Friday, December 10, 2010

Early Bird Registration for PAssage to Motherhood Conference

Only 3 weeks until the first early bird fee deadline for The Passage to Motherhood Conference, Michel Odent & Sara Wickham and Christina Smillie workshops around Australia and NZ, Maggie Banks and Complementary Therapies workshops in Brisbane.

Huge savings..and extra discounts for consumers, ABA/LLLNZ ...volunteers and student midwives not working as health professionals

Early bird registration deadline is 31st December

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Consumer Representation and Political Advocacy Training Day

ON September 18, 2010, MC Qld held its first ever training day for Consumers. The dynamic day focused on Consumer Representation and Political Advocacy skills. It was great to see people connecting in such an inspiring and educational way.

Here’s what participants had to say about the day:

"I think holding a training day like this at least every second month would be fantastic for myself as a consumer rep"

"Thank you for providing this opportunity to learn more about providing care to families as a consumer representative"

"I really enjoyed the day. It was so great to spend a day with such wonderful women discussing such an important subject. I felt the day was really positive and I now feel really empowered to be able to be a consumer rep on committees etc"

A humourous role play set the scene and the group teased out what it means to be a consumer rep, discussing the skills needed to do the job. It was great to meet new people and hear their enthusiasm for consumers to be fully informed and empowered in their decision making.

Many thanks to Hazel Brittain, Director of Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies, who spoke about accessing and interpreting evidence. These are important skills for consumers to know and it was great to have Hazel’s support and expertise.

Many thanks also to Di Farmer, State Member for Bulimba, who explained how to effectively lobby your member of parliament. Di’s practical advice gave us a plethora of strategies to use in developing and sustaining campaigns for birth reform. So thanks again Di for your time and knowledge.

A big thanks to Mel Hilditch and the Kyabra Community Association Inc for providing an excellent venue, Rebecca Jenkinson for her excellent facilitation, Bruce Teakle for his dramatist skills and of course to all the participants for making the day a huge success.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Transitions Postnatal Support Group

Jane Campbell-Kaye and Suzanne Lister are running another of their Transitions Groups.

This is a Postnatal Support Group starting soon (Thursday 28 October) at the Quaker House,10 Hampson Street, Kelvin Grove.

Their new space is beautiful - the room looks out on a huge rainforest block. They take advantage of the bushwalk quite a few times for inspiration and the space seems to foster deep sharing in the group as well as time out to connect with nature.

The group allows for up to 10 mothers and their babies (preferably pre crawling).

There has been such positive feedback from women who have attended – who have relished the sense of community, connection, support and depth.

Here’s what women have said about Transitions:

"Being a part of this group gave me the opportunity to talk about some very real issues that I otherwise wouldn't have been comfortable sharing in another mothers group. E.g. relationship issues, body changes, sex, motherhood! The guidance and facilitation that Jane and Suzanne provided allowed us to talk about these issues in a way that felt safe."

"I really looked forward to coming to Transitions each week - it was a gentle and fun way to explore what it means to be a „mum‟ and all the changes to my life and relationships this new identity brings. I loved the chance to meet like-minded women and felt very supported by Jane and Suzanne. It was great „me time‟ and „me and baby time‟. Thanks so much."

"Having a safe and warm environment to come to each week helped to open up my heart post-baby. The trust and connectedness facilitated by two wonderful, experienced women created a bond strong enough for all members of the group to continue meeting past the workshop's completion. We are still meeting four months later."

"There is so much that I gained from this group that is hard to put into words. It was nurturing, supportive, honest/real, encouraging, helpful, humourous, and yummy (i.e. delicious morning teas!)."

See their website for more details

Or contact:
Jane Campbell-Kaye
3379 1896

Suzanne Lister
0435 523 813

Ecstatic birth and beyond - invitation to seminars on Oct 29

Sarah Buckley is holding two half-day seminars in Brisbane on Friday Oct 29 with Birth International.

In the morning she will look at the hormones of labor and birth and the superb design of the female body for birthing safety, ease and ecstasy. Explore how this system is affected by various interventions and along the way, look at how birth has evolved and how our mammalian cousins, including cats dolphins, elephants and orang-utans give birth.

In the afternoon explore the hour after birth, and how this time is crucial to long-term heath and wellbeing for mother and baby. Topics cover the hormones involved, and the impact of interventions, including active management of third stage and separating mother and baby.

You can book for half- or get the full dose of birth ecstasy with the whole day.

These seminars were great in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra with midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, and various other birthies, (BTW you will also learn why birth is so addictive).

Book here:
Physiology of birth
Hour after birth

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Training day on consumer representation and advocacy/lobbying skills

Anyone interested in getting more involved in birth reform but not sure what they can do?
Already active but wanting to feel more ‘polished’ ? Then this is a day for you.

Come along on Saturday 18 September 2010 from around 9.30 to 4.30 (times to be finalised)

WHERE: Brisbane venue
COST: None except to get to Brisbane
WHY? Passionate about birth? Want more women/families to experience pregnancy, birth and post-natal care that is supportive, empowering and which gives women choice, continuity of carer and control?

This is a great chance for new members, and older experienced members to all get together and share info, knowledge and wisdom. To find out more, contact Jo Smethurst - (07) 3256 8127 / 0424 493 201

Footprints On Our Hearts: Caring For Grieving Families

This conference will provide midwives and clinicians with the theory, knowledge and skills in supporting families when a baby dies.

Date: Saturday 30 October 2010
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Venue: Conference room, level 1, Mater Medical Centre, 293 Vulture Street, South Brisbane
Parking: available

Morning and afternoon tea and lunch provided.
Trade displays will be on show during the day.

Midwives, nurses and other health professionals
Please note: RCNA CPE points to be advised.

Dr Judith Murray, Lecturer, The University of Queensland—Keynote address
Mr Alan Richardson, Clinical psychologist/lecturer—Grieving Men and the Couple’s Journey
Ms Liz Crowe, Social Worker—Children’s Grief
Dr Lucy Cooke, Neonatologist—Perinatal Mortality in Queensland
Ms Trish Wilson, Midwife/Counsellor—The Grief of the Carers

• Keynote address
• Guest speakers
• Workshops—you will be able to attend three out of four workshops.

––Precious memories: mementoes and photographs to support memory creation
––But why did the baby die? Trying to find answers to difficult questions. Clinical investigations and perinatal death.
––Death, dying and bereavement support for different cultures
––Dealing with difficult situations: traumatic grief, end of life care and what to say to grieving parents.

Please contact Sally De La Cruz on 07 3163 5146 or for registration details.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Birth activists rally at the Press Club to meet PM

About 35 women rallied at the National Press Club last Thursday in the hope of talking to Julia Gillard, PM about the midwifery reforms. Unfortunately all the big players (incl PM) went in the back door so they didn’t’ get to see Julia at all.

Here’s what Georgia from Canberra said:

“Lots of media. However we were not allowed to stand on the side of the National Press Club we had to stand across the road and they wouldn't let one of us stand there to hand out media release. Also 3 Aust Federal Policemen were there as well standing out the front making sure no one crossed the road. However the media did come over to us so we handed them media release and info about why we were there. Also at the end when it had finished Channel Ten someone Remington came over and he was talking and had his camera and we gave him a media release.There was a group for climate change and something about insulation as well. But the media came over to us it must have been the purple shirts and our loud voices. I did a quick head count and I counted about 35 women so it was a good turn out. The rain held off and it didn't start till 2pm as we were leaving. So I am on a high."

New MC National Blog

There is a new blog from MC national – featuring Federal issues The first post was about the medical veto. Check it out and ‘follow’ it. :

Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies August 2010 Newsletter

Choosing Where to Birth: What You Want To Know
The Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies is developing an online database called Birthplace to provide information to women about all birthing facilities in Queensland. We wanted to know what information would be most useful, both to help women make decisions about where to have a baby and help women know what to expect from their planned place of birth. To find out what information to include, we ran the My Birthplace Study and asked women to tell us what they would like to know. Here is what they said: Top 10 most important questions to ask a birthing facility when deciding where to birth:
1. Can my support people (e.g. partner, companion) be in the birth room when I’m having my baby?
2. Can I choose what position I want to be in during my labour and birth here (e.g. squatting, sitting, moving around)?
3. Does this facility have an intensive care unit for babies (i.e. a ‘NICU’)?
4. Can my partner stay overnight (and is there a cost for this)?
5. Would other women recommend this facility to their friends?
6. How many women have skin-to-skin contact with their baby straight after birth?
7. Will my support people (e.g. partner, companion) be made to feel welcome?
8. What methods of pain relief can I have?
9. Can I have a vaginal birth at this facility if I have had a caesarean section ('C-section') before? 10. Can I ask to have an epidural for pain management?

As you might expect, we also noticed some differences in what was important to women based on where they lived. For example, women from rural and remote areas of Queensland said they also wanted to know how far a birthing facility was from their home and whether there were places near the facility that their family and friends could stay.

Thank you to all the women who took part in this study – your opinions are extremely valuable to us and will help us to make Birthplace the most useful it can be to women and their families in Queensland. Birthplace will be launched in December 2010

For more information about Birthplace or the My Birthplace Study (or to tell us whether you agree or disagree with what women have told us!) please contact Aleena at

Survey Update The “Having a Baby in Queensland: Your Story” survey for 2010 is well and truly underway. The survey asks women about their experience of maternity care in Queensland so that we can find out what is working well in maternity care in Queensland, and what needs to be improved. At the beginning of July, women who had a baby in February were invited to take part in the survey. We’ve had a fantastic response, with over 1000 women completing the survey so far. If you had a baby in March, you should receive your invitation in the mail shortly, if you have not already received it. When you do get it, you can either fill in the question booklet and send it back to us, call us on 1800 704 539 to organise a time to do the survey over the phone or complete the survey online at

Women who had a baby in April and May, your turn is coming! You can expect your invitations in the mail at the start of September and October. If you would like to complete the survey, but you didn’t have a baby between February and May this year, the survey is not open to you yet, but will be shortly. Fill in your details at and we’ll let you know when the survey is ready for you to complete.

A big thank you to everyone who has already completed the survey, and to everyone else, we look forward to hearing your story.

Presentation at the 12th International Conference for Language and Social Psychology (ICLASP12)
The 12th International Conference for Language and Social Psychology (ICLASP) was held at Griffith University, Southbank campus in Brisbane in June, 2010. The conference, held every two years, brings together those interested in communication from a language and social point of view, exploring the many facets that can contribute to how we communicate with each other. The centre took the opportunity to present its work to the international audience present at ICLASP12. With two of our chief investigators, Cindy Gallois and Bernadette Watson, leading the Centre’s presentation, all presenters enjoyed showcasing the work of the Centre to an audience not directly involved in maternity care, bringing about new ideas to help advance our work.

Those who presented at the conference were: Michelle Heatley - Results of a survey on maternity care providers’ attitudes towards birth and collaboration
Yvette Miller - Listening for change: Results from the Having a Baby in Queensland pilot survey Rachel Thompson - The Having a Baby in Queensland book: Developing a resource to promote informed choice in maternity care
Aleena Wojcieszek - The Having a Baby in Queensland website: Techniques for effective online communication of pregnancy, birth, and postnatal health information.

If you would like any more information, please feel free to contact us:

Centre welcomes new appointments
The QCMB recently welcomed the appointment of experienced midwife Hazel Brittain, current President of the Qld Branch of the Australian College of Midwives, to lead the Centre as acting director until the end of the year. An adjunct Associate Professor with Griffith University, Ms Brittain is taking a six month secondment from Logan Hospital where she is the current Nursing and Midwifery Director of Women and Children’s Services. Ms Brittain said she believed in informed choice for women and their families in maternity care, increasing access to continuity of care and carer models for maternity care, and improving collaboration between maternity carers. Ms Brittain will lead the centre until January 2011 when Professor Debra Creedy, the Head of Nursing at the National University of Singapore, will take on the role of Director.

Professor Creedy has a background as a registered nurse and clinical psychologist and is a past President of ANZAME, The Association for Health Professional Education. She has co-authored a textbook on health psychology, as well as more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. Her clinical research involves randomised controlled trials on effectiveness of counselling interventions to assist distressed postpartum women; models of best practice (e.g. promoting breastfeeding) and implementation of evidence into practice. Professor Creedy has also conducted nursing education research on PBL, use of web-based technologies and leadership development.

The Centre’s Indigenous Program update
Indigenous Program leader Patrice Harald met with Indigenous mums and community groups in and around Brisbane in March and April, with the aim of finding ways to improve maternity care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mums. The talks centred on ‘what is informed choice’ and what do Indigenous parents mothers and fathers know about the services provided by hospitals and hospital staff. Patrice has also been busy promoting and distributing the ‘Birthplace’ survey and the ‘Having A Baby In Queensland’ survey to community and government agencies to gather birthing stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and to improve participation in the two surveys.

Special QCMB Projects:The Having a Baby in Queensland book – supporting you to make informed decisions about your maternity care.
The team at the Centre have started working on a book for pregnant women, which will be distributed through GPs. The first edition of the book will be a pilot to gauge if giving women the book has any impact on their pregnancy and birth. A thousand women will be given the book and will be asked a series of questions after their baby is born, while another 1000 women who have not been given the book will also be asked the same series of questions about their labour and birth. Designed to be provided to women in the early days of their pregnancy, the book closely follows the decision points contained in the new state-wide pregnancy health record. The book will briefly describe the options and provide women with the available evidence about the options in order to better enable women to make an informed decision, and to encourage women to discuss their preferences with their care providers.
The decision points that will be covered in the book include: model of care, scans and antenatal tests, mode of birth, induction of labour, vaginal examination, fetal monitoring, pain management, episiotomy, and the third stage of labour. Unlike most pregnancy books which contain the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy and birth, the Having a Baby in Queensland book will fill an information void which currently exists in maternity care. The book is designed to encourage active participation and equal collaboration between women and their care providers. It is anticipated the book will be ready to be handed out to women in December this year and we would really appreciate your help in getting this right. Consumers and clinicians if you would like to help review and comment on the information being produced please contact Hazel Brittain by email

Working together in maternity care: the Maternity Collaboration Project
All maternity carers want what is best for their client. However sometimes differences arise between carers, such as midwives and doctors, as to what this means and how it can work well in practice. The goals of the Maternity Collaboration Project is to look at ways to improve how maternity carers work together between themselves and with the women they provide care for. Working together is also commonly referred to as “collaboration” in maternity care. At the moment, we are currently meeting with carers who already have a collaborative approach to care to find out what has and hasn’t worked for them. We also hope to work closely with our Collaborative members (a group of carers, managers, and consumers who act as a reference group for the Centre’s work) to generate an approach to care that will provide best care for Queensland women. For more information about the project, please contact Michelle Heatley

Expressions of Interest: Chair and Members of the Statewide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maternity and Neonatal Care Group.

The Statewide Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Network is seeking expressions of interest from clinicians and consumers wishing to be involved in the Statewide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maternity and Neonatal Care Group.

SMNCN members have identified the need for a Statewide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maternity and Neonatal Care Group to:
Establish expert Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation on all Queensland Health (QH) maternity and neonatal working groups.
Increase clinician and consumer knowledge of resources that are appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternity and neonatal care.
When requested, provide assistance to engage clinician and consumer support for QH projects to progress the National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes (2009, Council of Australian Governments).

It is planned that the Group will meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month, from
1330 -1500 hrs. Videoconferencing and teleconferencing facilities will be available for all meetings.
The first meeting is scheduled for:
Date: Wednesday 27 October 2010
Time: 1330 -1500 hrs
Venue: Conference Room 1, Level 14, Block 7, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston.

If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact Naida Lumsden, Principal Project Officer, Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Service (Ph. 07 3636 9789 or email ).

Please forward your expression of interest, including whether you are applying for the position of Chair and/or Member, full name, current position and employing facility/district, by email to by COB Thursday 16 September 2010.

Transition to Fatherhood ~ Men's challenges and opportunities as fathers

A free informative & experiential Gestalt community group for men becoming fathers on Tuesday 31 August

"What's your experience since the conception/birth of your child?"

Gestalt Therapy supports personal growth by building self-awareness.
Gestalt Therapy is a relational approach and explores new options for living a fulfilled life.
Please let all the men you know who are soon to become fathers, or have recently become fathers, or thinking of becoming fathers about this about a one-off evening for men.
This is a mens’ group, run by a man, Michael Menzel, who is currently finishing his Masters in Gestalt Therapy, and has recently become a father himself. There is no cost to this evening, as it is part of his final preparation for his Masters.
Date/Time: Tuesday 31 August from 7pm to 9.30pm

Place: Quaker Meeting House, 10 Hampson St., Kelvin Grove

Cost: Free
Contact for bookings: Michael Menzel
m/p 0410 829 090

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Misogynistic? You decide

This UK The Guardian story 'Midwives attack hysteria over home births' is gobsmacking.

The article speaks of the intense medical lobbying and strategically released journal articles which are downplaying the benefits of home births

the respected medical journal the Lancet to wrote, in a recent editorial,
“women have the right to choose how and where to give birth, but they do not have the right to put their baby at risk".
Perhaps this is how ‘collaboration’ will work here in Australia – women will have the right to choose where and how they birth – as long as it’s what the doctors want!

And this:
Disputes involving obstetricians, now account for almost two thirds of the £800m NHS medical litigation bill. "That means 15% of maternity budget going to lawyers and clients".

Birth Reform YouTube video

During every election campaign all the major parties monitor social media sites like YouTube to gauge what voters are interested in.
To that end a video has been made about birth reform, and the current challenges we’re facing. Please check it out and share it far and wide with colleagues and friends via email, Facebook, Twitter etc.
It would be great to get 50,000 hits by tomorrow!
Follow this link to view it and have your opinion noticed.

Mackay women talk to PM

A group of midwives and mothers confronted Julia Gillard in Mackay about Medicare for Midwives ~
"the visit to Bucyrus - one of the world's largest providers of mining equipment - wasn't without its moments, with Ms Gillard forced into an awkward meeting with a group of women protesting against changes to midwifery regulations, after being steered in their direction by Labor candidate for the marginal seat of Dawson Mike Brunker.
The women, who had managed to infiltrate the event despite being without any of the safety gear worn by media and Ms Gillard's team, want greater access to Medicare and prescribing rights, which they say have been limited by changes to midwifery regulations.
While Ms Gillard handled the situation well, telling the women she understood the issue, it was nonetheless an embarrassing moment for the prime minister"

Read the full story published in the Sydney Morning Herald here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

MC Qld's contacts updated

The contacts for MC's Qld Branch have recently been updated here on Maternity Coalition's website.

While you are there:
- Find out about MC Qld
- Look at our amazing list of consumer representatives
- Find out how to get involved (*Branch Support,* Community Awareness,* Consumer Representatives, * Lobbying, * Meetings, * Stay Informed)

Midwives’ Gathering - Sat 14th Aug

See flyer below:

The Passage to Motherhood Conference: Call for Abstracts (due 31st Aug), Sponsorship and Exhibition information

Capers Bookstore have recently put a call out for Abstracts to their Passage to Motherhood Conference to be held at the Bardon Centre in Brisbane, 4-7 May 2011. Confirmed international speakers include Christina Smillie, Michel Odent, Sara Wickham and Maggie Banks.

The Passage to Motherhood Conference

A conference for midwives, paediatricians, obstetricians, maternal and child health nurses, lactation consultants, university academics and educators, childbirth educators, physiotherapists, psychologists, sociologists, general practitioners, breastfeeding counsellors, consumers and therapists.

Conference themes
• Preparing for birth and parenting
• Midwifery care
• Early breastfeeding and postnatal support

Abstracts could relate to challenges in midwifery, traditional midwifery practice, socio-cultural influences, ethics, partnerships, men and birth, mental health, politics, consumer voices, rural midwifery, place of birth, complementary therapies and pain relief.

Our program committee will consider any topics related to pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and the early postnatal period. We welcome both research articles and reflections on practice.

In submitting an abstract, please indicate whether this is a poster, plenary paper or concurrent session or workshop, and whether you will participate with your poster if your abstract is not selected for oral presentation.

Conference plenary sessions will be 15 minutes (+5 minutes for questions), and concurrent sessions will be up to 45 or 90 minutes.

Click here for more information including PDF files for:
* The Call for abstracts - the deadline for submissions is 31 August 2010.
* Exhibition and sponsorship opportunities package

Monday, August 2, 2010

UK Lancet homebirth editorial and RCM reply

Homebirth - proceed with caution
The Lancet, Sat 31 July 2010
Editorial in UK medical journal The Lancet - Home birth: women are advised to proceed with caution when deciding to give birth outside hospital setting.

The Royal College of Midwives UK released this response:
RCM release: Midwives comment on the Lancet editorial on home birth
Commenting on the Lancet’s editorial “Home birth – proceed with caution,” published today (July 30), Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives said: “We are deeply disappointed and dismayed that Lancet has published an editorial indicating that women would choose to harm their baby in favour of their own needs by choosing a home birth. The editorial also cites research that is incomplete and methodologically flawed. There is no evidence to suggest that hospital births are safer than homebirths. A hospital birth cannot be thought of as being intrinsically safe and the increasing medicalisation of childbirth cannot or be used as a reason to deter women from choosing midwifery-led care options, such as home birth.”

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mothers & midwives share their concerns about the "collaboration" regs with Nicola Roxon in Brisbane

Last Friday, mothers and midwives met with Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon on the campaign trail at the Wynnum Hospital. They thanked her for Medicare for Midwives and then talked about how they felt the collaboration regulations the Government have introduced will derail the $120m maternity reforms.

This form of ‘collaboration’ sees women needing to have a doctor’s permission before she can claim Medicare rebates for her private midwifery care. Women also run the very real risk of losing their midwifery care at a moment’s notice with no right of recourse or appeal if the doctor decides to withdraw from the ‘collaboration agreement.

See pictures below...

Age newspaper article: Midwives attack new 'veto'

Click below for the article in today's Age:

Age newspaper article: Midwives attack new 'veto'
JULIA MEDEW, Sat July 31, 2010

In response, Liz Wilkes wrote the following letter to the editor:

As a midwife in private practice I provide care to women both at home and in hospital. I have great relationships with doctors where I live yet none will enter a signed agreement with me. Midwives in private practice will have to have a collaborative arrangement in place for ALL women, not just those birthing at home. Midwives always work collaboratively with doctors – we need to and our licence to practice requires us to. What this determination does is limit women’s ability to get a Medicare rebate for care from a private midwife to those who have a signed agreement with a doctor or have the doctor acknowledge all aspects of care. Doctors have no incentive to work this way, have a financial disincentive to participate and often have a philosophical difference in the way they provide care. I am distressed that after 6 years of study and 15 years of practice I am now reduced to having a doctor agree to the care I provide before my women are funded for their care.

Liz Wilkes

Private Practice Midwife

Toowoomba QLD

Letters to the editor can be emailed to:

Friday, July 30, 2010

ACM Educational Meeting Wed 25 Aug - safe sleeping, midwives & doulas, breech birth

See flyer below for seminar and rsvp details for ACM Qld's upcoming educational seminar on Wed 25 August, 1700hr-2000hr at RBWH.

* Professor (Adj) Jeanine Young - Safe Infant Sleeping: On-line training keeping us on-track in reducing infant mortality

* Associate Professor Fiona Bogossian - Midwives and Doulas Working Together

* Associate Professor Joan Webster - Evidence For Practice

* Professor Ian Jones with midwives, Ann Clarke & Marion Lengronne - Breech Birth: Facilitating Informed Choice

Upcoming Birth International workshops

Click here and below for upcoming workshops by Birth International, including:

Rising to the challenge: Caesareans
Brisbane - Wed 13 October

Rising to the challenge: OP labours/VBAC
Brisbane - Thurs 14 October

Sarah Buckley presenting:

The Hormonal physiology of normal birth
Brisbane - Fri 29 October

The hour after birth
Brisbane - Fri 29 October

Sherokee Ilse presenting:

Empty Arms - Making a difference when a baby dies
Brisbane - Tues 5 October

"Collaboration" media

Online article quoting Maternity Coalition on 'Secret' medical veto angers midwives
Wed 28 July 2010
Read comments here.

AMA's press release on Medical News Today website: Collaborative Arrangements Will Provide Better Care For Patients
Fri 30 July 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ch 9 news story: Concern over rise in cesarean numbers in Qld

Video - Ch 9 news story: Concern over rise in cesarean numbers
Thurs 29 July 2010

Two minute news story about the rising caesarean rate in Qld. Featuring FBC patron and radio announcer Robyn Bailey, Dr Gino Pecoraro and and midwife in private practice Andrea Codega.

News article: MIPP "bails up" Gillard in Melbourne

Another example of the ongoing campaign by mothers and midwives to bring attention to the "collaboration" issue during this election campaign...

Deakin battle brings PM Julia Gillard to Ringwood
Maroondah Leader, Thurs 29 July, 2010

The surprise visit went off without incident, apart from an independent midwife who bailed up Ms Gillard as she headed for the exit.

“At the moment the government are completely squashing us to be able to support women in homebirths, they’re trying to eradicate independent midwives,” Melinda Morieson, of Midwives Naturally, explained to media afterwards.

Ms Morieson said she was not happy with Ms Gillard’s response, who said that “giving the women the choice, it is really important” and asked her to contact Mr Symon.

Courier Mail article: Fears persist over midwife-led Gold Coast birth centre

Courier Mail article: Fears persist over midwife-led Gold Coast birth centre
Janelle Miles, Wed 28 July, 2010

Comments below the article include some from Bruce Teakle and Mary Sidebotham.

Message from Birthtalk

Been impacted by your birth and not been to Birthtalk yet? Want to help pave the way for better understanding about traumatic birth? A registered midwife is undertaking research in Brisbane, as part of her Masters of Midwifery study, to raise awareness of the potential for childbirth to cause emotional trauma or stress to women. She hopes her research will inform practice for health care professionals working with women in order to prevent or reduce the incidence & impact for women and their families. To participate, you need to live handy to Brisbane, have NOT been to Birthtalk, and be willing to undertake a 1 hr interview, and also to attend a Birthtalk meeting post-interview. To find out more, just email us at
(Click here to go to our contact details & email link).

The Art of Mindful Birthing workshop, Sun 22nd Aug, Bris

See below for a message and flyer from Georgina Kelly:
Hello Lovely Women

I’m running a one day workshop of The Art of Mindful Birthing in August – flier attached. This will be slightly different from the usual 4 wk series that I run. The venue is new too, so I’m enjoying the sense of freshness.

I’d love your support in passing this flier on to any women who may be interested – pregnant women, women hoping to be pregnant, women who are processing past births, women who work with pregnant women etcetera!

Thank you!

Love Georgina

ps: sliding scale is possible for women with limited finances

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mothers protest midwifery regulations outside Gillard/Roxon launch in Brisbane today - photos, ABC news video, press release and MC letter to Roxon

Today PM Julia Gillard & Health Minister Nicola Roxon held a mental health funding announcement at the Convention Centre at Southbank, Brisbane. A number of mothers protested outside about our concern with the new midwifery regulations (as described in our previous post).

A HUGE THANK YOU TO everyone who was able to attend at such short notice and to everyone who said they wanted to come but couldn't make it.

See below for photos, a link to ABC News coverage, the press release MC Qld distributed to media afterwards and a link to the letter from Maternity Coalition to Minister Roxon outlining our concerns.

Link to video footage of ABC News story.

MC Qld's Press Release:
Brisbane Mums snubbed by Gillard & Roxon today

At 10.30am this morning a vocal group of Brisbane mothers gathered outside Prime Minister Gillard’s mental health launch at the Brisbane Convention Centre, to protest about doctors' control of midwifery practice and reduction of women's choices as a result of new Federal Government regulations.

“We welcome Julia Gillard’s announcement about increased funding for mental health. Suicide is the leading non-direct cause of death for new mothers. We know that good quality maternity care, including from a known midwife, is likely to be protective against post-natal depression”, said Melissa Fox, West End mother of two and Vice President of consumer group Maternity Coalition’s Queensland Branch.

“Last night a letter of concern was sent from maternity consumer advocacy group Maternity Coalition to Health Minister Roxon. This morning we mothers were very disappointed that neither politician met with us to hear our concerns”.

“The Government has committed $120m to Medicare for midwives. We call on the Government to remove the legislative barrier to enable the reforms to work. No action on the part of the Government would result in no improved access for women to midwifery models care ”.

Click here for the letter sent by Maternity Coalition's National President Lisa Metcalfe to Health Minister Nicola Roxon and cc'ed to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, setting out our concerns with the regulations.

Gold Coast Birth Centre article by journalist Dad

Click below for a very personal two page article in the Gold Coast Bulletin about the recent Gold Coast Birth Centre protest, by journalist and Dad Dwayne Grant.

Maternal instincts
by Dwayne Grant, Gold Coast Bulletin, Sat 24th July, 2010.

I may be at the Friends of the Birth Centre meeting as a journalist but my status as a birth centre dad carries more weight.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Doco series on UK maternity services starting tonight 8.30pm, SBS

One Born Every Minute
For official website click here.

8.30pm, Tues 27 July (for 8 weeks)
Every minute of every day, a baby is born in Britain. One Born Every Minute is an 8-part series that celebrates what it is really feels like to become a parent, by taking a bustling maternity hospital and filling it with forty cameras. Filming from the reception desk to the neo-natal ward; from the operating theatre to the birthing pool, this ground-breaking new series observes the dramatic, emotional and often funny moments that go hand in hand with bringing a new life into the world, from the perspective of the soon-to-be parents and family, as well as the hospital staff. 2010 BAFTA Winner for Best Factual Series. (From the UK, in English) (Documentary Series) *New Series* PG CC WS

The National Childbirth Trust in the UK released this statement about the series:


Released on 09/02/2010


‘One Born Every Minute’ is a new documentary series on Channel 4 that follows the day to day life in a maternity ward. Filmed over a month the series highlights the intense experience of bringing a new life into this world from the perspective of the soon-to-be parent, the family, and the maternity ward staff.


Elizabeth Duff, Public Policy Officer, NCT says:

"‘One Born Every Minute’ shows the importance of the day a child is born in the parents’ life, with a narrative reflecting their thoughts, hopes and fears.

"This first day in the life of a new family deserves every chance to be wonderful – the NCT wants the experience of birth to enrich parents’ lives and give them confidence in their new roles. For this to happen, maternity services need midwives to provide continuous support to women in labour and their partners. The birth environment should be comfortable, relaxing and a place that is fit to start a family.

"‘One Born Every Minute’ shows the reality of maternity services today. The midwives do their job well under great pressure. Caring for a wide diversity of women, from every walk of life and with a variety of clinical conditions, they are overstretched and under-resourced – ‘firefighting’ instead of being able to give calm and continuous support to parents on the day their lives change forever.

"NCT has concerns about the challenges encountered by parents and staff in the maternity service environment. However, we are pleased to see the programme and its associated website highlighting important issues about childbirth and maternity care. NCT offers support, information and contact opportunities to parents around the childbirth experience and the transition to parenthood."

Animation of birth

Click here to see an animated 4 min film "From Conception to Birth" on TheVisualMD. Watch the baby wriggle and turn through the pelvis from 3.00mins.

Seminar: "Midwifery practice and the Law", Sat 11 Sep, Sunshine Coast

See below for a flyer for a seminar being organised by Update Education:

Midwifery practice and the Law
*Protect yourself*Protect your colleagues*Protect your clients*
With speaker Hugh Carter, Barrister at Law and Specialist in Health Law

Topics include consent given by adults, adolescents and the legally incompetent
Medical negligence, confidentiality and the duty to inform
The status and rights of the unborn and end of life decision-making

Sat 11 Sept 11th, 8.30am - 3.30pm
Alexandra Beach Resort, Alexandra Parade, Sunshine Coast, Qld

Blog spotlight #2: The Unnecesarean - World Cesarean Rates: OECD Countries

A recent post on the blog The Unnecesarean showed a table of "the cesarean rates of OECD countries from 2004 to 2008".
World Cesarean Rates: OECD Countries

OECD Health Data 2010, released on 29 June 2010, is a comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries. According to its website, “it is an essential tool for health researchers and policy advisors in governments, the private sector and the academic community, to carry out comparative analyses and draw lessons from international comparisons of diverse health care systems.”

Click here to see the post and see where Australia sits.

Blog spotlight #1: Science & Sensibility - "Cascade of Normal" diagram

Check out a power point slide "Cascade of Normal" from Vicki Van Wagner's talk on midwifery in an Inuit region of Arctic northern Canada, at the Normal Labour & Birth International Research Conference, held 20-23 July in Vancouver. It's shown in Science & Sensibility's latest post Live blogging is hard.

Friday, July 23, 2010

IMPORTANT update from Maternity Coalition: The medical veto over Medicare for midwives is now law

The Government's $120 million national Maternity Reform Package is currently being implemented. From 1 November 2010 Medicare rebates will be payable for care from eligible private practice midwives, subject to certain conditions.

For the last nine months consumer and midwifery groups have been lobbying hard around the one key sticking point of these reforms – how midwives and doctors will work together. The government stated from the outset that the midwife would be required under legislation to work in a “collaborative arrangement”. Consumers and midwives have argued for the definition of these arrangements to be one which supported women's choice and access, and which did not give doctors control over women's access to Medicare rebates.

After months of suspense, the Determination defining "collaborative arrangements" was quietly signed into law by the Governor General on 16 July, without notification to stakeholders. The Determination can be downloaded from this link.

The Determination provides 4 options for collaborative arrangements. Each option requires the midwife to have some form of permission from a doctor, before a woman can receive Medicare rebates.

The minimum form of permission is an "Arrangement - midwife's written records" (section 7 in the Determination). This option requires a named doctor of a specific type to acknowledge "that the practitioner will be collaborating in the patient’s care", and that the named doctor has received copies of a hospital booking letter and a maternity care plan.

These requirements will make it very difficult for women to access Medicare-funded care from midwives in private midwifery practice. We don't expect midwives in private midwifery practice (working for themselves, not a doctor) to be able to find private doctors who are willing to enter collaborative arrangements with them. In some cases this may be possible under very specific conditions. However it is unrealistic to expect that private doctors will collaborate in the care of women planning homebirths.

Even for women planning births in public hospitals, these requirements for collaborative arrangements will make it extremely unlikely for them to be able to access Medicare-funded midwifery care. There is no reason to expect public hospital doctors to enter the required collaborative arrangements with private midwives. They have no incentive, and there is no sign that state governments are planning to push them.

In March 2010 when the Senate was debating this legislation, the Government stated that "There is no intention to provide a right of veto over another health professional’s practice". However, under intense pressure from the medical lobby, this is exactly what has occurred. Most importantly, it is women's choices and access to care which are being vetoed, to protect medical control of the maternity marketplace.

If these reforms are to deliver the "choice and access" promised to Australian women by Government, the medical veto must be removed. Midwives must be accountable to the women they care for, and to their regulating body, not to another profession.

Go here for today's press release from the Greens on this issue:

Greens Will Act to Help Midwives

The Australian Greens said today that midwives are furious with the Federal Government over recently released regulations governing the way they practice.

Greens spokesperson for Health, Senator Rachel Siewert has committed to immediate action on the regulations upon the resumption of Parliament.

“As soon as the Senate next sits, the Greens will move a motion to disallow the collaborative arrangements regulation,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Women are outraged that they have been told that Medicare rebates will be available for private midwifery care and now the reality is that this will be limited to those employed in an obstetric model which many women have said over and over again that they don't want," concluded Senator Siewert.

******What mothers and midwives can do right now to try to change this******

- Tell your Federal election candidates that you want them to remove the doctor's veto over women's access to Medicare for midwives. Ask them if they will commit to doing this if elected.

- Tell your candidates that you want them to protect women's rights to choice in birth, and ask if they will commit to this.

- You can give these messages by writing, phoning, or stopping and talking to your candidate while they campaign in your electorate. You can call talkback, write emails to the editor, or wave a placard at an event.

To find your Federal electorate click here.

Please contact MC Qld if you want to know more or if you would like someone to come with you to see your MP/local candidates. Email:

Mumatopia launch - Sat 14th Aug, Ipswich

Get along if you can to the launch of Cas McCullough's fabulous venture Mumatopia. The twilight market will include stalls, speakers, free entertainment, light refreshments, raffles and goody bags. See below for details:

Trailer: Guerilla Midwife documentary

Click here to watch a powerful, short preview of the documentary film "Guerilla Midwife" about midwife Robin Lim's work in Bali and Aceh. The film was made by her daughter, director Deja Bernhard. The film's website also has photos, poetry and more.
Guerilla Midwife
A 90 minute documentary film by Deja Bernhardt

Guerilla Midwife follows Ibu Robin Lim into the trenches of her work. From Bali, where hemorrhage after childbirth is a leading cause of death, into the Tsunami disaster zone in Aceh, where her battle is fought with only one weapon, love. In this culturally mesmerizing, heart wrenching documentary, you will discover why we must reinvent our protocols for pregnancy and childbirth in order to preserve our Planet's Humanity.

US obstetricians issue less restrictive VBAC guidelines, CIMS response

See below for an excerpt from the Wed 21st July release from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):

Ob-Gyns Issue Less Restrictive VBAC Guidelines

For Release: July 21, 2010

Washington, DC -- Attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery, including for some women who have had two previous cesareans, according to guidelines released today by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"The current cesarean rate is undeniably high and absolutely concerns us as ob-gyns," said Richard N. Waldman, MD, president of The College. "These VBAC guidelines emphasize the need for thorough counseling of benefits and risks, shared patient-doctor decision making, and the importance of patient autonomy. Moving forward, we need to work collaboratively with our patients and our colleagues, hospitals, and insurers to swing the pendulum back to fewer cesareans and a more reasonable VBAC rate."

In keeping with past recommendations, most women with one previous cesarean delivery with a low-transverse incision are candidates for and should be counseled about VBAC and offered a TOLAC. In addition, "The College guidelines now clearly say that women with two previous low-transverse cesarean incisions, women carrying twins, and women with an unknown type of uterine scar are considered appropriate candidates for a TOLAC," said Jeffrey L. Ecker, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and immediate past vice chair of the Committee on Practice Bulletins-Obstetrics who co-wrote the document with William A. Grobman, MD, from Northwestern University in Chicago.

The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) is a US coalition of individuals and national organizations with concern for the care and wellbeing of mothers, babies, and families. Their mission is to promote a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and substantially reduce costs. This is an excerpt from their response (click on link to read the entire release):

CIMS Responds to Promising but Conflicting Revised VBAC Guidelines

Raleigh, NC (July 23, 2010)-The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) supports the recommendations of the March 2010 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Statement on VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and is pleased by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' (ACOG) newly revised practice guidelines (Practice Bulletin #115) that encourage expanded access to VBAC and confirm a woman's right to labor after a prior cesarean. However, ACOG made limited changes to what the NIH concluded was a key factor that blocked access to VBAC -- ACOG's previous recommendation that VBAC should take place only in hospitals where physicians capable of performing an emergency cesarean, anesthesiology, and supporting staff are "immediately available."

The NIH reported that the "immediately available" recommendation, made by ACOG and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) in 2008, was based on opinion rather than strong support from high-quality evidence. More importantly, the NIH concluded that in too many areas of the country certain resources are "too few" for all hospitals to comply with the "immediately available" recommendation. CIMS questions the logic of drafting clinical guidelines that in fact cannot be realistically implemented.

NIH found that malpractice liability concerns in light of the continued "immediately available" recommendation may continue to restrain providers who would otherwise support women's wishes for VBAC.

CIMS gives ACOG much credit in its efforts to incorporate women's autonomy, values and preferences in their revised VBAC guidelines, but urges ACOG to reconsider and remove the current selective barrier to women's access to VBAC stemming from the "immediately available" recommendation.

Gold Coast Birth Centre update from ACM Qld

Australian College of Midwives - E-Bulletin
Wed 21 July 2010

Gold Coast Birth Centre re-open for business

The unexpected and unwarranted closure of the Gold Coast Birth Centre at 5pm on Thursday 15 July without warning or consultation sent shock waves through the birthing community in South East Queensland and beyond. The Australian College of Midwives Queensland was first notified of the closure through their close links with Maternity Coalition. Action commenced immediately with Friends of the Birth Centre organising a rally in Little High St in front of the CEO’s office on Friday 16 July. ACMQ, Maternity Coalition, Friends of the Birth Centre notified people in the maternity reform network to attend the rally.

500 women and their families gathered at the Gold Coast on Friday at 11am with widespread media action. Deirdrie Cullen led the MC and FBC women in this rally with Dr Kerry Peart from Griffith University and a large number of student midwives joining the rally. Associate Professor Jenny Gamble, media spokesperson for ACMQ, and Deirdre Cullen (FBC) gave many media interviews throughout Thursday night, Friday and Saturday and spoke passionately at the rally about this being an example of poor obstetric behaviour rather than a safety concern.

A link to Channel 9 coverage of the rally posted to YouTube:

A link to Channel 7 coverage of the rally:

Concurrent to the rally being held at the Gold Coast a number of other important meetings and contacts were made. Dr Mary Sidebotham, Vice President of ACMQ and Liz Wilkes met with the Chief Nursing Officer and Dr Belinda Maier, Midwifery Advisor and subsequently with the Director General for Queensland Health, Mick Reid. The DG assured prompt action to re-open the Birth Centre and committed to an independent enquiry of the Gold Coast maternity service with consumer and midwifery involvement.

Hazel Brittain ACMQ President, contacted midwifery managers at the Gold Coast Hospital, while Jocelyn Toohill and Rosemary Blyth supported local midwives and assisted them to deal with the situation. The QNU and local MP’s were briefed.

Following the rally, a noisy group met with the CEO in an impromptu meeting to air concerns. The CEO cited withdrawal of “support” by obstetric consultant staff as the reason for the closure. A core group of women and midwives met with the CEO from 5:30pm and just before 8pm completed negotiations with decision to re-open the Birth Centre immediately. The first birth in the re-opened Birth Centre occurred just after dawn on Saturday morning to a woman who had been rallying and speaking to the media at the rally – women are amazing.

This incident highlights the tenuousness of midwifery group practice and the ability of midwives to provide continuity of care. ACMQ have recently discussed safety and clinical care at the GCH Birth Centre reference group and there have been no reports of concerns. It is extremely important that midwives recognise that these actions are indications of poor collaboration on the part of some specialist obstetric staff and call for appropriate management of all professionals working in the pubic sector.

ACMQ would like to thank the women, babies, husbands, midwives, student midwives and other consumers who gathered at such short notice to support this important and safe service. ACMQ will continue to seek a public statement from the CEO of the Gold Coast District that the service provides high quality midwifery care, excellent clinical outcomes, and that there are no concerns about public safety. We will push for independence in the GCH maternity service review and ensure midwifery and consumer representation.

Go Queeensland maternity reformers - what a team effort!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wesley Maternity Conference "Legal and Ethical Issues in Maternity Care" Wesley seminar - special rate for MC & HMA members extended til Fri 30 July

Organisers of the Wesley Maternity Conference "Legal and Ethical Issues in Maternity Care" have kindly extended the special $125 rate for all MC & HMA members up to & including 30 July.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Maternity Care
Saturday 7 August 2010
Wesley Hospital, Auchenflower

The Wesley Maternity Conference is an opportunity to learn more about legal and ethical issues, advocacy, evidence-based practice, the consumer perspective and much more.

For more information including details of MC's speakers click here.

Consumer Representative sought - Informed Consent Reference Group

See below from Health Consumers Queensland. Please contact HCQ for an Expression of Interest form if you would like to apply...

Consumer Representative sought - Informed Consent Reference Group

The Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Service is requesting HCQ's assistance with the recruitment of one (1) consumer representative for their Reference Group.

Mariee Piper, Informed Consent Program Manager, Queensland Health, has provided the following information about the consumer representative role and reimbursement rates.

The consumer representative would need to:
- Attend quarterly Reference Group meetings which will be 2hrs in duration (next meeting Wednesday 4 August, 2 - 4pm) and located at the Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital, Level 14, Block 7, Herston Road, Herston. Members serve a 2 year term.
- Actively contribute to the reference group by reflecting the consumer's experience and having a voice in how informed consent in relation to medical procedures is strategically conducted in Queensland Health.
- Have an open interest in, and knowledge base of, informed consent to be able to receive and disseminate information, identify and problem solve issues relevant to the Informed Consent Program.
- Be prepared to read and review documents in preparation for meetings and on occasion comment via email on documents between meetings.
- Have a mechanism to feedback information to other consumers and to represent other consumers' views.
- We encourage consumers who have experience in and representing Adults and Young Adults (18-24years) to apply as this group is currently under represented on this reference group.

The reimbursement rates for the consumer representative are:
- $96 for meetings <4hrs (includes preparation time)
- $159 for meetings >4hrs (includes preparation time)
- Motor vehicle allowance (varies depending on the cc of the vehicle- $0.58 to $0.70/km)
- Consideration will be given to reimbursement of reasonable travel and accommodation to attend meetings and forums.

Health consumers who would like to express interest in this consumer representative position need to register as a member of HCQ's consumer network. If you are not already a member you can register at

If you are interested in nominating for this consumer representative role could you please complete the attached expression of interest form and return this to Olivia Spadina (details below) by 30 July 2010.

Contact details:

Olivia Spadina, Senior Policy Officer
Health Consumers Queensland
PO Box 48, Brisbane QLD 4001
Ph: 07 3234 0611 / email:

If you require any further information about this position and the nomination process please contact Olivia Spadina on 07 3234 0611.

Thank you for your assistance.

Kind regards

Health Consumers Queensland
Ph: 1800 613 251* (toll free) / 07 3234 0611
*Mobile calls to this number may incur extra charges depending on your mobile phone service provider.

ACM - E-Bulletin: Beaudesert petition

In regards to Beaudesert Maternity services (see previous post for background), please see below...

Australian College of Midwives - E-Bulletin

Dear friends and colleagues,

Many of you will be aware of the current consultation surrounding provision of maternity services in the Beaudesert area.

It is important that we collect the views of the local and wider community to demonstrate support for provision of local maternity services for women.
An e petition has been generated to demonstrate to government that there is support for the provision of midwifery led services in the Beaudesert areas.

I would ask you to take the time to go the web linked page and sign the petition (click here).

Whilst you may not personally be involved with or affected by provision of services in Beaudesert this is an important statement to make in support of all women being able to access services locally throughout the State.

Please pass this message on through your networks and encourage your friends and colleagues to show their support too

best wishes

Dr Mary Sidebotham
Vice President
Australian College of Midwives
(Queensland Branch)
Ph 338 21378
M 0434932303

GC Bulletin article: Mum defends birth centre after stillbirth

Gold Coast Bulletin article:Mum defends birth centre after stillbirth
, Tuesday July 20th, 2010.

calmbirth® course with Sharon Gavioli in Brisbane - Sat 31 Jul-Sun 1 August

See below for a message from Sharon Gavioli:

To my fellow birth workers and supporters,

There is another calmbirth® course coming up in less in 2 weeks on Saturday the 31st and Sunday the 1st of August from 9-5 each day. The course is held at Kybra at Runcorn which is just off the gateway.

Currently there is only space for 2 more women and their partners available.

The program aim is to address the beliefs and fears women and men have around birth and then from this platform offers tools to enable the women to reconnect to her own innate inner resources. It also provides men and other support people a clear understanding how to support themselves and the birthing woman. For more information about calmbirth see

I personally feel the program offers a new way for women and their partners to embrace their baby's birth. It provides simple and effective understandings and tools for all birth and all birth settings.

From the words from a woman who attended the calmbirth® program: "The birth was an unexplainable incredible experience, I felt total calmness and confidence throughout the entire birth, She was born as I'd hoped." Lisa

I would appreciate you sending this email and flyer to your networks and any friends who you feel may be interested.

With thanks,


Sharon Gavioli RN,
Grad, Dip, Childbirth Education
Ad. Dip. Counselling
Reg. calmbirth® Practitioner
p. 0417 083 803

Courier Mail article: Almost half of Qld women birthing in private hospitals having caesareans

Caesarean deliveries on the rise in Queensland private hospitals
Courier Mail, Monday 19 July, 2010

ALMOST half of Queensland women giving birth in private hospitals are having caesareans and the numbers are rising.

Queensland Health figures show 48.6 per cent of the almost 19,000 mothers who delivered babies in private hospitals last year had caesarean sections.

That compares to 27.6 per cent of the 43,000 who gave birth in the public sector.

Overall, 33.9 per cent of Queensland mothers in 2009 delivered their babies via caesarean, compared to 30.9 per cent nationwide.

For the whole article go here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Today's GC BC media plus link to birth centre activism photo album

Two great articles from today's Gold Coast Bulletin:

Coast birth centre pushes on
Stephanie Bedo | July 19th, 2010
A single phone call was all it took to spark a rally at which hundreds of locals protested against the centre's sudden closure last week.

A telephone contact tree sprung into action on Thursday night and within hours women far and wide knew about the rally at Southport that would help save the Gold Coast Hospital's Birth Centre.

Deirdrie Cullen was a woman on a mission.

As founding member of Friends of the Birth Centre Gold Coast branch, she knew whom to call.

Through text messaging, email and shout-outs on social media, word spread fast 'be there at 11am Friday to show your support'.

The main players were Friends of the Birth Centre, the Maternity Coalition and Gold Coast Home Birth Group but they sparked many other organisations to join in.

Birth centre to remain open during review
Stephanie Bedo | July 19th, 2010

GOLD Coast Health District chief executive Dr Adrian Nowitzke has this afternoon announced the Gold Coast Birth Centre will remain open while an external review of maternity services is undertaken.

Dr Nowitzke said the review would look at the entire service and cover birthing, gynaecology and clinical and corporate governance of obstetricians and midwives.

He said the review committee would comprise interstate and independent members and would be represented through doctors, midwives and consumers.

``At the end of the day we've caused distress to people on the Coast,'' he said.

``We take that very seriously and we're very sorry for that.''
Dr Nowitzke said he wanted to make it clear he fully supported the midwifery model of care, as did the obstetricians.

He said midwifery was constantly changing and the hospital had to change with it, which was one of the reasons for the review.

Facebook photo album - Mothers & midwives working together - Birth Centres in Qld

Whether you are on Facebook or not, you can click on this link to see a photo album showing some of the history of many, many mothers and midwives in Qld supporting birth centres. The slides are from a power point presentation of over 250 slides by Maternity Coalition's Qld Branch called "Passion, Politics and Parents - Birth Reform in Queensland since 2001".

Listen or download: Sue Kildea on ABC Radio National - Birthing on country for Aboriginal women

As flagged in our previous post, go here within the next week to listen or download Sue's interview (13 mins). It includes her description of an exciting new joint statement at the Breathing New Life Conference between ACM, RANZCOG & ACRRM which is supportive of trialling a model similar to the Inuit model.

Birthing on country for Aboriginal women

By Maria Tickle

Thursday, 15/07/2010

The stories of Aboriginal women from remote communities who were transported to Darwin to give birth because their community didn't have medical support are compelling.

In Francesca's words "It takes a long time, always them watching and they put you onto a lonely machine, no company, no-one to rub you, just a green bowl and cold water to wash your face in."

Michealis says "When I had the baby there were big mobs of people and male doctors watching. I was on the bed and told open my legs up. I didn't like being there, I didn't like the men being there and I didn't like being watched. It was such a shame job."

This way of giving birth may change if a model of community birthing which has been successful in Canada for the past 20 years is adopted here.

Last week the president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Midwives, Ted Weaver, gave support for a trial of such a program whereby indigenous women from the community are trained as midwives.

In this report: Sue Kildea, Professor of Midwifery, Australian Catholic University and Mater Mothers Hospital in Brisbane

Listen to or download story.

Click on:
Thursday 15 July 2010
1145 Birthing on country for Aboriginal women

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gold Coast Birth Centre REOPENED - media roundup & FBC meeting tomorrow 10am (Mon)

See below for a media roundup of the protest against the closure of the Gold Coast Birth Centre.

Photos, comments, stories and updates are on the Save Gold Coast Birth Centre Facebook group. The group has grown to almost 1500 members in just over 48 hours!

Friends of the Birth Centre's Gold Coast branch are meeting on Monday at the Southport Library from 10am, so get along if you can!


Article in Gold Coast Bulletin plus VIDEO: "Birth centre open and baby comes too", Saturday 17 July, 2010.

THE Gold Coast Hospital's Birth Centre was reopened in the nick of time for Karen and Ben Trevers-Grace following a tumultuous 24 hours in which the centre was closed, picketed and then forced to re-open and then was became the scene of the birth of their second son.

Mrs Trevers-Grace of Coombabah said after yesterday's rollercoaster ride, she was relieved to hear the good news.

''We got a call from the CEO himself at 7pm to tell us it was reopening and we were so relieved,'' she said.

''I think it showed because my body realised it was safe to give birth and two hours later I was in labor.''

Editorial in Gold Coast Bulletin:"Mums-to-be need better treatment", Saturday 17 July, 2010.

Article in Gold Coast Bulletin plus VIDEO: "Mum power reopens Coast birth centre", Saturday 17 July, 2010.

Article in Courier Mail: "Protests get Gold Coast Hospital's birth centre reopened", Friday 16 July, 2010.

After a full day of negotiations, Dr Nowitzke agreed to reopen the centre.

Maternity Coalition Queensland branch president Rebecca Jenkinson called the closure ''an attack on women's choices''.

Online article on ABC: "Families in shock at birth centre closure", Friday 16 July, 2010.

7 News video story, Friday 16 July, 2010.

Online article on Prime: "Mums and midwives rally after birth centre closure", Friday 16 July, 2010.

Article in Gold Coast Bulletin plus VIDEO: "Hundreds march to save Coast birth centre", Friday 16 July, 2010.

Article in The Australian: "Protests after Gold Coast Hopsital's birth centre closed over safety concerns", Friday 16 July, 2010.

Call for EOIs for assistance to attend HCQ's Patient Travel Assistance Forum - Mount Isa - Tuesday 3 August 2010

See below...

Health consumers living in the North, Far North and North West Queensland and the Gulf are invited to express interest in attending a forum Health Consumers Queensland is holding in relation to Patient Travel Assistance.

Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) aims to strengthen the consumer (patient) perspective in health services policy, systems and service reform and improvement by providing the Minister for Health with information and advice and by supporting and promoting consumer engagement and advocacy.

HCQ is hosting a targeted forum for consumers in the North, Far North and North West Queensland and the Gulf in relation to the Patient Travel Assistance on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 at The All Seasons Hotel, Rodeo Drive, Mount Isa from 6:30 pm to 9.00 pm. Attached is further information about the forum.

The purpose of the forum is to gather a cross section of consumers' perspectives in the North, Far North and North West Queensland and the Gulf about current issues relating to the Patient Travel Assistance and to explore solutions and strategies to improve outcomes for health consumers.

Limited sponsorship (accommodation and travel) is available to those consumers who would otherwise be unable to attend this event.

Applicants wanting to attend must complete an expression of interest form. Those wanting sponsorship and/or support need to indicate this on page 3 of the expression of interest form.

The expression of interest form can be returned by email, post or fax to HCQ as per the details on the application form. If you require assistance to complete the form, please phone (07) 3234 0611 and a member of the Secretariat will be able to assist you.

Please note this document contains attachments which are over 1MB to download from your computer. If you have difficulty in accessing, reading or printing this, please contact Health Consumers Queensland on 3234 0611 and we can assist you.

We look forward to seeing you at the forum.

Kind regards

Health Consumers Queensland
Ph: 1800 613 251* (toll free) / 07 3234 0611
*Mobile calls to this number may incur extra charges depending on your mobile phone service provider.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gold Coast Birth Centre CLOSED yesterday - RALLY TODAY 11am

See below for Maternity Coalition Queensland's press release sent out last night.

Join the Save Gold Coast Birth Centre Facebook group to stay updated.

PRESS RELEASE: Thurs 15 July

Gold Coast Birth Centre shut without notice – women rally

The closure of the Gold Coast Birth Centre this afternoon at 5pm without consultation or explanation has left Queensland women outraged and preparing to rally. Hundreds of women will be left without their expected birth care as a result of a completely unexplained closure.

Rebecca Jenkinson, mother of two and President of Maternity Coalition Queensland branch said that women will be travelling from all over the South East to protest. “There have been rumblings for months about hostile attitudes from the Gold Coast Hospital management. Now this closure has occurred today without consultation or proper process.”

The best quality evidence shows birth centre midwifery care to be at least as safe as standard birth care. “Transfers to medical care are a normal and safe part of birth centre care and adverse outcomes occur in all models from time to time. But these women are in a birth centre metres away from a regular birth unit – on the same floor even. This closure is an attack on women’s choices.”

“At a time when both the Federal and State Governments are looking to expand midwifery choices for pregnant and birthing women it seems that Gold Coast Hospital are out of step with what’s happening across Queensland and Australia. In fact, the state government is planning to open another Birth Centre in Toowoomba by the end of this year because this model of care is so popular with families.”

Maternity Coalition were involved in the lobbying which led to the election commitment to establish a Birth Centre at the Gold Coast Hospital. “Five years on, the Government should be moving to expand this model of care, and give all women access to continuity of carer from a known midwife” Ms Jenkinson said. “We call upon the Minister for Health to act urgently to protect women’s access to this kind of care – a model of care that has repeatedly been shown to be safe and is in great demand from women” Ms Jenkinson added

Women are gathering from 11am at Little High Street, Southport with their babies to demand that the Birth Centre be immediately reopened.

For more information contact Maternity Coalition Qld Media Spokesperson: Joanne Smethurst, 07 3256 8127.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sue Kildea on Radio National tomorrow approx 11.30am (Thurs 15 July)

Sue Kildea will be on ABC Radio National's Bush Telegraph program tomorrow approx. 11.30am. She will be discussing birth on country and her upcoming trip to Inuit communities in Canada. Listen in or listen to the podcast afterwards.

Professor Sue Kildea is the Professor of Midwifery and Clinical Chair of Midwifery for the ACU and Mater Health Service.

She is a registered nurse and midwife with clinical, management, policy, education and research experience across both acute care and primary health care settings. Together with Molly Wardaguga, a Senior Aboriginal Health Worker from Maningrida, Professor Kildea was the joint recipient of the UTS Human Rights Award in 2004 for contribution to advancing reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. She has performed World Health Organisation and other consultancies in Vietnam, Mongolia and Indonesia and worked as a midwife in South Africa. She is currently a chief investigator on 3 NHMRC grants, 4 government funded grants and tenders, 3 internal grants (evaluations). Professor Kildea will be presenting at the Normal Birth conference in Vancouver in August 2010.