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Find a midwife australia

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Learn more. It is important to have all the relevant information to help you make choices that are best for you. The hospital you are referred to will be based on where you live-you may have a choice if there is more than one hospital in your area. Once you have been referred to a hospital, you should ask about the maternity services they provide.

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There is no dataset available as this is qualitative research as per ethics requirements full transcripts of interviews are not allowed to be deposited to a repository to ensure anonymity. In Australia the choice to birth at home is not well supported and only 0. Recent changes to regulatory requirements for midwives have become more restrictive and there is no insurance product that covers private midwives for intrapartum care at home.

Freebirth planned birth at home with no registered health professional with an unregulated birth worker who is not a registered midwife or doctor e. Doula, ex-midwife, lay midwife etc. The aim of this study is to explore the reasons why women choose to give birth at home with an unregulated birth worker UBW from the perspective of women and UBWs. Nine participants five women who had UBWs at their birth and four UBWs who had themselves used UBWs in the past for their births were interviewed in-depth and the data analysed using thematic analysis.

Women interviewed for this study either experienced or were exposed to mainstream care, which they found traumatising. They were not able to access their preferred birth choices, which caused them to perceive the system as inflexible. They interpreted this as having no choice when choice was important to them. The motivation then became to seek alternative options of care that would more appropriately meet their needs, and help avoid repeated trauma through mainstream care.

Unassisted childbirth or freebirth giving birth at home without a midwife or physician in attendance may signify trends in maternity care practice that lead women to make this choice [ 1 ]. The choice to birth at home with a qualified midwife is not fully supported in Australia and this is demonstrated through lack of funding for this option, lack of insurance and the fact that in , out of the 28, registered midwives who were employed in midwifery only attended birth at home nationwide [ 2 — 4 ].

Limited numbers of women can access a homebirth choice via the State and Territory funded public hospital schemes due to restrictive eligibility guidelines, and not all States and Territories provide this service model; for example, there are only 12 services in total situated in New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Victoria [ 3 ].

There are very few birthing centres and access to these facilities is limited due to strict eligibility criteria, and in some States women go in to a lottery system to gain access [ 5 ]. It appears that there are a small but increasing number of women leaving the mainstream system to birth at home without medical or professional support [ 6 ]. Unassisted birth at home and birth at home with the support of an unregulated birth worker UBW appears to have increased and some have had adverse outcomes [ 6 , 7 ].

An unregulated birth worker UBW can be anyone who provides support services to women during pregnancy and childbirth. They have no regulatory requirements for formal or supervised training that would enable them recognition as a registered midwife or doctor however, they may have knowledge and experience of childbirth. Unregulated birth workers include doulas; lay-midwives; childbirth educators and ex- registered midwives [ 7 , 8 ]. In Australia some midwives may have lost or chosen not to remain registered and therefore become ex-registered.

Thus, this status defaults them to be included in the category of an UBW, and indeed this is what they generally call themselves. In Australia most women give birth in a hospital Care is medicalised and intervention rates in labour and birth are among some of the highest in the world [ 10 ]. They received over public submissions, the majority of which were from consumers. Collectively this formed the basis for the IMSR report.

Following this review however, a number of national maternity and health regulatory reforms led to regulatory, funding and insurance changes which made the choice to birth at home with privately practising midwives PPMs more difficult [ 5 ]. A wide range of stakeholders: regulators, professional associations, colleges, insurers and consumers support the rights of women to have a choice in care provider, birth place and access to safe, high quality maternity services [ 11 , 12 ].

Despite this, gaining access to a midwife who can support women during birth at home in Australia remains a challenge for some. Some women simply cannot afford to pay for a private midwife leaving them with two options: freebirth without a midwife in attendance [ 6 ] or accessing the services of a UBW to attend them during a birth at home [ 7 , 8 ]. One recent case in South Australia involving an ex-registered midwife resulted in a coronial inquiry into the deaths of three babies [ 7 ].

There are discussions in other Australian States and Territories about adopting this legislation. Within this context it is important to understand the perspectives of women choosing this option as well as the perspectives of UBWs.

This study explored the reasons why some women choose the services of a UBW to give birth at home without a midwife in attendance.

A feminist theoretical framework was used to inform and interpret the research as this facilitated deeper understandings about the factors that shape the lives of women, and in particular their needs and expectations in pregnancy and childbirth [ 15 ].

A feminist is a person whose beliefs and behaviours are based on feminism. Feminism refers to the various movements aimed at defending political, social and economic equality for women and there are several feminisms, for example liberal, social, radical [ 15 , 16 ]. Feminist theory can therefore be defined as interdisciplinary, diverse and the extension of feminisms into theoretical, fictional, or philosophical discourses aimed at understanding the nature of gender inequality [ 15 , 16 ].

Ethics approval was obtained from the Western Sydney University Ethics committee. Using a convenience sampling strategy we aimed to recruit 10 participants with equal representation of women and UBWs however, only five women and four UBWs were finally recruited. Recruitment occurred using a flyer that was distributed through two consumer websites: Homebirth Australia and Maternity Choices Australia.

Inclusion criteria required women to have given birth at home with a UBW and no midwife present or be an UBW who had supported women to birth at home with no midwife present, within the last 5 years in Australia.

All participants who voluntarily expressed interest in the study were provided an information flyer and opportunity to ask further question before signing a consent form signalling their informed consent to participate in this study and to publish any data obtained from participants during interviews in future academic publication.

This strategy respected the sensitive nature of the topic and promoted greater confidentiality whilst minimising the potential for power imbalances [ 18 ]. The interviewer author 1 developed rapport with participants through email and text messaging enquiries prior to the interview [ 18 ].

Questioning was undertaken with sensitivity thereby providing participants adequate time to respond to questions as these strategies are known to be effective and suitable for the investigation of sensitive topics [ 18 ]. All participants were thanked for openly sharing their experiences and for their participation in this study.

Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data and report patterns themes within the data collected. Thematic analysis thus reflects and unravels the surface of the world of participants [ 19 ]. Interviews were digitally recorded using a QuickTime player on a computer to ensure accuracy. The interviews were then thematically analysed by author 1 by labelling and coding emerging concepts initially by hand and then entered onto the software program NVivo for further coding into nodes.

Nodes were printed off and read by another member of the research team author 4 to assess emerging themes. Nodes were then combined into themes and subthemes. These subthemes were discussed, reviewed and refined following input from all the authors. The entire research team then reviewed the final analysis.

Reflexivity enables researchers to critically examine their own deep-seated views and judgements and how this may influence the research process [ 20 , 21 ]. A number of years ago when the first author was working in a maternity unit, a woman who had experienced a UBW supported birth at home was transferred to hospital in a critical condition requiring resuscitation and life saving surgery.

The 1 st author was a UK trained midwife and experienced with homebirth in the UK. She was of the opinion that an appropriately trained and registered midwife may have been a more appropriate care provider to support a woman to birth at home. However, she was also naive to the issues Australian women experienced with respect to limited forced choices and dehumanising practices. This stimulated reflection on the motivations and reasons why women might choose not to have a midwife attended birth at home.

This was the catalyst for the development of the resulting research questions for this study. In acknowledging this starting point, greater awareness for the need and importance of taking a reflexive approach was highlighted. Personal reflection and questioning during analysis led to a greater depth of understanding of the research topic and for the diversity of birth experiences.

Field notes were utilised during the data collection and analysis process to build self-awareness of any preconceived assumptions that may have developed as a midwife as these are known to be useful when reflexivity is inherently connected to action [ 21 , 22 ].

This provided greater appreciation for the knowledge shared by participants. Six participants lived in a metropolitan city and three lived in rural areas. Women in metropolitan areas lived between 10 and 30 min from a hospital and their UBW.

Women from rural areas lived 60 min from a hospital and between and min from their UBW. Of the five consumers women , three had a low risk pregnancy one of which was a first time mother; two had a high-risk pregnancy one of these women had a past history of a caesarean section and a post partum haemorrhage PPH and a severe perineal trauma.

The second mother had a cholestasis during the pregnancy attended by a UBW. All referrals to UBWs were informal and access to them included: word of mouth 6 , at a conference 1 and on a UBW website 2. The ex-registered midwife had approximately 30 years experience as a midwife prior to becoming a UBW. Collectively these themes reflect the reason why the women in this study had chosen the services of a UBW to assist them to give birth at home.

It resulted in women feeling traumatised. Central to the traumatic experience was perceptions of an impersonalised system during the very personal time of giving birth. Experiencing the system of care as traumatising motivated women to seek an alternative birthing option with a UBW. This is illustrated by the following account from one woman who had given birth in hospital.

I had my first birth in a hospital and ended up a fourth degree tear, immediately after I had a PPH and at the same time on the table holding my baby; I was being asked to sign forms saying I was being stitched and at the same time being told I would never be able to birth vaginally again. Consumer 2. One participant who had witnessed a family member giving birth in a hospital, and a friend birthing at home with hospital midwives in attendance, reported mainstream care as disempowering and disrespectful of women.

She reported witnessing hospital midwives reprimanding, bullying, threatening and coercing the woman into accepting unwelcome medical interventions and treatments. This participant emphasised that birth at home cared for by a registered midwife can also be distressing. The following excerpts demonstrate that in both settings, midwives were seen to be the perpetrators of coercion and disrespect. I was appalled at the midwives in the hospital and this was a midwifery group practice.

I was just appalled…they pushed her; they scared her into having drugs. She wanted to have no drugs. I was so upset with the whole operation. Consumer 3. I just wouldn't do it. This collectively led women to believe the entire system of care was unappealing and inflexible. Labouring and birthing in the shower is almost unheard of here. Consumer 6. Having experienced, or becoming aware of the inflexible nature of mainstream care options; women reported that despite trying to access midwifery models of care they were unsuccessful.

The only available model of midwifery care was seen to be a medically dominated one, which followed rigid medical protocols and guidelines. It was at that period where there were no registered midwives…the publicly funded homebirth scheme was not up and running.

Consumer 4. I wanted to be at home but there were no midwives around at that stage. Consumer 5.

MAMA Midwives

Midwives associated with Midwives Australia live and practice all over Australia. Private Practice Midwife. Low booking numbers to enhance the quality of service. All consults done in-home.

Baby Shopping Checklist. Before they have a baby and sometimes after!

Suggested Care Provider Visit Schedule during pregnancy: , 16, 20, 24, 28, 31, 34, 36, 38, 40, 41 weeks. Covid Update: We are fully operational as a business and have taken every precaution we can to provide a safe environment for our clients and staff. Home About Who are My Midwives? Brisbane Toowoomba Shepparton and Echuca Melbourne.

Your maternity care options

Error: This is required. Error: Not a valid value. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you might wonder what care and support will be available to you. This article describes options for pregnancy care, where to give birth and the costs involved — so you can make the choices that are best for you. Antenatal care is the care you receive during pregnancy. These appointments are also a good opportunity for you to ask questions and talk about any concerns you have. This appointment can be with a midwife, your GP or at a clinic or hospital.

Find Midwifery Care

Pregnancy and childbirth are natural life events and in most cases you will have a natural birth. If you have a straightforward pregnancy and both you and the baby are well, you might choose to give birth at home. However, if there are risks or complications during your pregnancy, home birth may not be a safe option for you or your baby. If you need any help or your labour is not progressing as well as it should, your midwife will make arrangements for you to be transferred to hospital.

There is no dataset available as this is qualitative research as per ethics requirements full transcripts of interviews are not allowed to be deposited to a repository to ensure anonymity. In Australia the choice to birth at home is not well supported and only 0.

If you are unable to find an LMC midwife, preferably contact us via our online form or if needed phone us on Find MW Leave a message and we will ring you back. If you know your NHI hospital number please state it when contacting us.

MAMA Factsheets

Midwifery to me is about supporting women transition through an important life stage. It demands that you feel passionate about protecting and supporting her to navigate the system and create lasting memories, about helping her feel empowered and strong. Angela, Midwife.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Studying Midwifery in Australia

Our team of midwives are passionate about providing continuity of care to women and their families during pregnancy, birth and the transition to parenting. Research has shown that continuity of midwifery care is ideal for facilitating and optimising normal physiological birth. Women who have continuity of care with a known midwife have shorter labours, use less analgesia in labour, and have fewer caesareans and instrumental vaginal births 1. Choosing a private midwife as your care provider for pregnancy and birth enables you to work in partnership with a midwife who will come to know you well, and will support you and your family, and your hopes and priorities for your pregnancy and birth. Medicare rebates are available for antenatal and postnatal visits with our Medicare Eligible Midwives.

Become a midwife

MAMA is a collective of private midwives and allied health practitioners who are all focused on pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. The midwife team at MAMA believe that continuity of care and individualised support provided by midwives from prenatal through to postnatal stages improves physical and emotional outcomes for mothers. We believe that these outcomes are crucial to the wider wellbeing of families and communities. MAMA midwives work with the other team members to provide 24 hour individualised care. Our carefully selected midwife team all share similar philosophies in patient care. During your pregnancy you may get the opportunity to meet all of the midwives in the group. View our Midwives profiles.

Many hospitals are working towards midwife-led models of care to improve Alternatively you can search for a doctor by using the Royal Australian and New.

Victorian government portal for older people, with information about government and community services and programs. Type a minimum of three characters then press UP or DOWN on the keyboard to navigate the autocompleted search results. Having a baby is an exciting time. How and where you have your baby may depend on your health, your risk of complications and where you live.

Find a Midwife

Midwives do not just help women giving birth. While this is a main part of your work, midwives also help women during pregnancy, childbirth and the early parenting period. Midwives work with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period.

Maternity care in Australia

Pregnancy and childbirth are natural life events and more than 2 in 3 Australian women will have a vaginal birth. While all women hope for a straightforward pregnancy and birth, there is always a chance of complications that might affect the mother, the baby or both. These risks may help determine where you have your baby — in a birthing centre, in a hospital or at home.

Midwives act as partners to women throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the early postnatal period, providing individualised education, advice and support. Midwives advocate measures throughout pregnancy and labour which promote natural birth, and are experienced in caring for mother and baby under normal birth conditions.

Your choices may be limited by where you live and what options there are in your community. Alternatively, there may be so many options that it is difficult to make a decision. The various arrangements for care can be quite complex. It can also be difficult to understand the costs associated with different care options.

What is a midwife and why would I need one?

Once you suspect you may be pregnant you need to make an appointment to see your general practitioner GP. Your GP will also discuss your care options with you and provide information on the different types of maternity services available in your area. Midwifery Group Practice is available to women within the local area that are less than 32 weeks pregnant. For more information contact the clinic or ask your midwife at your next antenatal appointment to refer you to the program. GP shared-care is an option provided at many hospitals. This means your pregnancy care is shared between your doctor GP and your local hospital.

Having a baby in Victoria

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