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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Position Statement on Home Birth

Midwives and other interested parties are preparing critiques and responses to the ACM ‘Interim’ homebirth documents .   The College is inviting comments on the documents, which are an interim position statement, guidance for privately practising midwives providing midwifery care for planned homebirth, and a literature review.  None of these documents have undergone academic peer review.  The closing date for submissions is 23rd September 2011.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has "endorsed the Australian College of Midwives position statement on Homebirth." The full significance of this rapid endorsement by the regulatory body, of an 'interim' document, prior to consultation with the profession, is not clear. 

We refer readers to the International Confederation of Midwives' (ICM) Position statement on homebirth

It states, after a brief introduction:
POSITION:
The ICM supports the right of women to make an informed decision to give birth at home. The midwife who elects to provide professional services for women in their homes should be able to do so within a nation’s health service. The ICM recognises that not all nations have the legislation or health service structure which supports home birth, and urges national governments to review the scientific literature on the subject and progress to a maternity service which includes it as an option for women giving birth. 
GUIDING STATEMENT TO MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS: 
Member Associations based in countries where women do not have access to a full range of options as to where they can safely give birth, are encouraged to negotiate with their governments for this to occur. 


The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) is a member association of ICM. Any position statement of the ACM should usually be consistent with, and reflect, the Position Statement of the ICM. The professional College for midwives in Australia is expected to negotiate with our government to provide a full range of options, including homebirth, where women in this country can safely give birth. Please remind the College of this ICM position and guiding statement in your submissions.

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