Friday, April 3

Criminal behaviour

Ive been meaning to do a post on this for a while now. its ridiculous. outrageous. Medicalised birth as the only lawful option if you want support during labour? Thats what we're looking at if the new maternity 'reforms' come into play.

women have been birthing, well... forever. I know. its the bleeding obvious. But its like death, highly regulated and god forbid if anyone should step out of the square hole and be a round peg and do it without a doctor. Yes , you could have a midwife in attendance in hospital, but who 'controls' the midwife? So, at the end of the day it amounts to the same thing. Professionals who are highly trained to deal with problems in labour trying to maintain control over a normal process; birth. A point so very well put by a group of obstetricians themselves interviewed in The Business of Being Born who, when asked how many natural deliveries they had been present at, aka no interventions given, they replied ...none. ZIP. ZILCH.NAUGHT. Wouldn't know what a normal birth process looked like if they fell over it. Comforting thought huh?

Brave is not the woman who chooses to birth at home, brave is the woman who gallantly tries to have a natural birth in the presence of an obstetrician, and their handmaidens, the hospital midwives. Its the medical snowball effect. Happens all the time , over and over, womens choices about their bodies restricted and controlled. Nearly 50% of Australian babies are now surgically removed from their mothers and its not because these women '"arent very good at giving birth". The really stupid thing, like jaw dropping on the ground stupid, is that the evidence, the multi trial EVIDENCE shows that home birth is as safe as hospital birth for low risk women (of which most women are) and hospital birth is more dangerous than home if you include morbidity to the baby and mother from hospital interventions in your calculations. The research also shows that to obtain the best birthing outcomes, midwifery care is your best option.

At some level i equate this kind of control with the efforts of multinational companies trying to control seed stock or water ownership. Its one of lifes fundamentals that just shouldnt be 'owned' this way. Women have a right to birth where they need to and with the support they need. By making it illegal for a midwife to attend, to be with a woman, at a home birth unless she is insured but then making that insurance impossible to obtain. Well thats just pure skullduggery flying in the face of evidence.


Rixa said...

Sigh...and with still half of the states criminalizing midwifery in some way or another here the the "land of liberty" I understand your frustration. Even certified nurse-midwives, who can legally practice in all 50 states, often find the barriers to home birth insurmountable. In Illinois, a CNM has to have a signed collaborative agreement with an OB--which essentially means it's nigh unto impossible to practice as a home birth CNM because what OB is going to sign on with a home birth midwife? Those who do put lots of restrictions: no breeches, no VBACs, no twins, etc. And in Indiana, CNMs need a signed collaborative agreement with a physician in order to prescribe/use any pharmaceuticals (antihemorrhagic meds, antibiotics for GBS+ moms, lidocaine for suturing, Vit K or eye goop for the baby, etc). So basically a CNM in Indiana can practice without a signed agreement, but legally/technically she's supposed to watch a woman bleed to death rather than administer emergency meds. Crazy. The midwife I'm seeing has contacted over 150 physicians in an effort to find one willing to sign an agreement with her, and not one has said yes. My family doctor wouldn't sign a Rx for these emergency meds (a way around the restriction that has worked for some of her clients, but not all). Anyway I sincerely hope that Australia finds some way out of this mess because, believe me, it's really really really hard to change things back. And at the end of the day women and babies suffer for it.

Rixa said...

ps--is that you in your La Bassine? I just set mine up this weekend and am going to give it a trial run soon!

Jen said...

Wow: you have been ruminating over this, I can see. And you are so right. I had my babes in the hospital with midwives in the birthing clinic. Everything felt great and safe and birth felt like somthing I could do until I had a series of interventions (with my first child) that in retrospect were fear inducing, and not really necessary, and made me feel like I was out of control of my own birthing. The midwives were required by the hospital to support the doctor's edicts.

Your link to the Kerry O'Brien interview was great, thanks for that... served to make my blood boil, especially that silly Ted Weaver fellow!

Nice post Kel, and the pictures of your Jaspie's birth are so positive!

Sarah said...

Hey Kel - HEAR HEAR. My home birth midwife (I am a midwife as well) had a good chat about it today - I am gutted they could take this from women - absolutly gutted. I am so pleased I have the ability and control to choose my midwife and where I want our baby before they take this away from me. I am so excited that this time round I will be at home with my family giving birth like I should.

Laura Jane said...

Hear Hear Kel

Beautiful photos, lovely to see them again.

It is so hard to maintain normal in a hospital environment, let alone give a woman choice of birth place. I fight it every day.

Annuska said...

Kel, I also heard about that and was in total shock. If you get voice of anything we can do to stop this from happening, please let me know!

Kel said...

hey all.
rixa - its such a pain and yes, movement on a position is difficult once its in place. aggh. looking forward to hearing your news! yes, it our bassinet-now a swimming bath for the bean.

jen- yes, yes, yes. its such a bitch. the last fronteir for choice. it will just drive it 'underground'. its a bit like drugs, better to deal with it than pretend its not happenning!

Sarah- how wonderful and exciting. i havent read anything on your blog about it?! ohh, i wish....look forward to your news too. congratulations.

laura jane- prize almost in the post and i feel for you hospy midwives trying to hold back the tide...what a tough job. thanks for doing it!

annuska- facebook group, umm local mp, nicola roxon..

blue milk said...

Yes this is an incredible outcome we're looking at, how insane - the 7.30 Report did a good job raising awareness of the issue. Your post and photos are wonderful too.

Kel said...

bluemilk - thanks. im interested on your birthing plans, dont think ive read anything...?