an email yesterday from a friend who lives in an Asian country, and whose only contact with childbirth is that which is common to all who have been born. With reference to my blog of 26-Jul, , he wrote that: "I remember very well that Joy told us in 2002 in Melbourne that private midwives cannot easily use anymore the official health insurance channel.

"Now it is being outlawed. We deeply regret this process as midwifery is a nice and biblical profession. [See previous post]

"I especially came across the sentence:
“An outsider looking at the list could conclude that midwives are not all that important in maternity services.”
"What is the situation of private midwifery in other countries, e.g. certain European countries?"

The message that those who want midwives to accept the outrageous new restrictions to autonomy in midwifery practice are giving us is that midwives in Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, UK, Denmark, Switzerland ... are also being prevented from working without indemnity insurance, and that acceptable levels of indemnity insurance are not able to be purchased for private practice. Independent midwives in the UK face similar restrictions.

However, midwives in most of these countries are able, under government schemes, to access suitable indemnity insurance. The proposed actions of the Australian government in making independent midwifery practice unlawful is unprecedented across the developed world. It is good to see a politician, Jamie Briggs who is willing to speak out, 'defending the right of mums to have a safe home birth'.

I am aware that people from many countries are reading this blog. If there are other sites that I don't know about, please leave a comment, with the links.

On a lighter note, here's what the 'Village Midwife' does on Thursday mornings, births permitting. With a group of friends, I can hit the ball as hard as I please, occasionally hitting it well, and enjoying the fresh air and beautiful garden setting of a suburban home.


Jill--Unnecesarean said...

Rogue?! Good lord!

Would anyone ever label doctors with 75 percent cesarean rates or 90 percent induction rates as rogue doctors?

I'm so sorry for all that you and your cohorts are going through right now. There are a lot of us watching from a far and cringing.

Joy Johnston said...

To Nicola Roxon or one of her many advisers who I know is reading this blog,

Nicola, you refer to Joy Johnston and others like her (private midwives) as rogues. It is clear to me you have never had the privilege of meeting a REAL midwife.

For that, I feel sadness for you, as I know you have given birth and to have done so without the continuity of care from a dedicated private midwife is something no woman should have to do.

I respect your choice of a hospital birth, your body, your right but that is just it, hospital birth was YOUR CHOICE not MINE.

Women who have never experienced professional care from their own midwife, might believe that their experience was as good as it could have been. All I can say is you don't know what you have missed out on. I only hope in the future that every women has access to her own midwife, regardless of where she births, and that includes you.

The same goes for homebirth. Unless you have been invited to a homebirth or home birthed your own baby, it could be difficult to understand what all the fuss is about. The other way you could 'get it', would to be a person with an open and deep understanding of life, not to mention respect of individuals rights and freedoms. We are yet to see deep insight or understanding into other peoples choices and beliefs.

Nicola, the reason people are so upset at you even thinking of taking away access to professional midwifery care for birthing at home is that it is SO SPECIAL, SO LIFE CHANGING (to everyone present not just the mother), that we, the people of Australia will fight this until all of our mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts have the right to their own midwife regardless of where they birth and that midwives can work to their full scope of practice in the setting of their choice.

Every day you allow this saga to go on is one more day that we (mothers and midwives) have to tell more people about that terrible abuse of human rights that is planned in Australia. Remember, it is what us women do best, talk ....... today I directly spoke with six more people who didn't know what you had planned and they were SHOCKED! I am sure they are telling others and so it goes on ......

Is our government going to risk THIS being the issue they are remembered for?

I would suggest an apology to the midwives and mothers of Australia, we are not "rogues or insignificant', sort out this mess you have allowed to happen and let us all get on with the business of raising families, running our lives and of course birthing babies.


A woman you have described as an "insignificant minority" who can assure you will NEVER give up her right to birth with her OWN MIDWIVES at a location of her CHOICE.

[This message was sent to me by email, as the writer had difficulty posting on the blog. jj]