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Our Bodies, Our Babies, Our Rights – protest on Thursday

By 16 February 2010 49

Last time I posted about birth politics, there was a lot of discussion… so I thought you might like to know about this event.

This isn’t about homebirth vs hospitals, or doctors vs midwives. It’s about women having the right to choose their own healthcare provider.

If I have a sore back, I don’t have to ask a doctor’s permission before I visit a chiropractor. If my baby isn’t sleeping well at nights, I don’t have to ask a doctor’s permission before I go to a child health nurse for advice or referral to other services. If I want my pregnancy terminated in first trimester, I have the right to make that choice without a doctor being able to veto it. So if a normal, healthy woman wants to see a private midwife (which she will pay extra for), why does she have need a doctor’s approval?

This doesn’t happen in New Zealand, the UK or Canada – so why are Australian women not considered smart enough or trustworthy with the nation’s future population to choose their own healthcare provider?

Flame retardant suit on – fire at will.

Do you think Australian women, not Kevin Rudd should make decisions about their own healthcare? If so come and support us at 10am on Thursday 18 February outside Senator Kate Lundy’s office, Ground Floor of Law Society Building, 11 London Circuit, Canberra. This is part of a National Day of Action, with events around Australia.

Join the Facebook Group. Visit the MyBirth website for Campaign tools & Event details
– posters to download and distribute, banners for your website/blog and register to be notified of upcoming events in your area.

When having a baby do you want to make choices about your health care?

New reforms introduced by the Rudd Government were meant to increase support to women, giving them the option of choosing a midwife to care for them.

Many women have said they would love this care, especially because the care would come from one midwife from early pregnancy, through labour and birth and up to six weeks after the birth. The best part being, many midwives provide home visits! Pure Luxury.

Many Mums think this care is long overdue!

Enter the problem! The Australian Medical Association has decided that women will only be able to choose midwifery care if a Doctor agrees. This means if a doctor is not prepared to support the local midwives, then women will not have access to care. This also affects women in regional Australia and indigenous communities, who already have limited access to healthcare choices, because it is much harder for doctors and midwives to maintain good professional relationships when they are hundreds of kilometres away from each other.

We believe while women may seek advice and support from their doctor that ultimately they have the right to make decisions about their bodies.

There are events running in every State so spread the word!


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49 Responses to
Our Bodies, Our Babies, Our Rights – protest on Thursday
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Anna Key 9:45 pm 25 Feb 10

This doesn’t happen in New Zealand, the UK or Canada – so why are Australian women not considered smart enough or trustworthy with the nation’s future population to choose their own healthcare provider?

And Australia’s infant mortality rate is lower than all three of those countries

Anna Key 9:39 pm 25 Feb 10

emd said :

Punkmunkey, I was the organiser of the protest rally. I’m also a mother of three babies born by elective caesarean for medical reasons, under the care of a private obstetrician. I organised the rally because the choice of where and with whom their baby is born should be an informed choice made by the families involved, not dictated by government passing laws that make one of those choices (private midwifery) illegal for the care providers. It’s not OK for any group – hospital birthers or homebirthers – to pass judgement on the choices made by others. I do not judge women who have elective caesareans for whatever reason, I just want to keep the options open for all women.

It’s not illegal. Just delivery by uninsured midwives is illegal. Like the delivery by an ununinsured obstetrician would be illegal, irrespective of qualifications. If private midwifery birth is so safe, why won’t any insurance company offer coverage? Because they know the risk is significantly higher. And remember, they don’t give a damn about moral judgements, just whether there is a profit to be had

emd 4:21 pm 23 Feb 10

Punkmunkey, I was the organiser of the protest rally. I’m also a mother of three babies born by elective caesarean for medical reasons, under the care of a private obstetrician. I organised the rally because the choice of where and with whom their baby is born should be an informed choice made by the families involved, not dictated by government passing laws that make one of those choices (private midwifery) illegal for the care providers. It’s not OK for any group – hospital birthers or homebirthers – to pass judgement on the choices made by others. I do not judge women who have elective caesareans for whatever reason, I just want to keep the options open for all women.

Hells_Bells74 10:09 am 23 Feb 10

+ I was also booked for C-sections for the day after my due date for the natural births, phew, lucky they respect time more than me, both arriving on due day 🙂

Hells_Bells74 10:02 am 23 Feb 10

Punkmunkey – I too had two c-sections, both elective on paper. But at 20 (first) and 22 years old respectively and both of them being in the breech position they were fairly needed.

Child abuse… Never! More like not wanting to put your child’s life in danger.

I then went on to have two natural births (when they finally took the monitoring equipment off me), no drugs and no hassles, although, my choice I have no dramas either way, do what’s considered best in your mind.

For my natural births, I barely saw a doctor after the initial monitoring and felt I would have loved to have been having these kids at home. But alas, no choice for previous caeser section patient.

They just love making their mark in the world, our children!

cleo 12:30 am 23 Feb 10

Doesn’t matter if you have a private specialist, you may still get a midwife, or you are in a private hospital and they expect complications, then the specialist will be there. I have never had any problems, with the midwifes in hospital, but would never see a GP through pregnacey, bad experience.

Punkmunkey 12:24 am 23 Feb 10

I find it a tad bit hypocritical that home-birthers feel hard done by, when people like me who have had 2 C-sections in wonderful Calvary Hospital (1 emergency, 1 planned) – i have been called A CHILD ABUSER because i had C-sections. I was a young girl, alone and with a baby and when mothers group comes around i have some militant woman who says because some woman squatted in a field 100 years ago i should too – it even didn’t matter to them that i can’t actually give birth – i do not dilate and me and my child can die – so i do what is best for us and go to a doctor. If you want people to be nice to you and listen to your point of view maybe those of you who do these kinds of things should change into people actually worth listening to?

Plus i love my doctor; he is the sweetest little Asian man yay Dr Tang

cleo 11:13 pm 21 Feb 10

Knuckles

That’s what my husband used to say to me, until he was with me while giving birth to my second child, he fainted, so after that I said don’t ever say that to me again, he never did lol. I think it’s much safer to deliver in hospital, 99% of the time nurses deliver the babies.

vg 9:19 pm 21 Feb 10

“Whereas in our hospital system, you turn up to have a baby and you are stuck with whatever scary battleaxe midwife happens to be on, who has already had a bad day, and was hoping for a quiet night, and just wish you would p*ss off.”

Not if you’re not a tight arse and have private insurance. Met most of our medical staff before birth and the one’s we didn’t were the height of professionalism

Anna Key 8:59 pm 21 Feb 10

sepi said :

Ok – imagine your homebirth midwife is like your GP – someone you choose to see, who you trust, and knows your history.

Your hospital midwife is whoever is rostered on, so it is like turning up to a massive medical centre, and trying your luck.

There’s no medical argument to be made – they are equally qualified.

So one you choose to see is obviously better than one you get “allocated”? But, at least the awful hospital midwife has access to oxygen, emergency procedures, medical and surgical staff, sanitary conditions etc? Not as important as the candles and the sounds of whales farting.

Incidentally, I understand the College of Midwives also believes that anyone with a basic midwifery qualification is deemed to be capable of advanced practice. No further training or post-graduate qualifications required.

Pommy bastard 4:24 pm 21 Feb 10

Then stop being so bloody rude about one group of professionals who do a damn fine service in the most important event in most women’s lives, just because they work in a setting which you do not rate as high as home.

sepi 10:08 am 21 Feb 10

Ok – imagine your homebirth midwife is like your GP – someone you choose to see, who you trust, and knows your history.

Your hospital midwife is whoever is rostered on, so it is like turning up to a massive medical centre, and trying your luck.

There’s no medical argument to be made – they are equally qualified.

Anna Key 7:50 am 21 Feb 10

sepi said :

Anna – the whole idea of homebirth is that you actually choose your midwife personally, and bond with them over the course of the check-ups they regularly do in your own home. They get to know you, and there are no personality clashes and arguments during the birth.

Whereas in our hospital system, you turn up to have a baby and you are stuck with whatever scary battleaxe midwife happens to be on, who has already had a bad day, and was hoping for a quiet night, and just wish you would p*ss off.

What a well constructed argument! You have summed up qualified medical and nursing/midwifery staff so precisely.

Pommy bastard 9:31 am 20 Feb 10

sepi said :

Anna – the whole idea of homebirth is that you actually choose your midwife personally, and bond with them over the course of the check-ups they regularly do in your own home. They get to know you, and there are no personality clashes and arguments during the birth.

Whereas in our hospital system, you turn up to have a baby and you are stuck with whatever scary battleaxe midwife happens to be on, who has already had a bad day, and was hoping for a quiet night, and just wish you would p*ss off.

Interesting..If it’s done at home you get a wonderful person who identifies with your feng shui garlic dream catcher, and will play your favourite whale song while meditating in a Butan Tipi, and treat your pain with Hopi ear candles.

While if you go into hospital you get Hattie Jaques with PMT and boils on her ass.

What a terrible slur on a hard working profession, hospital midwives. You should be ashamed of yourself Sepi.

Anna Key 9:11 pm 19 Feb 10

So the AMA is now the government. I know it was the case under Howard, but I thought the ANF run the health system now.

But I think you are mistaken. The issue of the legislation regarding independent midwives is insurance, not scope of practice. I assume (and I’m not a lawyer) if a doctor refers to a midwife, they carry a degree of liability. If you choose to directly engage a midwife, there is no back up should something go wrong (other than 000 and a hopefully available medical team in the hospital) or no redress should you feel the need to sue later.

But if you go ahead with your rally, please don’t exploit your small children by giving them cutesy placards in order to get some media time.

sepi 9:06 pm 19 Feb 10

Anna – the whole idea of homebirth is that you actually choose your midwife personally, and bond with them over the course of the check-ups they regularly do in your own home. They get to know you, and there are no personality clashes and arguments during the birth.

Whereas in our hospital system, you turn up to have a baby and you are stuck with whatever scary battleaxe midwife happens to be on, who has already had a bad day, and was hoping for a quiet night, and just wish you would p*ss off.

I can fully understand the massive benefits of knowing who your midwife will be, and already trusting them. The Birth Centre operates like this = one assigned midwife looks after you. Unfortunately only a very lucky few in Canberra get to go to the Birth Centre. (And the low risk births at the birth centre so not see an obstetrician at all during their pregnancy – the entire thing is managed by their midwife). – so why should homebirth suddenly mean the midwife is not qualified to judge if the pregnancy is high risk. it isn’t rocket science – is the baby the right way up, good heartbeat, no previous problem pregnancies, mother does not have high blood pressure or other health issues – bob’s your uncle.

deezagood 1:32 pm 19 Feb 10

Anna Key said :

Sorry Deeza. Are we talking about midwives who decide you aren’t going to have an epidural, because SHE doesn’t think you need it, or a midwife or starts an induced labour diregarding the obstetrician’s intructions, and then lies about it, or a midwife who belittles your attempts to breastfeed.

And finally, you have once again made a complete misrepresentation of the facts of this matter. The issue is one of insurance, not allowing them to practice. But I imagine in 15 years time, when your stuffed up delivery results in complications and you choose to sue to recover massive medical and care expenses, will you console yourself knowing that your right to choose a midwife to perform an unnecessarily risky procedure was respected.

Sounds like you had a rough time Anna – I am sorry your experiences were so bad. I have friends who had horrific hospital experiences too. We actually chose hospital deliveries for our daughter’s births and have no regrets about that choice.

Unless i am mistaken, the issue being discussed here is the requirement for any women wanting a home-birth/mid-wife assisted delivery to need a referal from a G.P. – from the OP: ‘Enter the problem! The Australian Medical Association has decided that women will only be able to choose midwifery care if a Doctor agrees. This means if a doctor is not prepared to support the local midwives, then women will not have access to care’.

emmabanyer 1:25 pm 19 Feb 10

An interesting debate. But one concern:

Regardless of whether you believe in homebirthing or having a baby in hospital, this discussion IS legimate – and you don’t “win” an argument by lobbing a cheap personal attack at someone or villifying them as a hippy. Attack the arguement rather than the person(preferably with facts and mature, intelligent debate).

Anything else is obnoxious and a waste of time.

Jim Jones 9:04 am 19 Feb 10

WanniAss said :

So if it is Your Body, Your Baby and your right, I assume you want fathers cut out of the process, inlcuding child support later. Or is it then suddenly his child too.

If you listen really really carefully, you might be able to hear a tiny tiny violin playing.

WanniAss 9:41 pm 18 Feb 10

So if it is Your Body, Your Baby and your right, I assume you want fathers cut out of the process, inlcuding child support later. Or is it then suddenly his child too.

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