Most of you know that I am a firm believer in having a private midwife during your pregnancy and birth. There is also nothing better than having your private midwife guide you through that crazy post birth period…
Please have a read of the remarkable statistics including the higher rate of vaginal births and reduced rate of caesarean births that the MAMA group, a collective group of private midwives in Melbourne, are achieving through their collaborative care. Working with a private midwife impacts your birth in so many ways — yes, babies make their entry into the world in their own unique way, however private midwives help make that process as nurturing and as empowering as possible.
For those not living in Victoria, use this information as incentive to find a recommended private midwife in your area. These skilled carers can guide and support you wherever you choose to have your baby.
—Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani
Victorian Midwives in Private Practice
Midwifery support in Australia has taken a back seat to high-intervention, obstetric led, medical care. As private midwives in Victoria, we seek to support a reversion back to natural, holistic support of mother and baby, while monitoring safety and health throughout the antenatal period.
Midwives have the power to support women independently throughout the child rearing process. We need to educate the Australian community about Private Midwives and how we can support families during the pregnancy, labour and birth period. Through education and understanding of available care options, women will have the capacity and integrity to choose what is right for them.
As outlined in the following article, the role and breadth of private midwifery care in Australia is extensive and flexible, and therefore able to support most women and their families through pregnancy and birth.
Midwives in Private Practice
MAMA, as a collective group of private midwives, facilitates this dynamic and flexible support system for pregnant women and their families.
There are four periods during which Midwives can provide their services:
- Pre-pregnancy counselling – this includes referrals to other practitioners, such as chiropractors and fertility services, to assist you in the ‘getting pregnant’ part
- Antenatal Period – when you fall pregnant right up until contractions begin
- Labour/Birth – however long it takes!
- Postnatal Period – from birth until mother, baby and family are settled
Kelly and I started MAMA with a vision of procuring these services for women around Melbourne, and so far we have seen some incredible outcomes. 2013 saw MAMA holding the space for 180 women with their chosen place of birth being hospital, birth centre or home…
The results were amazing!
We came out of 2013 with…
- A Caesarean section rate for selected women giving birth for the first time: MAMA = 16.3% (11.1% when private obstetric clients removed) compared to AIHW=25% and COSMOS 24.9%
- Normal (non instrumental) vaginal birth for selected women giving birth for the first time: MAMA = 72.1% compared to AIHW= 50% and COSMOS = 63%
COSMOS = Comparing standard Midwifery care with one-to-one Midwifery support
Source: AIHW National Core Maternity Indicators (2013) (AIHW) COSMOS (CM) & MAMA database
These remarkable figures highlight how access to an independent Midwife can alter your pregnancy and birth outcome, for the better.
Private Midwives can also collaborate with other practitioners to enhance the pregnancy and birth experience:
- GP Obstetricians
- Obstetricians (Public or Private)
- Shared care with Public Hospitals
- Allied Health Practitioners
So far in our practice, we have relished from the fantastic professional collaborative relationship between Midwives and Chiropractors. The recognition and practical foresight to seek advice and care from different health professionals has been a wonderful support for clients and our Midwives alike. The perspective, expertise and holistic attitude born out of collaborative health care are things to be explored and something that is facilitated by becoming a Private Midwife.
Eligible Private Midwives can give Medicare rebates from pregnancy to 6 weeks postnatally. All MAMA Midwives are eligible and can therefore provide personal, 24 hour and affordable support for you, and your new or growing family!
Jan, Annabel and Kelly