Thursday, December 6, 2012

Update on Agnes Gereb

This report is from Donal Kerry
International Spokesperson
Campaign for Justice for Ágnes Gereb

The story of Dr. Geréb is one that has been played out in the Hungarian criminal courts for the last two years. On December 6th a further phase commences, when she will face a new set of five charges before one of the criminal courts in Budapest.

As you are probably aware Ágnes has been detained without trial since a birth incident of Oct 5th, 2010 (prison, 77days; house arrest, 710 days and counting!). In February this year she was sentenced to two years imprisonment connected to birth incidents occurring in 2006 and 2007. However, the enforcement of this sentence is still pending as the President of Hungary ruled on October, 10th (see his translated statement at that Ágnes's request for clemency in this matter will not be decided upon by him until the December, 6th trial charges have reached a conclusion in the courts. This upcoming trial will deal with the birth incident of Oct, 5th, 2010, two further birth incidents and also two "administrative" matters.

The Campaign for Justice for Dr. Geréb would very much welcome your involvement and coverage of this new trial as it continues to raise issues around the situation of Ágnes which we consider important for her but also for the rights she is fighting for:
  • her own human rights, 
  • the rights of Hungarian birthing mothers, and 
  • the rights of midwives in Hungary to be dealt in an equitable way with Hungarian hospital doctors with regard to their treatment when involved in adverse birth incidents. 
On December 6th it's her own rights which will first and foremost come under further intense pressure as she continues to deal with:
  • concerns that conditions are not in place to offer her a real chance of a fair trial
  • the fact that she should not be before the criminal courts, and like in other EU countries should have her actions assessed by a Midwifery Investigation Committee
  • that despite or because of being Hungary's foremost defender of women's rights she has received uniquely aggressive treatment from the State Prosecution Service as exampled by the further fact that she has the full public support of the 3 mothers in the birth cases coming before the court and the 200 parents cited by the prosecutor in the 4th case. 
President Áder in his statement of October 10th acknowledged Ágnes's role in helping birthing mothers and home birth itself. This was an important positive comment for Ágnes coming from the highest office holder in the land but it needs to be built upon by receiving the backing of the Hungarian government as well. The President also highlighted the important place of justice and lawfulness in Hungary and to echo this vital point Dr. Geréb supporters both at home and abroad will be calling on the Hungarian government, through the Minister for Justice to review her case and also to closely monitoring her upcoming trial.

We know from our feedback that Ági's story has captured the attention of women everywhere and also of the many interested in human rights. If readers are in a position to move further on this story please let me know and I can provide u with more information on the 5 cases involved and I know Ágnes would be available to reply to written questions that u might wish to put to her.
Yours sincerely,
Donal Kerry
International Spokesperson
Campaign for Justice for Ágnes Gereb
mobile 0036309242190

This message was received through Beverley Beech of AIMS UK.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review of the ACM Guidelines

The College (ACM) has announced a review of the ACM National Midwifery Guidelines for Consultation and Referral (2nd Edition) (2008)
If you do not have a copy, you can download a .pfd version here.

Readers who are members of ACM will have received a message about this review.

The review questions are:
  • Do you have any corrections or changes to be considered for the next edition? 
  • Do you have any additions that should be considered? 
  • Do you use appendix A? 
  • Does appendix A work or how does it need changing? 
The guidelines are meant for all midwives, so even if you aren’t a member of ACM, please put your mind to these questions.
The APMA response will address the questions with private midwifery practice in mind.  Private midwifery practice has changed significantly since 2008, when the current version was published, for example:
  • All midwives who practise privately are required to have professional indemnity insurance
  • An exemption from the indemnity insurance requirement is in place until June 2013, and is expected to be extended to 2015, for midwives attending homebirths privately
  • Many midwives are now able to offer Medicare rebates for a range of antenatal and postnatal midwifery services.  
  • A few midwives are offering Medicare rebates for intrapartum midwifery services in hospitals where they have clinical privileges/visiting access.
  • A few midwives have endorsement on the public register as PBS prescribers
"Endorsed as qualified to prescribe schedule 2, 3, 4 and 8 medicines required for midwifery practice across pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal care, in accordance with relevant State and Territory legislation"(AHPRA)
  • Many midwives are enrolled in university studies that will lead to endorsement as prescribers.

Readers are welcome to make comments in relation to this review, either directly to ACM, or via APMA.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Communique from Health Ministers

Standing Council on Health
10 August 2012

Australian Health Ministers met in Sydney today for a meeting of the Standing Council on Health (SCoH).  The meeting was chaired by Dr Kim Hames, WA Minister for Health.

Professional Indemnity Insurance for Privately Practising Midwives.

Ministers agreed to an extension of the professional indemnity insurance exemption for privately practising midwives until June 2015.  This will mean that privately practising midwives will continue to be covered by the national registration and accreditation arrangements.

The Commonwealth agreed to vary the determination on collaborative arrangements to enable agreements between midwives and hospital and health services.

Ministers agreed that WA would develop a paper on longer term arrangements and that this would be presented at the November meeting of Ministers.

Media contact: Peta Rule, 0428 923 661 (Dr Kim Hames Office)

[This message has been copied from the SCoH Communique.] 


taking midwifery to the mothers

A blog announcement by Toowoomba's My Midwives

... we are commencing a midwifery service at Grand Central.  My Midwives will be in the Level 2 Parents Room every Wednesday morning between 9.30am – 12.30pm. Our accredited midwifery staff will provide a range of services including antenatal information and advice, blood pressure checks, education for women and comprehensive post birth checks for mother and baby up to six weeks after birth. These services are available as Medicare bulk billed visits. [Note: You must be pregnant or have a baby no more than six weeks old and hold a current Medicare card to receive a bulk billed service.]

That sounds like a great idea!

Congratulations, My Midwives.

Friday, August 3, 2012

NEWSLETTER August 2012

Midwife or support person? 
Joy Johnston

An opinion, for discussion.

When a midwife walks into a hospital with a woman for whom she is providing private midwifery services, that midwife may face a complex and often challenging work environment.

Recently I went to hospital with a woman who I will call Melissa, who was planning vaginal birth after a previous caesarean (VBAC). Melissa's first child had been delivered by emergency caesarean. This time Melissa was well informed, and intentional about all her decisions. Melissa called me when her labour became established, and I went with her as she was admitted to the hospital birth suite. Melissa laboured strongly, and together we considered any decisions that needed to be made.

There is nothing remarkable about this little account. However, the matter that has prompted me to write about hospitals and independent midwives is the question of what to call a midwife who goes to hospital with a woman in her care.

I call that midwife a midwife.

Others call that midwife a 'support person', or a 'birth support person', or even 'only support'!


Because the independent midwife does not have visiting access/ clinical privileges/ credentialling in that hospital.

This is true - maternity hospitals around the country have dragged their feet on this matter. Despite government-supported indemnity insurance for private midwives providing intrapartum care in hospital, there is no likelihood for most midwives of hospital visiting access in the near future.

So the question is, does a midwife cease to be a midwife, just because the hospital refuses to recognise her professionally? Of course not! A midwife is 'with woman': not with a setting for birth. The midwife's registration is with the regulatory body, which is not under the management of the hospital. And, let's remember that if a midwife acted in a way that was considered unprofessional, she or he would expect to be reported to the regulatory authority as a midwife, not as a 'support person'.

The ICM definition of the Midwife declares that the midwife's Scope of Practice is:
The midwife is recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures. 

'Support' is listed in the definition as one of the elements of midwifery. I do not want to seem to devalue support. But the point I want to make is that support is a part of the midwife's scope of practice: not an alternative to midwifery practice, and definitely not an alternative to the title 'midwife'.

 Research: Caseload midwifery 
Midwifery academics from LaTrobe University in Melbourne have published results of the COSMOS trial, which has been undertaken at the Women’s Hospital with funding from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The paper, Effects of continuity of care by a primary midwife (caseload midwifery) on caesarean section rates in women of low obstetric risk: the COSMOS randomised controlled trial has been published in BJOG, a prestigious international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology, by Helen McLachlan, Della Forster, Mary-Ann Davey, and others.

The research demonstrated that, besides having fewer caesareans, women allocated to 'caseload' arm of the trial were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth, less likely to have epidural or episiotomy, and their babies were less likely to be taken to the special care nursery than those who received standard care. In the highly formal language of academia, the authors have boldly come to the conclusion that the midwives with caseloads "can make a difference by reducing the caesarean section rate."

Midwives and maternity services must be challenged to apply the evidence to practice. The usual practise of midwifery should be in a caseload model, enabling midwives to work autonomously in their scope of practice to promote, protect and support physiological processes in birth whenever possible ('Plan A'). Not as shiftworker nurses who work as assistants to obstetricians in hospitals. Only when midwives are willing to take action on evidence will we see improvements in birth outcomes: healthier mothers and babies.

Invitation to midwives to join APMA 
Membership is open to all current private midwives, midwives with previous experience in private midwifery who wish to remain informed, and midwifery students who wish to enter private practice after completion of their studies.!membership
Membership fees 
full membership $80
student or non-earning members $40.

Yahoo! Groups – members who would like to join one o0r both of our ‘groups’: ‘privatemidwives’, and ‘apma_medicare’, please contact

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Marg Phelan: Go Girl!

Marg Phelan is an amazing, inspirational midwife, who has just completed an epic bicycle ride around Australia.  Marg set out from her home in Darwin NT in May 2010, cycled 20,000 kilometers, and arrived back in Darwin last week.

Go Girl! website
Find Marg on Facebook
for more pix, and the whole story, go to
Congratulations Marg, and all you team. We admire your courage and tenacity, and we are inspired by your efforts to promote midwifery and raise funds for the ACM Scholarship Fund, "The Rodanthe Lipsette Trust" to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to become midwives.

From the committee and members of APMA.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Radical Midwifery in Holland

Rebekka Visser is a Dutch midwife who gave a presentation on 'Birth: a Human Rights issue?' at the Human Rights in Childbirth conference, convened a few weeks ago in The Hague.

Rebekka has posted the content of her presentation on Responsible Care (in English) at her blog.

It's worth a read! Rebekka explores why midwives seek to control birth.
Now should this mean that to my opinion all midwives must be willing to assist breech births at home? Or that all women must be willing to have their breech baby at home? 
Definitely not!
We need to open the dialogue about our own fears, work with it, finding solutions.

This conference brought together midwives, ethicists, lawyers, obstetricians, mothers, and others for two days, to consider and debate human rights in childbirth.  The event which drove the conference was the imprisonment of midwife Agnes Gereb, from Hungary, a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights.  Agnes was not present at the conference: she is under house arrest.

Australian midwifery is going through huge changes, and many midwives fear the escalation of authoritarian control over midwifery, and consequently, over women's rights in childbearing.

Regulation of midwifery can only be in the public interest when the system also promotes and protects the midwife's scope of practice professionally.  It's a balance that our society must continue to work towards.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Scholarships for prescribing course

Midwives can now apply for scholarships to undertake the Graduate certificate in Midwifery at Flinders University
Application is online at the RCNA website.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Private midwifery in the spotlight

Written by Joy Johnston, APMA Acting President

The release of the South Australia Coroner's report into the deaths of three babies in the care of a privately practising midwife has rightly led to a time of sombre reflection for the midwifery profession.

While APMA respects the statutory duties of the Coroner and other regulatory processes that exist in our society in the public interest, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate principles of basic midwifery practice that can be applied to this and other similar cases.

The APMA position statement on planned homebirth with a midwife, which appears in the right column of this site, provides guidance on the consensus in the Australian private midwifery sector:

APMA supports home birth with a midwife in attendance for women who have uncomplicated labours.   
There are debates as to whether a labour with twins or breech presentation or a mother who has had previous caesarean surgery are uncomplicated.  The spontaneous onset of labour is essential for physiological progress in birth, and is the entry point to planned homebirth. 

We support and adopt the International Confederation of Midwives’ (ICM) Definition of the Midwife (2011), which is foundational to all midwifery practice, including homebirth. 
Home is a setting in which a midwife is able to work.  Home is the place where normal labour usually becomes established.

We support the right of every woman to access a midwife as the primary maternity caregiver who works in partnership with the woman throughout the episode of care, who is able to be the responsible professional in attendance at the birth either at home or hospital, and who is able to make appropriate referral and transfer of care when required. 
The need for seamless access to specialist services is fundamental to all responsible maternity care.

We support the right of a midwife to practise privately in a fee-for-service or funded relationship with the client, or to take up employment. 

We support only those regulatory restrictions that are able to pass the ‘public interest’ test: “How does this promote health and wellbeing in the mother and baby?” 
Regulation of any profession should not be excessively restrictive.  There is no public interest in driving homebirth underground!  
We support an expectation of equity, including equal pay for equal work throughout a midwife’s scope of practice. Midwives who provide primary maternity care are entitled to the same public funding, the same opportunity to charge a fee-for-service, the same access to hospital referral, and publicly supported indemnity insurance, as medical practitioners providing the same maternity services. 
And we look forward to that day!

We support processes by which midwives are able to gain experience and mentoring in order to commence and demonstrate competence in homebirth practice. 

We support seamless and reliable processes by which midwives are able to make hospital bookings for women planning homebirth, and arrange transfer to the hospital in a timely way when needed.

Those who have read the Coroner's report, as well as commentary on the matter (a few listed below) will appreciate the complexity of the issues.  The Australian maternity community must listen to the voice of women who say they feel traumatised.  We must also advocate for the interests of the innocent child(ren) in each maternity situation.  Choice and freedom are only parts of the decision-making process.

Croakey (the Crikey health blog) by midwife Hannah Dahlen, 8 June, 2012
Australian College of Midwives Media Release 6 June, 2012
Homebirth Australia Media Release 7 June 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Newsletter June 2012

APMA is working to represent and advocate for private practice midwives at federal and state/territory levels, and provide support and encouragement for our members.

Private midwifery today 
Midwives have experienced enormous changes in the past few years, and no-where more so than for those who practise privately, with national regulation and the government’s reform package.

The National Maternity Services Plan, an outcome of the Maternity Services Review (2008), was endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference in November 2010. This Plan provided governments with a strategic national framework to guide policy and program development.

One focus of the reform package is private midwifery practice, extending options of primary maternity care for women who expect to be able to give birth in the care of a midwife – often referred to as 'low risk', or 'normal risk' women.

We are seeing trends in private midwifery, as more midwives access notation for Medicare eligibility. Midwives joining APMA today are less likely than in previous years to be working in the private homebirth scene.

Highlighting a few points of interest
  • Prescribing course: The Nursing and Midwifery Board (NMBA) has announced the approval the inaugural program of study which will lead to Endorsement for Scheduled Medicines for Eligible Midwives. This is a program of study will enable eligible midwives, once their study is completed, to obtain an endorsement to prescribe scheduled medicines. The accredited program is within a Graduate Certificate in Midwifery at Flinders University (South Australia).  See previous post.
  • Attempts by midwives to achieve admitting rights in hospitals have been met with little encouragement, and a great deal of discouragement. 
  • Midwives who have achieved Medicare eligibility and set up private practices, with the intention of attending women for birth in hospital, express great concern over the obstructions and restriction of trade that they face in practising their profession. Perhaps an unintended outcome of the reform process will be increased numbers of private homebirths and increased numbers of midwives upskilling to private homebirth practice! 
  • The College of Midwives (ACM) is setting up a private practice committee, to advise its governing Board on private practice matters. APMA expects to receive an invitation to nominate a representative for that committee. 
  • Private practice and homebirth have in the past often been referred to interchangeably. This is no longer the case, and APMA is clear that we represent private practice midwives. 
  • The need for regulation of midwives by midwives (ie a Midwives Board) is obvious.
Professional Indemnity Insurance 
APMA and other midwifery organisations (including ACM, Midwives Australia) have met with representatives of the Department of Health and Ageing, and insurance group MIGA.

APMA’s position is that we consider the current available options for professional indemnity (PII) to be inadequate for midwives, and therefore not in the public interest, with the potential that midwives will be prevented from lawfully practising midwifery because they are unable to obtain suitable insurance. This is unacceptable.

We have been told that the lack of PII cover for intrapartum care has already led to some midwives not renewing their registration and working as unregulated birth attendants.

Issues include the indemnity cover for
  • a midwife who is called at short notice to work as locum for another midwife 
  • the midwife who attends a homebirth as second midwife 
  • cost and sustainability, especially in setting up 
  • a midwife joining a group practice 
  • students and mentoring of midwives entering private practice 
APMA strongly recommends the introduction of a no-fault compensation scheme to replace or reduce the impact of mandatory PII requirement for midwives. The statutory regulation of midwives should be the point of entry into the midwifery profession, not the availability or affordability of indemnity insurance.

Invitation to midwives to join APMA 
Membership is open to all current private midwives, midwives with previous experience in private midwifery who wish to remain informed, and midwifery students that wish to enter private practice after completion of their studies.
If you wish to become a member, please email details of your private midwifery experience/aspirations. Membership fees Renewal of membership is now due:
• full membership $80
• student or non-earning members $40.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


click to enlarge
Since taking on the job of acting president of APMA, I have spoken with various organisations, including the Australian College of Midwives (ACM), Australian Nursing Federation (ANF), Midwives Australia (MA), Maternity Coalition (MC), Midwives in Private Practice (MiPP) and Homebirth Australia (HA) on behalf of APMA. 

Midwives have asked me why there are so many organisations?  And why would a midwife join multiple organisations?

That has led me to setting down the diagram above, illustrating the 'NETWORKS' that currently exist for Australian midwives.  At a first glance, you will see circles and lines that overlap, interconnect, and are often tangled.  A 2-dimensional drawing can only touch on the complexity of the interconnections and tangles that happen between and among groups that rely on membership from members of the profession for their funding, and on unpaid involvement of committed members in achieving their goals.

Each organisation is independent of the others, yet there are times when APMA, representing the interests of private midwives, will sit at the table with these and other groups representing the interests of midwives from an overall professional perspective, midwives and nurses who are employees within a unionised workforce, midwives and lay people who seek to improve maternity services, and highly committed activists promoting homebirth.

Within and between each part of the network are social networking options, including sites on facebook, blogs, Skype calls and email groups.  Today we have unprecedented access to each other.

Having worked in various roles in midwifery and maternity advocacy organisations for the past twenty years, I am convinced that we - those who have volunteered our time and skill, and paid our dues - have achieved a great deal.  We have, in many ways, helped to define our professional boundaries.  See ROADBLOCKS for examples.

The job is not completed.  In fact, I doubt that it will ever be completed; new issues will continually appear on the horizon, and will need people with vision and strength to work through whatever professional or legislative processes there are that present obstacles to what we believe is a reasonable standard of midwifery care, and in the interest of the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies in our care.

The current big issue is professional indemnity insurance (PII), which is mandatory for all health professionals, yet is not available for midwives attending women for homebirth.

Homebirth has for many years been the main practice setting for midwives practising privately.  Making something that is not available mandatory has the potential to wipe out private midwifery practice for homebirth; using the (profitable) insurance market as the de facto regulator of private homebirth midwifery. 

An exemption has been granted for midwives until June 2013.  We do not know what will happen when that exemption runs out.  Will the exemption be extended further? 

The situation is unacceptable.  If mandatory indemnity insurance is truly in the public interest, how can that tiny minority of women (<0.5%) who engage midwives privately for homebirth be excluded from what the rest of society is entitled to? 

The obvious question to ask is how does the public benefit from mandatory PII?

Without going into detail, many who have grappled with this question believe the mandatory PII requirement is not in the public interest, and should be replaced by a different scheme.  The model for such a scheme is already being worked on by our government, in a compensation scheme for people with disability.  We consider a no-fault insurance scheme, into which all regulated health professionals pay a proportion of their earnings, similar to that which exists in New Zealand, would provide better support for those who need it than does mandatory PII.  That means such a scheme would be in the public interest, and would provide more equity for midwives and the women who engage us privately for planned homebirth.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Midwives and Caseload Practice

PDU327: Midwives and Caseload Practice: Primary maternity care for birth in hospital and home

click to enlarge

Deakin University has announced a new learning package for midwives and students of midwifery, through the Professional Development Unit.  Learning packages are delivered via distance education over a 12-week period.  Each full learning package is equivalent to 0.5 credit points.

For information and an application form, please go to the PDU site or telephone (03) 9251 7776

Monday, May 7, 2012

Midwives and medicines

The Nursing and Midwifery Board (NMBA) has announced the approval the inaugural program of study which will lead to Endorsement for Scheduled Medicines for Eligible Midwives. This is a program of study will enable the existing 114 eligible midwives, once their study is completed, to obtain an endorsement to prescribe scheduled medicines, and, the Board claims, to practice to their full scope of midwifery practice.

The accredited program is within a Graduate Certificate in Midwifery at Flinders University (South Australia), and is comprised of 2 topics:
MIDW9009 Pharmacology for Midwives and
MIDW9010 Investigations and Diagnostics for Midwives.
They are both 9 unit topics and they are offered externally. The topics can be studied together in one semester of full time study or one topic a semester as part time.

Application for the course through SATAC and it will commence in semester 2 this year. The SATAC Code is 2GC087 Graduate Certificate in Midwifery and applications for a second semester commencement close on 25 June.

Midwives who have achieved notation on the Register as eligible for Medicare were required to make an undertaking to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (“the Board”):-
• That I will undertake, and successfully complete, within 18 months* of recognition as an eligible midwife:-
(i) an accredited and approved program of study determined by the Board to develop midwives’ knowledge and skills in prescribing; or
(ii) a program that is substantially equivalent to such an approved program of study, as determined by the Board.
I understand that until I meet the above requirement I will not be able to seek endorsement for scheduled medicines and will therefore not be prescribing medicines. I also understand that if I am not able to provide the Board with the necessary evidence of successful completion of the required program within 18 months, the notation as an eligible midwife may be revoked. I understand that a failure to comply with the above undertaking may constitute behaviour for which conduct proceedings may be taken under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia). 

* Note that this deadline has been recently extended by 12 months, as recently reported in this blog.

Midwives who have completed courses that have been recognised as substantially equivalent are not yet able to prescribe scheduled medicines.  The Victorian law (Drugs and Poisons) is yet to be amended to enable midwife prescription.

Midwives who are practising in primary maternity care, with or without participation in Medicare, have only minimal reliance on scheduled drugs.  We do not carry dangerous drugs, such as Pethidine, which is often used in hospital for obstetric analgesia.  Some midwives arrange with the woman's GP a prescription for prophylactic antibiotics for women who test positive to Group B Streptococcus. The scheduled drug that is considered essential for midwives attending births in the community is Syntocinon, a synthetic oxytocic, to be used postnatally to prevent or treat post partum haemorrhage.  Women obtain this drug, and sometimes a stronger oxytocic, Syntometrine, on a doctor's prescription, and their midwife takes responsibility for its administration. 


Monday, April 30, 2012

Newsletter May 2012

Keeping members and supporters informed and encouraged! 

Midwifery today, more than ever before, relies on midwives who have the ability to think independently, with the courage to act in the interests of mothers and babies in our care. In this brief newsletter I would like to encourage each midwife to remember why we are midwives, and why we have chosen to work with woman in a private midwifery practice arrangement that is planned around the expectations and needs of each woman through her childbearing journey.

Dear midwife, do you remember ‘once a Caesar, always a Caesar’? Do you remember being taught that cutting an episiotomy would protect the integrity of the woman’s pelvic floor? ... when most babies were ‘sucked out on the perineum’ as soon as their little mouths could be poked and prodded with the suction catheter? ... when babies were wisked away from their mothers and later presented as a little face in a bundle of white toweling?

And, do you remember the first time you witnessed a woman give birth unassisted, unmedicated, and with an ecstatic and triumphant cry? Treasure that memory!

APMA continues to represent and support midwives who practise privately. The boundaries of midwifery practice will continue to be challenged, and midwives will need to be strong and encourage one another in our knowledge of midwifery and of our significant role in our communities.  Midwives who practise privately in Australia are invited to submit a membership application at our website!membership

On Leave 
APMA President, Marie Heath, is taking leave from the committee from May to July. The committee has asked Joy Johnston from Melbourne to take the Acting President role. Other members of the committee are: Treasurer, Pete Malavisi (WA), Minutes Secretary, Milly Grigg Smith (SA), Public Officer, Sonja McGregor (NSW), and members Abbey Rodda and Clare Lane. Meetings are usually by Skype, and other APMA members are welcome to join in.

Homebirth and AHPRA 
Representatives of APMA and Midwives Australia have met with AHPRA to discuss various issues, including the fact that the Homebirth Position Statement (July 2011), listed at the AHPRA website, is not acceptable to the midwifery profession. This document was prepared without consultation with private practice midwives or consumers, for whom it has serious implications. It has been reported that the July 2011 position statement document meets the stated need of the Health Ministers! (One might ask which Health Minister is planning homebirth!)   AHPRA confirmed that the NMBA is using the July 2011 home birth position statement, and not the revised ACM Position Statement on Homebirth Services (November 2011) which currently appears at the ACM website.

Statement of Purpose
The committee has adopted this Statement of Purpose:
The Purpose of APMA is to represent and support midwives who practise privately in any setting
In functioning as the national body representing midwives who are in private practice, APMA seeks:
• To respond to issues related to private practice midwives
• To present the needs of private practice midwives to the regulatory authority – eg to ensure that midwives’ peers are used as experts in investigations and hearings
• To lobby in the political sphere, in response to current issues
• To support and care for members in a non-judgemental way, with flexibility to respond to different people and situations
• To share information with members and the wider community 

In brief
• Medicare-eligible midwives with a notation effective from 1 November 2010 to 30 December 2011, will soon receive a letter from the National Board with a new formal undertaking that provides an extension of a further 12 months to complete a Board-approved program of study preparing a midwife to prescribe scheduled medicines in midwifery practice.
• Midwives will be informed by APMA/Midwives Australia when the NMBA-approved course is available.


Joy Johnston, Acting President
Mobile – 04111 90448
Email –

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Midwifery 2012


Midwives Australia wants to support YOU with an interactive workshop for midwives wanting to keep in touch with the trends for 2012 and beyond. Friday May 18th & Saturday May 19th Two Workshop days being held in association with the Pregnancy Babies & Children’s Expo at the Sydney Showgrounds, Olympic Park.

10 CPD points for two days attendance
Day 1 (9.30am – 3pm) Perspective - National registration and changes to midwifery regulation - Continuing Professional Development - What women want? - Moving to continuity of care models Practice - Supporting women in labour and active birth
Day 2 (9.30am – 4pm) Practice - Perinatal mental health – a skills update - Morning tea - Mentoring midwives Possibilities - Review of private practice across Australia - Medicare and eligibility - Career opportunities in midwifery
The amazing Australian documentary Face of Birth will be screened during the workshop. What is face of birth?
Scientific evidence shows that how we are born has a huge impact on our health and happiness - as babies, children and, for some of us - for the rest of our lives. Home birth mothers believe that they are making the best and safest choice for themselves and their babies. Mainstream medicine in Australia, unlike the UK, thinks otherwise. This is a film about families that choose to give birth at home, the midwives and health professionals who support them and a system that works against them. Midwives will receive complimentary tickets to the Expo plus a GAIA Natural Skincare ‘goodie bag’ as a part of the workshop and will have a guided tour during the lunch break.
COST $150 for the two days (daily rate available $80).
To register online go to: alternatively please email
(Please note tea and coffee only provided. Lunch is not catered but available on the Expo site).