Homebirth freebirth and doulas-Casualty and consequences of a broken maternity system
A research article by H.G. Dahlen a, M.Jackson b, J.Stevens c
The Authors conclude:
Many women who seek me out as a midwife do so because of a horrible birth in the "maternity system". What reasons did you or would you choose a homebirth over a birth in hospital?
In Australia private homebirth remains unfunded and uninsured and publicly funded homebirth models are not widely available. Doulas are increasingly hired by women for support during childbirth and freebirth (birth intentionally unattended by a health professional) appears to be on the rise. The recently released Improving Maternity Services in Australia – The Report of the Maternity Services Review (MSR) exclude homebirth from the funding and insurance reforms proposed. Drawing on recent research we argue that homebirth has become a casualty of a broken maternity system. The recent rise in the numbers of women employing doulas and choosing to birth at home unattended by any health professional we argue is in part a consequence of not adequately meeting the needs of women for continuity of midwifery care and non-medicalised birthing options. (click here to download the full article