Here is a recent interview I did with Paul Murray on 6PR because of the spotlight on home birth in Perth.
With the current Coroner’s Inquest into 3 home birth deaths in Perth we are bound to hear people arguing how risky home births are.
Home births are not inherently risky. In fact, the UK are actively promoting home birth for low risk pregnancies because of the risk of hospital inquired infection.
It would be great if Perth obstetricians and midwives could work together as a team that genuinely recognise each other’s role and expertise, such as in the UK and New Zealand. If the health system truly supported home births it would be so much safer and enjoyable for all concerned.
Some couples in Perth are choosing home births because they fear being bullied into procedures they don’t really need by obstetricians. This is not an unreasonable fear when Perth private hospitals have caesarean section rates as high as 57%. (WHO recommends a rate of 10-15%). It is not far that couples feel cornered into risk taking situations in order to get the birth they want, sometimes with devastating consequences.
I think the ideal situation would be one on one maternity led care for normal birth, in hospital or at home, then referring on to obstetrician if genuine medical problems arise.