News

Home birth is where the heart is

Jade Trapp with her baby Django, who she delivered at home with the assistance of a midwife.
Jade Trapp with her baby Django, who she delivered at home with the assistance of a midwife.

A long-awaited report into publicly funded home birthing is now in the hands of the Local Health District. The report has been prepared by the Homebirth Advisory Group, which was established by the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) and its recommendations are now being considered by the NNSW LHD Executive, the Health Care Quality Committee and the board.

According to NNSW LHD board chair Hazel Bridgett, some local hospitals, including Lismore Base, already have Caseload Midwifery Models of Care in place to allow the birthing mother to have the same midwife throughout her pregnancy and at the birth in the hospital.

"However, moving from that option to a home birth is a big step and needs careful consideration by the board," Ms Bridgett said. "There are two concerns for the board: ensuring the skills and credentials of the service providers (the midwives) and the relationships and referral systems they have with local doctors are in place. The other issue, which is common in other publicly funded home birth services, is whereby the birthing mothers agree to the safety guidelines put in place that would mean in some circumstances home birth is not safe or acceptable."

Maternity Coalition Northern Rivers Branch president Sally Cusack would love to see a home birthing service offered by all hospitals in the local district.

"Home birth is not an option for everyone, but to have your baby at home is a choice that lots of people would make if it was easier to access," Ms Cusack said. "Even if in the first instance, it was run out of just one hospital so people can see it running successfully as a cost-effective option. In Australia, 12 public hospitals offer publicly funded home birth services out of maternity wards, if the women meet the low risk criteria. In NSW, hospitals such as St George Hospital and John Hunter have been really successful."

Lismore resident Jade Trapp was born at home and two years ago, she chose to give birth to her son Django at home with the assistance of a midwife. She welcomes the possibility of the introduction of a publicly funded home birth service.

"For me, I felt the best chance for a healthy outcome was to have a home birth," Ms Trapp said. "In hospital, 95% of births involve interventions. I felt really strongly about being able to birth naturally and I trusted my midwife. It was an amazing, wonderful experience, with no medical intervention, and no transfer to a secondary health facility. It's well known that a natural birth is best for mum and baby… for immune function and providing the hormone releases that allow mum and baby to bond. Our hormones change as soon as we are pulled out of a comfortable situation to one with strangers in a brightly-lit environment. Women need to have the choice to be able to birth at home."

Ms Trapp said that the model of care in New Zealand where a midwife was recognised as a primary health care provider is one Australia should consider adopting. In New Zealand, the number of women choosing to birth at home rose from 1% in the 1980s to nearly 6% in the 2000s once changes were made in how maternity services were run. These days up to 65% of women in New Zealand have babies with the assistance of a midwife.

"These are wonderful outcomes" Ms Trapp said. "It's an inspiring model for a smooth way of providing maternity care."


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

These local movies will shine at 10th Byron Film Festival

LOCAL STORIES: One of the films featured this year is The Bentley Effect, a documentary about the Bentley Blockade.

THIS year marks a milestone for the Byron Bay Film Festival

Graceful Russian ballerinas will perform Swan Lake

ON STAGE: The Russian National Ballet Theatre brings their production of Swan Lake, the full length classical performance.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre is coming soon

Baird dogged by fears greyhound ban will cost Nationals seat

Mike Baird may hold off on implementing the greyhound racing ban until 2020 as he tries to woo voters back into the National fold before the Orange by-election.

Could Orange by-election force Baird to delay greyhound racing ban?

Local Partners

All she wants is to be chosen

Daisy has gone from puppy farm pet shop dog to the pound and she just wants a home.

It's time to get your shorts on the big screen

ANIMATED: Citizen To Activist, an animation by David Lowe and Eve Jeffrey, won the Jury Award for best Short Film at Flickerfest 2015 - Byron AllShorts.

Entries for Flickerfest 2017 and Byron All Shorts are now open

These local movies will shine at 10th Byron Film Festival

LOCAL STORIES: One of the films featured this year is The Bentley Effect, a documentary about the Bentley Blockade.

THIS year marks a milestone for the Byron Bay Film Festival

Graceful Russian ballerinas will perform Swan Lake

ON STAGE: The Russian National Ballet Theatre brings their production of Swan Lake, the full length classical performance.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre is coming soon

Baird dogged by fears greyhound ban will cost Nationals seat

Mike Baird may hold off on implementing the greyhound racing ban until 2020 as he tries to woo voters back into the National fold before the Orange by-election.

Could Orange by-election force Baird to delay greyhound racing ban?

Are government staffers talking Wentworth Park sale?

Greyhounds race at the Wentworth Park ahead of the industry's July 2017 shutdown.

No answer on whether government staff discussed Wentworth Parl sale

Justice delayed is justice denied in NSW courts

Court backlogs trigger push for break and enter law change

Communication breakdown in NSW fishing reforms

State-wide commercial fishing industry reforms have left fishers confused about their futures.

Non-English speaking fishers confused at industry-wide reforms

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

John Mayer's advice for Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes has revealed John Mayer gave him advice

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.

3500 jobs on the way with new $950 million resort

Residential, tourist, community, and open space on Hummock Hill Island.

PROPERTY developers plan to begin construction next year.