Best Birth Places

Information to make Informed Maternity Care Choices.

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. 

Background Information.

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Giving birth in a stable might be better than a labour ward

From  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

baby with a santa hat and green background

© 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

Best Birth Places.

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 [4] 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;

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Trust children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves and most of us were taught as children we could not be trusted. — John Holt
I can promise you that women working together - linked, informed and educated - can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet. — Isabel Allende
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. — Frank Zappa
No other natural bodily function is painful and childbirth should not be an exception. — Grantly Dick-Read
Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers – strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength. — Barbara Katz-Rothman
We need to have their hearts before we can open their minds. — Dr Gordon Neufeld
All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward. — Ellen Glasgow
A loving heart is the truest wisdom. — Charles Dickens
Nothing in life is to be feared it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so we can fear less. — Marie Curie
The greatest joy is to become a mother; the second greatest is to be a midwife. — Norwegian proverb