Thursday, April 30, 2009

Time for Bunbury Midwives to respond!

The Bunbury Mail headline written by Kaitlyn offer reads "More women risking Bunbury homebirths"This headline is just purely 'scaremongering' and in light of the recent release of the governments Maternity Services Review Report, which suggest that women should have improved choice, and expanding the role of the midwife.

I think the article endeavors to present a balanced view, however, it does not at any point have the view of 'the midwife' it does consider that of the obstetrician. In light of the Maternity Review I think it is time the media recognised the value of the profession of 'midwifery'(hence we have the Nurses & Midwives Act 2006) and sort the opinion of the Southwest midwives or the Australian College of Midwives to further balance this article. It is sad to see that an obstetrician is negating the woman's' right of choice and slamming this as 'putting her baby at risk'. This woman has made an intelligent, informed choice of how she would like to birth her baby and this choice should be respected not criticised.

The article goes on to say that
"Between 2003 and 2007 there were 70 homebirths recorded in the South West by the health department, up from 13 performed in 2003 to 20 in 2007.....and that there were no deaths from homebirths in the South West between 2003 and 2007". Did the Dr quote the amount of traumas associated with a birth in the hospital?
So please explain to me why then have these women put their babies at risk? oh that's right
Bunbury's gynaecologist Dr Ron Jewell said mothers were putting themselves and their babies at risk.
With what evidence is the Dr basing this statement on?
“People are looking at their choice rather than safety,” Dr Jewell said. Dr Jewell has not once commented on the services or the ability of the very professional midwives of the Southwest, where is his attempt to be collaborative with his colleagues?
All midwives are trained to be able to recognise the abnormal and deal with any emergency that may arise.

Thank goodness the the trusted consumer, Bunbury mother Megan Pelusey disagrees.

Mrs Pelusey gave birth to her first child Georgia at home in 2006 and with baby number two on the way her family is preparing for another homebirth with the help of a trusted midwife, her husband Marcus and Georgia, 2. “I’m a private person and it’s a nice way to have it in your home and this time my two year old will see it all,” Mrs Pelusey said.

Mrs Pelusey said she felt women with low risk of complications could have safe homebirths when supported by a midwife with the right equipment.
“I had continuity of care with my midwife, I had regular visits throughout the whole pregnancy, (the midwife was there) during the birth and I had after birth care and you still see a doctor anyway,” Mrs Pelusey said.
She said she was not nervous about complications.
“The midwife has all the right equipment like oxygen if it is needed and we are not very far from the hospital if something happens.”

I must say I am sadden by this article, the headline, could have been a more positive one, 'Homebirths successful in the Southwest', 'More women choose midwifery led care in the Southwest' - but I guess it just may not have the same impact.

I urge the media to give midwives a fair go! find out what it is we do? don't just take the word of an obstetrician, this is about collaborative work, we can and do work together, let midwives provide continuity of care, give women the choices they want!, it really is not to much to ask for.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments. I felt as though any comments I made were overshadowed by Dr Jewells unsupported claims! The title of the article made me furious when i saw it. It absolutely ruined my day and I have made sure friends and family will be sending in letters of response.
Megan Pelusey

Sarah Stewart said...

I hate to say it, infomidwife, but if our experience in New Zealand is to go by, the media (and Doctors) will NEVER stop stop midwife bashing, so you'd better get used to it.

I don;t know if it's an old boys network thing, or that the media just love dramatic headlines. but midwives have to get media-savvy & learn to use it in the same way doctors do-how you do that, I have no idea.

InfoMidwife said...

thank you Megan for your comments, your comments were very important and valued, in fact more important than Dr Jewells unsupported comments. I hope things have settled down for you and you are well supported. Wishing you all the best for your birth keep me posted.
Many thanks Pauline (infomidwife)

InfoMidwife said...

Hi Sarah, thanks for your comments, however I will keep plugging away at the doctors and the media, and learn to play the same game. cheers looking forward to your 24hr conference for IMD

Save Homebirth

Home Birth Australia