Too many babies coming to Canberra!

johnboy 6 August 2009 26

The Age brings word of trouble for Qantas when they failed to keep track of large numbers of babies flying to Canberra:

    Hundreds of babies, flying to Canberra next month for a national home-birth rally, were this week bumped off flights after the airline’s computerised booking system failed to alert staff that too many infants were being put on each plane.

    Civil Aviation Safety Authority rules stipulate that only eight babies are allowed on each flight to match the number of infant oxygen masks available, but more than 20 babies were booked on some journeys.

The mothers are not at all pleased about the disruption to their plans to fly in and fly out the same day.

But a little bit of a windfall to the Canberra economy as many are being forced to spend the night to spread the load across more flights.


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
26 Responses to Too many babies coming to Canberra!
Filter
Order
Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 2:21 pm 07 Aug 09

Women will like what I tell them to like.

emd emd 1:55 pm 07 Aug 09

Granny’s right, the women with babies under 2 are not getting anything for free as their baby won’t require a seat or a meal. How were they to know the Qantas booking system is incompetent? I mean seriously, can’t their computer automatically not allow any more infants to be booked on a flight once they reach the magic limit of 8 infants per flight?

Granny’s also right that it takes longer to get an operating theatre ready than to get to hospital. It takes 20 minutes to prep a theatre. Most Canberrans live less than 20 minutes drive from hospital (quicker in an ambulance with flashing lights).

This isn’t about whether homebirth is safer than hospital or vice versa. Birth choice should be made based on your individual circumstances. The problem is that the government are effectively banning one particular healthcare choice. Gee, I wonder who’s been lobbying them to do that?

Granny Granny 11:08 am 07 Aug 09

The charge is for the seat. Infants under two travel on their parent’s lap and do not get their own seat. Therefore they are not charged for it.

Fiona Fiona 10:15 am 07 Aug 09

She paid extra to get a direct flight, instead of going via Sydney, not necessarily to take a bub on the plane… I don’t know how much it costs for babies on planes.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 9:13 am 07 Aug 09

dvaey said :

Just to get back on topic (since it seems to have been deviated from).. These infants are flying for free, these parents are complaining that because after they got a free ticket for their infant, they got bumped due to capacity limits.

If these parents had paid anything for their infants tickets, then Id have slightly more sympathy for their displacement, but when you travel on a conditional airfare you have to expect sometimes you might get bumped especially on a freebie.
(Disclaimer: virgin blue flies infants <2 yrs for free, I didnt check other airlines, but assume theyre the same)

How is it a ‘freebie’? They all paid their fares and let the airline knew they’d be traveling with infants, the airline screwed up and these paying customers are left with the logistical inconvenience and expense of an unplanned night in an unfamiliar city (with a baby no less).

You might want to read the article, where such details as the following are given: “Rachael Forbes, of Brisbane, paid extra for a direct flight with her 11-month-old daughter, Sophie, but was contacted by Qantas on Sunday and told she must stay the night, forcing her husband to take time off work to care for their other children.”

Somehow paying extra equates to ‘a freebie’?

vg vg 11:40 pm 06 Aug 09

Granny that is absolute rubbish. My wife’s last baby had the anaethestist attending within 5 mins of being called as he was on call and downstairs. The doctor took longer but, in an emergency, we would have had another doctor who was in the hospital, just not our one of choice.

You are correct in saying that being doctor does not make you a god, but being a midwife does not make you a doctor either. Doctors and midwives are not ‘equally accountable’. One is far more highly trained

Granny Granny 11:12 pm 06 Aug 09

It takes longer for the hospital to put a team together than it takes for the ambulance to arrive. Anaesthestists etc need to travel in by car.

I would be just as happy to sign a waiver about suing my midwife as suing my doctor. As both are human and fallible, and babies do die in hospitals, they should both be equally accountable. Being a doctor does not make you a god.

astrojax astrojax 10:50 pm 06 Aug 09

toriness said :

if it ain’t worthwhile for insurers to offer the insurance or the policy is too expensive to justify the service then isn’t it kind of end of story? what sane midwife would operate solo without insurance anyway? and what sane mother would let an uninsured ‘backyard’ midwife deliver their precious spawn? if we are talking about planned home births – not ‘by the side of the road’ births (god who would freely choose to do that?!).

yebbut, the issue is that the insurance co., not the mother, controls the choice – and without really having to justify it – we don’t want to accept what we perceive as ‘risk’ and so will make the choice null for you’ doesn’t speak to the vast number of occasions when a home birth is entirely safe and, in many circumstances, a ‘healthier’ choice for all concerned. the gov’t needs to act to ensure this doesn’t become the situation, and it needs to do it in the context of extending preventative health policy, not allowing unscrupulous insurers to contract it.

vg vg 10:02 pm 06 Aug 09

gun street girl said :

Perhaps access to insurance might be improved if women who wish to give birth at home signed a legal waiver, saying they won’t sue the midwife if things go wrong…?

Which wouldn’t be worth the paper it would be scrawled on.

If you have easy access to a hospital it is beyond me why you would want your child delivered at home. Yes a midwife can call an ambulance, which can also be a lottery with how long it takes for them to arrive. In a hospital in a worst case the doctor has to walk up the stairs.

And before you ask…..2, and was there for both

gun street girl gun street girl 8:44 pm 06 Aug 09

Perhaps access to insurance might be improved if women who wish to give birth at home signed a legal waiver, saying they won’t sue the midwife if things go wrong…?

toriness toriness 8:35 pm 06 Aug 09

if it ain’t worthwhile for insurers to offer the insurance or the policy is too expensive to justify the service then isn’t it kind of end of story? what sane midwife would operate solo without insurance anyway? and what sane mother would let an uninsured ‘backyard’ midwife deliver their precious spawn? if we are talking about planned home births – not ‘by the side of the road’ births (god who would freely choose to do that?!).

el el 8:31 pm 06 Aug 09

Valleyboy said :

On behalf of long-suffering air travellers, I’m just about sh!tting schadenfreude over this one. What exactly is the point of dragging a baby to a home-birth rally? To educate the public what the product of a home birth is? I’m sure we all know what a baby looks like — and anyone who had the misfortune to be trapped on one of those baby-infested flights from hell would certainly find out how they sound and smell.

Gold! Couldn’t agree more.

dvaey dvaey 8:31 pm 06 Aug 09

Just to get back on topic (since it seems to have been deviated from).. These infants are flying for free, these parents are complaining that because after they got a free ticket for their infant, they got bumped due to capacity limits.

If these parents had paid anything for their infants tickets, then Id have slightly more sympathy for their displacement, but when you travel on a conditional airfare you have to expect sometimes you might get bumped especially on a freebie.
(Disclaimer: virgin blue flies infants <2 yrs for free, I didnt check other airlines, but assume theyre the same)

emd emd 8:10 pm 06 Aug 09

astrojax, thanks 🙂 hope everything’s going well for both of you.
Granny, you’ve done something I can only wish to do 🙂
Valleyboy – if you’re breastfeeding a small baby, it goes wherever the mother goes. If you’re full-time parent to a child under school age, it usually goes where the mother goes.

I can assure you that registered, professional midwives do not take on true high risk pregnancies for a homebirth. The Australian College of Midwives has clear guidelines on when a midwife (an expert in normal, healthy pregnancy and birth) should refer to an obstetrician (an expert in treating illness and injury). In many countries around the world (including New Zealand, remote indigenous communities in Canada, and European countries), homebirth has been proven safe and is an easily accessible option.

For women in regional communities that don’t have a local hospital with maternity unit, having a baby means a choice between moving into the city weeks before the birth – not fun if you’re leaving behind other small children and your hubby is a farmer and you’re due during harvest; or being induced or having an elective c-section before your due date so you only have to travel to the city for the birth – and unnecessary inductions and c-sections carry increased risks for mother and baby’s health; or hoping you have a long labour so you can drive to hospital before the contractions become unbearable in the car. This is why some babies are born by the side of the road – some of these women and babies would be safer just staying home and getting the local midwife to come out (and the midwife WILL call for an ambulance if there’s any trouble – that’s what they’re trained to do).

Hospital is a great place to be in a medical emergency. But the World Health Organisation says that only 5-10% of women should be having c-sections for medical purposes. So the other 20-28% of Canberra women having c-sections are going through 6 times higher risk of death to the mother, and 5 times higher risk of breathing difficulties to the baby, when they don’t medically need to. We need to keep independent midwives in our community to maintain knowledge of things like how to do a vaginal breech delivery (obstetricians do a c-section for breech, but some breech positions can be delivered vaginally), how to determine the baby’s position by feel instead of using ultrasound machines etc. Midwives can also help with breastfeeding and baby care postnatally, and it’s the midwife who stays with the woman throughout labour (obstetricians usually just turn up for the delivery).

In the ACT, it is legal for a woman to terminate a pregnancy. It is legal for a woman to request an elective c-section for no medical reason. A woman’s right to make these choices is accepted as normal. Why can’t we just push out a baby on our own lounge room floor, with a midwife there for support, if that’s what we want to do? It costs less than hospital birth, it keeps hospital beds free for people with illnesses to get treatment, and it means the woman gets to decide who is down the business end of her body when her baby is born.

Any more questions? 🙂

Valleyboy Valleyboy 7:22 pm 06 Aug 09

On behalf of long-suffering air travellers, I’m just about sh!tting schadenfreude over this one. What exactly is the point of dragging a baby to a home-birth rally? To educate the public what the product of a home birth is? I’m sure we all know what a baby looks like — and anyone who had the misfortune to be trapped on one of those baby-infested flights from hell would certainly find out how they sound and smell.

Granny Granny 5:59 pm 06 Aug 09

I am with the United Nations on this. I fully support the right of women to choose homebirth and have had a homebirth myself. For many women it is the right choice, and results in a much more pleasant and easy labour with less intervention.

Bravo Wang Bravo Wang 5:14 pm 06 Aug 09

Send them back! I don’t care for their kind!

Pelican Lini Pelican Lini 5:09 pm 06 Aug 09

I love babies … served with apple sauce and roast vegetables and a nice glass of Chardonny.
Home birthed babies are like free range eggs, just that little bit tastier than those delivered in sterile cubicles.
Babies … the other other white meat.

Igglepiggle Igglepiggle 1:43 pm 06 Aug 09

Back on the topic – this isn’t a debate about safety or otherwise of homebirth- the only issue here is whether homebirth midwives wiill be able to access insurance to enable them to practice once national registration starts next year (as insurance will be a compulsory component of registering.) Compulsory insurance is a good thing as it provides the only protection for people who are unfortunate enough to have a bad outcome.
I suspect the rally really needs to persuade the government to place more pressure on insurance providers to provide this insurance. If the evidence to prove homebirth is safe exists, as the maternity coalition says it does, then it should be straightforward to convince the insureres. If however, the evidence is inconclusive or poorly designed…. or not applicable to the Australian setting as most is conducted on low risk women and most Australian homebirth midwives take on high risk women, then the current problem they have will not be fixed.

astrojax astrojax 1:39 pm 06 Aug 09

they’d all play together up the back, capitalk, so you’d never notice, as long the attendants (ie hosties) kept the wine flowing! ; )

midwives are trained birth specialists and i would happily rely on them to make the call that medical intervention (ambulance, hospital, etc) is needed: so acknowledging the mother’s own calmness is going to be perhaps the most important ingredient in her body birthing safely, and the stress hospitals etc can put her under are therefore best avoided, a midwife (birth specialist) at the mother’s home (safe, secure environment) seems to be the logical best place, so it should attract all the government support it needs…

this would seem to have the mother’s right to choice and the baby’s right to life best covered in one go. we should maybe be calling for a ban on hospitals… ; )

btw emd, great shop!

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top

Search across the site