Perhaps you knew from the start that you wanted your own midwife. Perhaps it has been a long process of weighing pros and cons. But one way or another you have decided that having your own midwife is a priority for your pregnancy care and the birth of your baby.
You have made a great choice! However one not so simple question remains - how to find a midwife?
Like making any other consumer decision, whether it’s choosing which fridge to buy or which electricity supplier to use, some of the decision making process in choosing a midwife is about pragmatics. Things like the services offered by the midwife, their location, their charges, and their policies.
But you are not buying a fridge or choosing an electricity supplier. You are choosing a person in which to place your trust, your faith, and the wellbeing of yourself and your child. So then, how do you find a midwife that suits your needs?
Like many other health and wellbeing decisions, a recommendation from someone you trust can carry a good deal of weight. Do you have friends or family members who have used the services of a midwife? Likely they will be more than happy to share with you their thoughts on their midwife.
If family and friends aren’t able to offer any suggestions, consider the Pregnancy Birth and Beyond Find a Practitioner Search.
You may not realise it but there a quite a large number of homebirth groups in Australia. Some are larger organisations while others are less formal groups. However they all have one thing in common – they are populated by women who are passionate about homebirth and independent midwifery and will be all too happy to help you find a midwife.
This is the cyber-age and there are plenty of women in cyberspace more than happy to share their experiences and offer suggestions to help you find a midwife.
A great place to start is the Pregnancy Birth and Beyond Forum. Forums can be a great alternative if friends and family either have no experience to offer, or are unsupportive of your choice.
Australia offers a number of maternity peak bodies and consumer advocacy organisations, united in the common goal of promoting greater choice for women in maternity care. Among the most well-known national organisations are:
These organisation all offer assistance to find a midwife in your area.
Another way to find a midwife is by contacting your local hospital. Some hospitals are more proactive than others in promoting private practice midwives. However many midwives who are now in private practice were once hospital based and some still have connections to hospitals.
In addition, governmental initiatives in shared care between midwives and hospitals mean some hospitals now offer the option of your own midwife, have hospital-based homebirth programs, or are at least becoming more aware of the independent midwives in their region. If calling your local hospital seems too daunting why not consider utilising the Pregnancy Birth and Beyond Find a Practitioner Search.