Australia is called ‘The Lucky Country’.
We enjoy many opportunities in our multi-cultural, open-minded society.
Most Australians experience a great quality of life. We have low pollution levels and a modern and efficient infrastructure.
Our health system, whilst busy and understaffed at times, allows all Australians access to free healthcare, something not all countries have.
We would like to think we have freedom of choice when it comes to our maternity care.
For many they believe the choice is to have public or private hospital care.
What if mum understands the benefits and wonderful birth outcomes of having a consistent care provider such as a midwife throughout her pregnancy and labour?
She explores midwifery led programs within the hospital she’s chosen but they are full. Then what?
She explores the possibility of hiring a doula or midwife to be her birthing companion, a worthwhile but for many an expensive option that isn’t feasible.
She tries to find a Family Birth Centre but in her area there are none. She would have to travel quite a distance for appointments and for the birth, which puts her off.
She thinks about birthing at home. The stigma around this in Australia is astounding when it is common practice in many countries around the world that have great health outcomes for mums and babies.
Maybe she feels its something she could do but her or her partner doesn’t trust that everything would go according to plan – they have been told time and time again about the dangers so they cross it off the list. It’s also another expensive option.
She resigns herself to birthing in hospital although it doesn’t feel like it’s a choice at this point.
Now she has to work out how to achieve the birth she desires within a hospital and comes up against obstacles, hurdles, policies and procedures at every turn.
She would like intermittent monitoring, all belts to be removed in-between readings – this is against hospital policy.
She would like to use natural methods to induce labour and would like to only discuss being induced when she is post-term at 42 weeks – this is against hospital policy.
She would like a water birth – there is one pool available for all labouring women so if it’s free, she may use it, if not, too bad. It’s also against hospital policy to give birth in the pool so she must get out when baby begins to descend.
Is this really choice?
Of course she can stand up for her rights, her right to informed choice.
She can say that although she understands the policies in place, she is making different choices.
How confident this woman would have to be.
To voice her preferences in appointment after appointment, with staff reminding her of the risks at every turn, not mentioning the benefits of course.
How many of us could stand up to the test?
30% of women are left traumatised by their birth experience. 30%!
Do we really have a system that works and supports women?
1 in 10 women experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – yes the same disorder that war veterans suffer after they’ve witnessed the atrocities of war. Women have this after giving birth, an incredible human experience.
Is this right?
15% of mums and 10% of dads suffer from Post Natal Depression.
Is this ok?
How can we start making change?
I believe the first step is education. Educating ourselves and each other on all our birthing possibilities. HypnoBirthing does that.
Once parents understand and can confidently navigate their choices, things will start to change.
Hospitals will feel the uprising. They will have to address the fact that more and more parents are demanding that things be different.
But we must wake up. We women must realise that we are active participants in birth, that hospital policies aren’t the law and we are in charge.
I know it can be hard, it can take strength and determination but when you achieve what you set out to, you will hear the echo of thousands of fellow HypnoBirthing mums from around the world cheering for you.
So I implore you – please come to a class, share what you know with others, tell them to come to a class.
Let’s be the change so that our daughters and nieces can birth in a world full of possibilities and choices.