Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday Night Channel 7 -did a story about Homebirth and the Rally

Seeing RED with Dr Pesce

It was good to see that someone covered the Homebirth "Mother of all Rallies" story - however there is nothing like seeing red when Dr Andrew Pesce Obstetrician and head of the AMA categorically states that "he does not support homebirth".

" why fix something that is not broken - Australia has one of the best safety rates" well little does he know about women - then to infuriate women more he states
"why fix something that is not broken, why give people choice just because they want it"

How arrogant, how dare he disregard people, I could pull apart many of his comments, but this one takes the CAKE!

That in its self tells you that there is no respect for women and their ability to choose what they want - it is about being paternalist and thinking he knows best! and that is not the case.

Secondly to respond to Dr Pesce comments "My colleagues and I have seen things that would make the hair stand on end" referring to decisions that some homebirth midwives have made. Well Dr Pesce I and my colleagues have seen decisions made by Doctors in the hospital setting that would make your hair stand on end, some very late bad decisions - no one is perfect - so don't throw stones if you live in a glass house.
Have you heard of the word collaboration - working with Midwives as equals?

Thank you Sunday Night for presenting the story, however it would of also been appreciated if you had sort the view of the Australian College of Midwives / or some Midwifery input to respond to the AMA - equal for equal - not medically dominated by the AMA.
Those who want to view this show "Homebirth who chooses?" go to Sunday Night Channel 7



Pam said...

Is it any wonder that the media presented just one side of the argument when the government interests are being represented? As an observer from the outside it seems and feels to me that Australia has a very patriarchal society.
Even just being there on holiday it was a feeling that seemed to come through. I cannnot specifically put my finger on what it was that gave me that feeling.
But there are subtle messages from morning TV shows dominated my male presenters talking 'manly' issues of sport and the female presenters portrayed as pretty blonde ornaments decorating the set. (just a personal observation) it is as though women are 'tolerated' in the work environment and not actually valued as making a worthwhile contribution.

I have no answers when you are up against such attitudes, I can only say that this is a worldwide issue with varying degress at which the profession is recognised.

Sarah Stewart said...

The doctors in Oz haven't read the latest research about homebirth that has come out of Canada saying that birth at home is safer than hospital.

I tell you...some of the sights I have seen in hospital of abuse visited on women in the name of obstetrics would be too awful even for a horror movie & still haunt me years later! God only knows how damaged it left women!

Anonymous said...

I dont feel homebirth in Australia is as safe for women as it is in UK -the differences in midwifery are significant in level and type of training,accountability,supervision,support and autonomy

InfoMidwife said...

thanks Pam for your comments, yes I agree when I first came back to Australia after being away in the UK for 6 yrs, it was one of the things that really struck me, was how medicalised and how dependent on the mediccal model people where, it was almost like they can not think for themselves. I couldn't agree with you more about Aus being very patriarchal. However i do hold out hope that we will and do make a difference, we just have to keep chipping away at it.

InfoMidwife said...

Hi Sarah,
nice to see you pop by, yes you are right some of the things I have seen happen in hospital make my hair stand on end - and we are left to console and try to repair the damage.
Catch up with you at the conference next week.

InfoMidwife said...

Dear Anonymous, thanks for your comments. I have worked in the UK and here and have to agree with part of what you are saying - however I do think Homebirth is as safe as the UK - the education content is the same as the UK what is different is the community experiences and the supervisory role of the midwife. You also have to also remember that legislation is diffent in the UK, it protects the midwife more than here in Australia.

Anonymous said...

Hi Info midwife.
Just picking up on my previous entry I would argue that it’s the community experience as a student that develops independent decision making skills and accountability.)
Midwifery theoretical education is excellent but students have very little exposure and practice in
primary and community models of midwifery care.
This is recognised by the Nurses and Midwives Council in UK hence the inability of non EU trained to
register directly.
The key element of supervision is protection of the public by supporting the midwife
Supervision of midwives is a statutory system (required by law, through an Act of Parliament) for
protection of the public from poor midwifery practice by monitoring midwives’ practice and providing
support and guidance to every midwife in the UK.

All midwives, whether practising in hospitals, the community or self-employed, have a named SoM and are legally required to be supervised.

SoMs provide support, advice and guidance to individual midwives on practice issues whilst making sure
the midwife complies with the Midwives Rules and encouraging further development of skills and
knowledge. They also provide professional leadership.
I guess the point I am making is that midwives need to take the lead in governance of their role to drive their profession forwards and that professional reflection and evaluation is an essential part of this

InfoMidwife said...

Hi again anon, yes I agree - however I do believe that we are taking steps in the right direction in Australia, we are moving forward however slowly, here in WA we have only as recently as 2006 changed the Act to include midwifery - we do have many UK midwives working here and in the community setting - I would dearly love to see a system of Supervision of midwives simlar to the UK however as you rightly pointed out it is a statutory requirement in the UK - but here in Australia that is not the case - we have to lobby for this - we are in the climate for change with legislation being created for us to have prescribing rights etc - we are taking baby steps - the two health systems are very different and funded differently. The Nurses and Midwives Boards are there to insure that the public is protected and that the Nurses and Midwives work with in their scope of practice and competency.
To end with yes I very much agree with your comment that as midwives we need to take the lead in governance of to drive the profession forwards and that reflection and evaluation is an essential part of this.
I want informed choice for women to have the type of birth they choose and to be supported by a midwife.

Anonymous said...

I work in education - it is difficult to prepare midwifery students for the models of maternity care that happen outside the hospital - WHEN WE DON'T HAVE ANY!!!!
There has to come a time when the health professionals and politicians realise that offering Australian women the same CHOICE's that are available to our European counter parts is not unreasonable. And that the way forward is to change the structure of our current maternity services models (which includes opening up access to medicare providers numbers ... to health professionals other than the medical ones) to support this choice. We can provide supports for midwives moving into these models, and then provide students clinical placements that will enable them to practice in these areas. Then maybe some of the concerns expressed in the comments here will be partially addressed.
One thing that seems clear to me is that wee have to move forward. It is not enough to say the current workforce is not prepared for these models - therefore we can't have them - we have to work to develop strategies to move forward that will support our profession and the women accessing maternity care.
That any health professional could say that just because people want choice doesn't mean they need to get it - or words to that effect - indicates an unwillingness to listen to any view (other than their own) - to think there are people expressing those views makes me feel very WEARY about the debate and lobbying ahead.

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