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.