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Birth Blog

It Takes A Village to Improve Maternity Care

By 30th August 2016 No Comments

Let’s unite to make change and a lasting improvement for our mums.

birth breathingWe’ve got absolutely terrible outcomes in this country for maternity care. I’m not just talking about live births, or the fact our mum’s survived. I’m talking about the emotional and physical toll our maternity care is taking on our mums. We need to improve Maternity Care here in Australia.

We have 15% of our mums with postnatal depression (PND), almost 1 in 10 with post traumatic stress disorder and the number one cause of perinatal mortality is SUICIDE.

We know it’s not the physical outcomes that determine how a mum feels and thinks about her birth, but, rather, her birth satisfaction involves how she was treated and whether she had informed (being presented with ALL the information) choice (then making the choice with that information).

We need a cultural shift, to ensure we value the emotional, mental and spiritual journey birth can be, and not taking away from a mother’s grief about her care, by telling her “at least her baby is okay”. We all know we value our sweet babies in our arms, but it’s absolutely dismissive of a mother’s wellbeing, to cast aside how she feels about birth.

Better outcomes for our mums and babies, means outcomes for our whole community. We know, when a known midwife for pregnancy, birth and postnatal care supports a mother, her birth satisfaction and outcomes are far superior than fragmented care.

We see this in evidence and practice around the world. Those countries who have let the experts in normal birth (midwives), deliver the maternity care, have great outcomes for our mothers and babies.

We all have a responsibility to support our mums and move towards evidence-based care. From physically and emotionally supporting a mum in need, to calling up your local State and Federal MP and talk about maternity care, and how every family deserves a known midwife, will ensure we’re moving towards a better maternity care system.

If we look just across the ditch, in New Zealand, midwives pioneered change some 15 years ago, and now every family has the benefits of continuity of midwifery carer (known midwife). Their outcomes are much better than Australia and something to certainly wish for here.

Let’s unite to make change and a lasting improvement for our mums.

Written by HypnoBirthing Practitioner and Australian Steering Committee Member, Alecia staines

Alecia Staines

B.A.Sc, P.G.Dip Ed, HBCE, Fertile Body Practitioner

Alecia is a mother-of-three, who grew up in rural South Western Queensland in a small farming community. She has been involved with HypnoBirthing for over 7 years, having HypnoBirthed all three of her children and is also a HypnoBirthing Practitioner. She is an experienced classroom teacher, with a degree in Science and Education. She’s studied hypnotherapy for fertility and motherhood, energy healing, and is currently completing her yoga teacher training.

Alecia’s passion for birth includes her position on the Queensland Health Clinical Guidelines Steering Committee and Maternity Choices Australia’s Queensland Committee where she has worked on numerous Queensland Health Clinical Guideline, been involved in consumer feedback for midwives, met with Health Ministers to advocate for continuity of care midwifery and been involved with local maternity service infrastructure and development. Alecia is now part of our Australian Steering Committee.

Due to her ties with rural Queensland, she very passionate about ensuring rural couples have access to great maternity care and antenatal education. Alecia is the director of the Maternity Consumer Network in Australia, advocating for all maternity consumers in Australia

Visit the network: www.maternityconsumernetwork.org.au

 Help parents know their options by sharing our post on ‘Knowing Your Birth Options’.

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