So it is not illegal to have a home birth, but if something went wrong it could potentially get messy.
The title of this thread actually made me feel nauseous it is so sad that families and professionals are vilified because their baby died at home yet it happens all.the.time in hospital.
It is not illegal if your baby dies at home, what they try to establish was if they baby breathed or if there was any cardiac activity post birth, if there wasn't then it wont go any further ie coroner.
I'm pretty sure it will be sensationalized media crap with 'reporting' done by journalists who know nothing about homebirthing, they will find the nuttiest unregistered midwife they can, there will be an interview done with the AMA who will state that homebirth is unsafe (when it's actually safer) and probably a 'nice' family who will of had one but who will state that they fitted the pigeon hole all the state run homebirth programs offer and anyone outside of that pigeon hole is silly to homebirth.
And I have never heard of a mother being charged with neglect over a bad homebirth/freebirth outcome because ultimately it's your body and you can do as you wish provided your of stable mind.
Thanks for all the replies everyone, some very useful info. I am sure the SN story will be sensationalised.
headoverfeet - sorry the title bothered you, I'm pretty sure that's the wording they used on the promo - doesn't sit well with me either.
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I haven't seen the promotions for this, but are they talking more about freebirthing? If a person of any age dies at home with no doctor or medical professional present, and for no obvious reason, I think the police do have to be involved, I could be wrong though. That doesn't mean it is a crime scene, it's just procedure.
I agree that homebirth gets an undeserved bad reputation. I guess it is another case of the extreme few getting all the publicity, while the majority of people who homebirth do so and go on their merry way.
Birth is not a medical procedure, it's a fact of life. In many countries, homebirth is a perfectly normal and acceptable option for pregnant women. I don't see why it can't be in Australia. To me a midwife managed homebirth is not really much different to a midwife managed birth in a birthing centre.
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Couldn't not reply to this one. A few facts...
Home birth is not illegal in Australia.
Evidence strongly supports that if you have a low risk pregnancy, choosing to have a home birth is just as safe (and some suggest safer) than in hospital.
When the literature talks about 'safety' they are only referring to live mothers and babies. While this is a very important statistic and needs to be paramount, safety can also be extended to include other physical aspects of the woman's body (ie intact perineum, reduced unnecessary C-section), emotional and psychological health (reduced post natal depression, feeling satisfied with the birth experience, feeling less anxious and more supported during pregnancy, birth and beyond) and outcomes for the baby (breastfeeding rates, skin to skin contact and consequent benefits, babies experience of birth). These statistics for different birth choices also need to be considered.
Please remember that home is just a location - many women choosing to give birth at home are using one on one continuity of care through a known midwife (typically and independent midwife) as their model of care. The same midwife is there for all pre and post appointments, and the midwife does not leave during crucial parts of the birth due to shift changes or needing to monitor other women. This model of care has been demonstrated in the literature to give the best outcomes for women and babies. There are also women who give birth at home who choose to free birth - ie they have no or limited medical support pre/post and during the birth. This model of care is VERY different to home birth with an independent and highly trained midwife. Only the location is the same. The media doesn't seem to be able to differentiate this.
There are now a number of countries where home birth is a common and encouraged option. European countries a taking a lead here, and in New Zealand all women are funded for midwifery or obstetric care of their choice in the environment of their choice.
Since the collapse of HIA insurance, independent midwives have not been able to obtain insurance for the actual birth. However they are fully insured for all before and after involvement. They currently have an exemption from having insurance because none is available. Independent midwives are currently working very hard to negotiate insurance options.
If a baby or mother were to die at home, then of course an investigation would occur. Just as I would hope a very thorough investigation would occur whenever a mother or baby dies in hospital (we don't often hear about this in the media...). Unfortunately reporting of the investigation is likely to be biased due to a preference for culturally based practice, rather than evidence based practice, within this country.
Most independent midwives are very cautious in their practice and have very clear guidelines around when they recommend a woman does transfer into hospital. You may notice that women talk about 'planning' a home birth rather than stating they are 'having' a home birth. There are times when it is very appropriate to move to a hospital setting; however it is quite amazing how much medical equipment independent midwives carry with them. And when birth is allowed to unfold uninterrupted in an environment where the woman feels safe, it is rare that medical intervention is required. At least the rates start to fall within the WHO recommendations for intervention and C-section for birth.
Good luck with your birth choices! End of essay.....
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