After forty-one years of midwifery practice, the last 8 in New Zealand where many acknowledge that maternity care is in crisis, I have created a petition that respectfully requests that the New Zealand Ministry of Health:
- Develops an accessible, practical campaign to promote, support and protect natural or physiological birth throughout New Zealand.
- Widely publishes data on all New Zealand place of birth outcomes to foster informed maternity choices.
- Provides dedicated funding to ensure equitable access for well women to local community oriented, physiologically appropriate and culturally sensitive primary birthing units.
- Publicly promotes, encourages and supports birth at home with experienced midwife for well women.
- Engages with women, their whanau and national media as well as representatives of all maternity care providers toward achieving the aforementioned goals.
From Best Daily on Tuesday, Dec 23 2014 with New Zealand modifications by Denise Hynd
The ‘greatest birth story ever told’ has a lot to teach 21st century policy makers, writes Milli Hill
© Getty Images
When it comes to giving birth, maybe newer, shinier and more technological isn’t necessarily better. The world was baffled recently when new UK guidelines for pregnant women stated quite clearly that hospital was the LEAST safe place to give birth – how very mysterious! Could it be that those beeping machines and vigilant docs, which we’d all been led to believe epitomised progress and were so very essential to our labours, were actually making things worse?!
It seems like the world is finally waking up to the fact that birth is something so fundamentally human – like eating, sleeping, making love – that it does not benefit from the interference of modern technology. With birth, we need to go back to basics, and to allow ourselves to be mammals. And so, although the straw might be a little spiky on the knees, a stable might be just the place to have a baby. Here’s why: Continue reading
Despite, research from New Zealand, UK and other countries, which shows that for healthy pregnant women homebirth with an experienced midwife, is safer that labouring in an obstetric hospital, an increasing majority of New Zealand women are delivered in a secondary or tertiary hospital (over 85% in 2011).
The Royal College of Midwives Practice Guidelines state that “Hospital is an alienating environment for most women, in which institutionalised routines and lack of privacy can contribute to feelings of loss of control, and increased anxiety brought on through loss of control can interfere with the normal effective physiology of labour” and that “control, or lack of it, was important to the women’s experience of labour and their subsequent emotional well being.”
New Zealand women and many midwives seem unaware that local [1,2, 3] and international  evidence shows that the place of birth not only has an important effect on interventions but that women report higher satisfaction with their experiences in “home‐like” environments, with the following features;