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 –

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