By Tara Morrell
An inquest into the deaths of three newborns has raised questions about the safety of home birth and why it’s still chosen.
According to Simply Midwifery’s Ms. Peta Kieran, a registered midwife, home birth is safe for women with low risk pregnancies and the potential complications are the same as hospital births.
“They don’t have to leave the comfortable environment of their home. This allows them to be undisturbed which enhances the natural process so it often helps the labour progress quicker,” she said.
Mrs. Tracey Cadman, a mother of five, said she chose home birth for her last two pregnancies, as she didn’t like the hospital’s approach to her delivery.
“I didn’t like the amount of intervention and restrictions. I didn’t want to be stuck on the bed being constantly monitored,“ she said.
“At home it’s easier to relax and get into the right headspace to go through the birth process.”
However, Mrs. Cadman said the lack of drugs available at home and receiving judgemental comments were cons to home birth.
While home birth midwives work closely with expecting mothers, they admit there is still a slim chance of unexpected emergencies.
“We have emergency equipment but if an unexpected emergency happens than that could be a problem with not being in a hospital,” said Ms. Kieran.
Ms. Kieran recommends only women with a normal pregnancy should choose home birth and that they should make sure the midwives are there throughout the pregnancy so that potential complications can be detected early.
Registered midwives are regulated under Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which provides home birth and ethical guidelines.
For more information on home births, visit Homebirth Australia.