Your letters and emails DO make a difference!

On 27 April 2012, all State and Territory Health Ministers will meet at the Standing Council on Health to discuss the future of Homebirth in Australia.

An options paper has been prepared by Western Australia for consideration by other States/Territories.

One option being considered is that registered midwives will only be able to attend women with ‘low risk’ pregnancies who want to birth at home – this means no Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC) at home.

Yet again, there has been no consultation with private midwives, women or consumer groups.

Midwives must be able to provide care for women wherever they choose to birth.

Click here and email your Health Minister and elected State and Federal representatives and ask for proper consultation.

If you have time please write your own letter to your Health Minister and their Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer from yourself or your group calling for proper consultation on the options and explaining your concerns. Click here for their contact details. (Suggested text below if you need ideas – the most effective letter is written in your own words.) Please forward to us at homebirthaustralia@gmail.com any replies you receive.
Dear Minister,

I am writing today to urge you to consult with women and midwives on decisions made about the future of homebirth.

I understand that an options paper on homebirth will be considered at the upcoming meeting of the Standing Council on Health and that this paper proposes that homebirth with a registered midwife become an option that is only available for low risk women. I have very strong concerns about this.

Women have the right to choose where they will give birth and it is essential that they have access to skilled care wherever they choose to birth. Some women will continue to make the decision to birth at home irrespective of the restrictions that are placed on registered midwives. I am concerned that this proposal will lead to a situation where women are abandoned in their choices and left without a registered and accountable care provider.

This paper has been prepared without consultation with relevant stakeholders. Women and midwives have not had input into this document.

I ask you not to agree to any of the recommendations contained in the options paper until there has been proper consultation with stakeholders.

I also ask that you take action to ensure that women with risk factors who choose to give birth at home will not be forced to do so without a registered midwife.

Your Name and Address