Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Media: Toowoomba BC, Qld csecs, Dr Biter & ACM newsfeed

Toowoomba Chronicle: "Bligh inspects new birthing centre"
(25th June 2010)

Brisbane Times: "One in three Queensland babies born by c-section" (25th June 2010)
Queensland had the highest rate of caesarian-sections, with 33.1 per cent of births occurring in this fashion in 2007, while Tasmania had the lowest rate (28 per cent).

In Queensland, six in 10 c-section births happened without labour.

There has recently been a lot of online media around US obstetrician Dr Biter - listen to Rikki Lake talk on Blog Talk Radio and see the I Love Dr Biter Facebook group (with over 1700 members). This Youtube video features Dr Biter himself:

In an exclusive interview with SDNN, Dr. Biter finally speaks publicly about his mysterious suspension, reinstatement and resignation, Scripps Encinitas, natural birth and the women and men who backed him in his moment of need.

For more news articles about maternity care, midwifery and mothers check out this fantastic new feature on the Australian College of Midwives' website : Latest Press and News.

ACM Qld conference – early bird extension until 30 July

The Australian College of Midwives QLD Branch's is holding it's State Conference at the Sea World Resort, Gold Coast from 15-17th September 2010.

Early Bird Registration has been EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 30TH 2010.

Click here for details: http://www.midwives.org.au/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=MIDW/ccms.r?PageId=10064
About the Conference
The aim of the conference to bring midwives and consumers together in a celebration to share stories and experiences. Together we will hear from an array of speakers who will highlight changes and contemporary issues in maternity care and provide a vision for the future.

Blog spotlight: Science & Sensibility - A new voice on patient safety in maternity care

At the bottom of the right hand column of our blog we have listed some fantastic blogs we follow. Occasionally we'll highlight some posts within our blog.

“A new voice on patient safety in maternity care” is the latest post on Science & Sensibility: A Research Blog About Healthy Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond from Lamaze International. This post is from a new blog contributor, Tricia Pil. Her post links to a narrative she has written and published online in the medical journal Pulse, which describes the traumatic experience of the birth of her third child (warning, it contains some graphic descriptions). From the author description of her Pulse article:

Tricia Pil MD worked for six years as a pediatrician in private community practice. In the aftermath of the trauma, because of PTSD triggers present in the healthcare environment, she was unable to return to clinical practice. She went back to college, rediscovered a love of writing and earned a second undergraduate degree in English literature. She is now a science writer and health sciences project coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She hopes to use her professional background as a pediatrician, her personal experience as a patient and her skills as a writer to continue advocating for patient safety and for increased awareness of postpartum PTSD.

In her Science and Sensibility post Trish says:
In the coming months, I will be blogging about issues of patient safety, patient-centered care, medical errors, and support for clinicians, patients, and families in the aftermath of an unexpected adverse medical outcome. I will speak from the viewpoint of a pediatrician and a patient who has been on both sides of the table. I don’t know all the answers, but I hope to provide some useful information and generate your thought-provoking feedback. Your comments and suggestions for future topics are most welcome.

Looking forward to reading more posts from this courageous consumer advocate.

Survey about Australian Childbirth Conference – to be completed by Sun 4 July

This survey has been created to determine whether it would be viable to have a childbirth conference or show held in Australia (Melbourne first) that informs women of their choices surrounding pregnancy
and childbirth. Responses due by Sunday 4 July.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Emerald rally media

See below for online & tv coverage of the rally of 200 women to save the maternity service at Emerald hospital, Central Queensland.

* Central Queensland News online article: Passion, prams and people power

* ABC News Online article: Rally in Emerald to save hospital maternity ward.

* ABC TV News video: Rally to save Emerald hospital maternity ward Shows footage of the rally, town meeting and speakers including mothers and a representative from Queensland Health.

The Save Emerald Birthing! Facebook group now has over 1500 members! There are many, many stories from women wanting to save the maternity service at Emerald Hospital. There are also photos from the town meeting.

E-Petition for midwifery model of care for Beaudesert

In a previous blog post, MC member Alison Gaffney reported about the public meeting held to discuss the proposed re-opening of the Beaudesert maternity service.

This E-Petition has been sponsored by Independent MP for Beaudesert Aidan McLindon, calling for a midwifery model of care for Beaudesert. The petition closes on 13 September.

From the E-Petition:
TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland citizens draws to the attention of the House that since the closing of the maternity ward in 2001, women in the Beaudesert region have been unable to access vital birthing facilities in their local area.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to introduce a midwife based model of care programs in the Beaudesert Hospital.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birthing on Country Seminar - updated with time, location, map, parking & booking information


This event will be jointly hosted by Mater Health Services, Australian Catholic University and Queensland Health.

9.00 am - 4.00 pm
Wed 7 July
Light lunch provided
Corbett Room, Whitty Building, Mater, South Brisbane.

The new Mater Mothers Hospital, the old Aubiny Place building on the hill and the Whitty Building all form a triangle. See the map below.

For parking information go here.

Places are limited so bookings are essential. Please email kathy.hassed@mater.org.au if you wish to attend and the number of seats required.


With worry of possible closure of another rural Queensland maternity unit, we're pleased to announce an upcoming Birthing on Country Seminar being held in Brisbane on Wed 7th July. I'm sure we'll learn much from these wonderful guest speakers from Canada.

Emerald birthing services under threat - rally tomorrow

Go here to check out the incredible Facebook group "Save Emerald Birthing" which has sprung up in response to a threat to birthing services at Emerald Hospital. It was only started two days ago, and already has over 800 members! There are scores of stories from women who have birthed at Emerald and those who have had to travel to Rockhampton to birth.

The town of Emerald is 266 kms west of Rockhampton, in Central Queensland. The hospital has approx 350 births per year.

This WIN TV online article describes plans for a rally tomorrow morning, Thursday 24th June at the Emerald Town Hall at 9.30am.


Emerald FB group now almost at 1000 members!

ABC Online News article: Mayor urges permanent staff boost for Emerald hospital by Paul Robinson, Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:03am.

QH press release:

Answer to homebirth question

Bruce Teakle, Maternity Coalition National Committee Member, recently answered a question in response to the update on the MC webpage, around what it all means for women due next year who want to birth at home with a midwife....

In answer to a question about what this means for women due next year:

Midwives need to buy PI insurance.

Women planning a homebirth after 1 July 2010 will need to find a private midwife who has purchased insurance. As many people will be aware already, the new national health practitioner regulations require all health practitioners from 1 July 2010 to have professional indemnity insurance.

Midwives currently have 2 choices in insurance:

1. The insurance policy sold by Mediprotect is only for antenatal and postnatal care. It is relatively low cost (starting at under $2000/year) and does not have specific requirements regarding eligibility or collaboration. The Mediprotect website (www.mediprotect.com.au ) gives some information about the policy.

2. The insurance policy sold by MIGA is subsidised by the Commonwealth Government, and is available only to "eligible midwives" according to the standard set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. It is much more expensive than the Mediprotect policy, starting at $5000/year for up to 29 births/year ($2250/year if not providing any intrapartum care in private paractice) and covers births in hospital. Comprehensive information about the policy is available from the MIGA website (www.miga.com.au ), including the policy document which lists requirements for "collaborative arrangements". These requirements include the midwife's responsibility to share certain information with a doctor or hospital.

There may be major differences in what each of these policies cover, so it is important for midwives to carefully consider their choice.

MIGA insurance requires "collaborative arrangements" or "communication of a care plan"

The requirements for "collaborative arrangements" in the first released version of the MIGA policy were problematic, requiring acknowledgements from hospitals of intent to collaborate in women's care, and receipt of the woman's care plan and test results. The policy was amended in response to midwifery and consumer feedback, and now makes allowance for insurance when hospitals are not collaborative (or haven't yet developed processes for collaboration).

Now the minimum requirement is for midwives to send a copy of each woman's care plan to the hospital, and confirm that the hospital has received it, and send other items of information about the woman's care to the hospital. This is of course subject to the woman's consent.

An update about this is provided at the MIGA website (www.miga.com.au ).

Services from "eligible midwives" will receive Medicare rebates

The good news is that from 1 November 2010, there will be Medicare rebates payable for the services of eligible midwives in private practice, subject to certain conditions. Rebates for midwifery services will be paid for specific "items" or types of visits with a midwife, in the same way as visits to doctors. Currently intrapartum (labour and birth) care at home is not rebatable, but antenatal and postnatal care for a woman planning a homebirth can be. The $ value of rebates is expected to be published soon, but midwives can be expected to usually charge more than the rebate for each service. These rebates, plus any Medicare Safetynet payments, will make care from eligible midwives significantly cheaper for women.

Midwives will need "collaborative arrangements" with doctors or hospitals

The conditions for Medicare rebates include the requirement for each rebatable item of care to be provided under a "collaborative arrangement" with a doctor. These requirements are listed in detail in the MIGA insurance policy, and are expected to become regulations to the Medicare for midwives law any day now. "Collaborative arrangements" require midwives to gain agreement from a doctor to collaborate with them in the woman's care. They also require women to book into a hospital, even if only as a backup plan.

For women planning a homebirth, the collaborating doctor can be expected to be a doctor authorised by a public hospital to enter such an arrangement. We now have 4 months for health departments and hospitals to work out what this means, and how they will do it. We don't expect it to be easy, especially to begin with, for midwives to gain agreement from hospitals on collaborative arrangements. We hope that state health Ministers and Departments work hard until November setting up policies, processes and expectations of public hospitals about collaboration with eligible midwives.

Women may need to be a bit pushy

While Australia's hospital systems are learning to collaborate with midwives in private practice, there is likely to be some extra work to do. Women planning a homebirth with an eligible midwife, and wanting to receive Medicare rebates for their care, may have to approach their hospital themselves to ask them to agree to collaborate in their care. If they don't get the right answer, they may need to escalate their efforts by asking the hospital administration to assist, and if that is unsuccessful escalating the matter further. Maternity Coalition, the Australian College of Midwives, state Members of Parliament and state health complaints agencies need to know about hospitals which refuse to collaborate with private midwives.

In the longer run

The establishment of private midwives as part of the health care system is a major reform. While it is currently very stressful for midwives and for many women, it will also have a big and (hopefully) positive effect on hospital culture and systems over time.

In time, we expect that processes will be established in some places to allow women to have continuity of care from their chosen midwife for hospital birth. This will be a significant challenge for hospital systems, and there are various options for how this might happen.

Good luck!

Bruce Teakle

Maternity Coalition National Committee Member

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update on collaborative arrangements for midwives by MIGA

Click here for an Update on 18 June on collaborative arrangements from the insurer's website.
Collaborative requirements


I am interested in securing formal Collaborative Arrangements, but I don't think I can obtain an obstetrician's or a hospital's agreement to collaborate with me before 1 July. Can I still be covered by the MIGA insurance?

Consumers Health Forum MBS workshops in Qld - Brisbane & Mt Isa - EOIs by 19 July

Plase see below for advice from Health Consumers Queensland about upcoming Consumers Health Forum (CHF) consultation workshops in Brisbane and Mt Isa about Medicare.

Brisbane: Monday 2 August, 10:00am-3:00pm
Mount Isa: Tuesday 3 August, 10:00am-3:00pm

An Expression of Interest form needs to be submitted by 19 July. Please contact HCQ for the form: DSHCQ@health.qld.gov.au Please also let MC Qld know if you apply.

Consumer Health Forum of Australia (CHF) Consumer Consultation Workshop - Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Quality Framework Project

Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) urges the members of our Consumer Network to express interest in participating in the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) consumer consultation workshop in Brisbane or Mount Isa in relation to the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is essential to the Australian health care system. The MBS's role is to provide rebates to consumers for medical services which are provided on a fee-for-service basis. It facilitates consumer access to a range of allied health, general practice and specialist medical services. As part of the Federal Government's current health reform plan, $9.3 million over two years has been allocated to develop and implement a new framework for managing the MBS into the future. The aim of the MBS Quality Framework is to ensure all services covered by the MBS are aligned with contemporary clinical evidence, are cost effective and affordable and result in improved health outcomes for all Australian health care consumers.

As part of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Quality Framework Project, funded by the Department of Health and Ageing, CHF is conducting a series of ten consumer consultation workshops. These workshops will allow CHF to engage, inform and consult with members to ensure consumer perspectives are adequately and effectively represented for consideration in the development and implementation of the new MBS Quality Framework.

The workshops are an opportunity for consumers to identify key issues regarding the proposed framework and to ensure that any new mechanisms put in place for listing, pricing and review of MBS items will be effective, safe and encourage better health outcomes for consumers. The aims of the workshops include:
� Identify key issues for consumers in the development of a Quality Framework for the Medicare Benefits Schedule and its key proposals:
� Introducing time-limited listing
� Evaluating time-limited items
� Establishing a system for monitoring and review of MBS items
� Strengthening systems for pricing and listing new services.
� Establish an evidence base about consumer concerns relating to the Quality Framework for the Medicare Benefits Schedule

The workshops are to be held in the following locations:
Brisbane Monday 2 August
Mount Isa Tuesday 3 August
Darwin Thursday 5 August
Canberra Wednesday 11 August
Sydney Friday 13 August
Melbourne Tuesday 17 August
Hobart Wednesday 18 August
Perth Tuesday 24 August
Adelaide Wednesday 25 August
Port Augusta Thursday 26 August

Locations will be announced at a later date.

For more information on the Project, please see the CHF Information Paper. It can be accessed here.

The Department of Health and Ageing have also released a Discussion Paper on the Quality Framework. It can be accessed here.

We are seeking workshop participants from health consumers who have experience with the MBS, or have a general interest in the area.

As places are strictly limited, please complete the attached expression of interest form and return it as soon as possible. Applications close on 19 July 2010.
Please contact Sarah Watt, CHF Project Officer at s.watt@chf.org.au or on (02) 6273 5444 (STD calls will be returned) if you have any questions or would like to discuss this project further.

Recent media: Birth trauma in today's Age, Homebirth in NY and 2 radio programs on caesareans in Australia

**** Article in today's Melbourne Age newspaper about maternity services and birth trauma in Australia. It contains quotes from mothers, Sydney midwife in private practice Melissa Maimann, Jenny Gamble and Melissa Bruijn and midwife Debby Gould from Birthtalk:
Hard labour by KATHY EVANS, June 20, 2010

**** An article about the current situation for homebirth in New York:
Doctors’ Group Fights a Bill That Would Ease Restrictions on Midwives by ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS, 17 June, 2010

**** A recent replay of two Radio National programs (first broadcast Nov 2009)

Caesarean sections: part one of a two part feature, 7 June, 2010

Caesarean sections are on the rise. In Australia one in three babies are born this way, and once a mother has one caesarean she's got at least a 50% chance of having another one in a following pregnancy. The rising rates have got some people very worried. There can be serious consequences of caesareans, for both mother and baby, and they're not talking about it. In the first of a two part special Nicky Phillips looks at what factors are driving our caesarean rates.

This program is a repeat and was first broadcast on 2 November 2009.


Professor Caroline de Costa
Professor of Obstetrics, James Cook University, Cairns

Nicky Phillips
Reporter, Science Unit, Radio National, Sydney

Dr Vijay Roach
Obstetrician, North Shore Private Hospital, Sydney

Dr Jenny Fenwick
Associate Professor of Midwivery, University of Technology, Sydney


Norman Swan

Caesarean sections: part two

Nicky Phillips has made this two part feature about caesarean sections. In this second program we take a look at some of the consequences of the operation and we'll meet two mothers who developed serious complications from their caesars.

This program is a repeat and was first broadcast on 9 November 2009.


Dr Chris Smith
Virologist, Cambridge University, UK

Kylie Heffernan

Sharon and Neil Evans

Professor Caroline de Costa
Professor of Obstetrics, James Cook University, Cairns

Professor David Ellwood
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Australian National University, Canberra

Associate Professor Jenny Fenwick
Associate Professor of Midwivery, University of Technology, Sydney

Nicky Phillips
Reporter, ABC Radio National, Science Unit


Norman Swan

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Important update from MC on the maternity reform process

Click here for a detailed update on the maternity reform process, hot off the press, from Maternity Coalition. Many of the submissions from Maternity Coalition over the past year and a half can be downloaded at the bottom of the update. Maternity Coalition will distribute a further update as soon as we have more details.
Maternity Reforms Update
June 17, 2010


Maternity Coalition are concerned about the requirements for collaboration in the insurance policy underwritten by the Federal Government. MC is aware of midwives who are unable to find collaborative solutions at their local hospitals and who cannot, therefore, meet requirements for insurance to continue to practise as a midwife.

Maternity Coalition wants to gain assurance from NMBA, State Ministers and the Federal Minister for Health that women’s birthing rights will be protected from 1 July.

This update will cover:

* National Registration and Accreditation Scheme insurance requirements
* Insurance options and “collaborative arrangements”
* Homebirth exemption criteria and the Safety and Quality Framework guiding midwifery care by Privately Practising Midwives attending homebirths
* Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) access
* Where this all leaves homebirth

***Edited on 19 June to note: This update from 17 June was edited yesterday (18 June) to reflect more recent developments. Please re-read it and continue to visit MC's website for updates. ***

Online article - "Private midwife insurance ‘expensive and unfair'"

Click here to read the article "Private midwife insurance ‘expensive and unfair’" published on www.insurancenews.com.au on 15 June 2010.

Brisbane's Child - Pregnancy & Baby Issue

Brisbane Child's current June 2010 Pregnancy & Baby Issue includes the following articles:

* Unplanned reactions - problems passed on through breast milk
* The rituals of rest - the sleeping practices of families around the world
* Behind the birthing bravado - learning to be wary of the suite talk of motherhood
* Delivering a decision - a mum-to-be changes her birthing venue
* Taking a cut - giving birth by caesarean when this was not part of the plan

Brisbane's Child is available free from a variety of locations including council libraries.

Participants needed for QCMB's Women's Labour & Birth Preferences Study

The Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies (QCMB) is looking for women to undertake a survey for the following study:

Can you help?

We are conducting exciting new research on 'Women’s Labour and Birth Preferences' within the Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies in the School of Psychology at The University of Queensland.

We’d love to know your preferences if you are:

- female and not currently pregnant (does not matter if you have/have not previously given birth)

- at least 18 years of age

Participation involves completing a short (approx. 15 minute) online survey.

What’s in it for you?

To thank you for participating, you can go in the draw to win a $100 Coles Myer Gift Voucher.

Any risks?
Your responses to this survey are completely anonymous. If you choose to provide your personal details for entry in the prize draw, your details will never be stored or reported with your responses, and we will never pass your details on to anyone else.

Click here to go to the online survey.

Please feel free to forward this email to any of your female friends and colleagues who you think may be interested.

Thank you,

Gabrielle Stevens

Psychology Honours Student

Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies
The University of Queensland Brisbane Qld 4072 Australia
t. + 61 7 3346 3079 f. + 61 7 3346 3085
e. s4076134@uqconnect.edu.au

Birth Support Circle workshops in Kuranda

Click on the flyers below to read about a series of birth support workshops being run by Jacqueline Conroy (Professional Counsellor) and Kellie McBride (Acupuncturist) in Kuranda for women in the Tablelands/Cairns area in July / August.

Face of Birth's Interview with Sheila Kitzinger

Click here to watch part of Australian documentary production Face of Birth's recent interview with Sheila Kitzinger.

Face of Birth is a documentary currently in production. While recently filming expert interviews we offered those following the progress of our film the opportunity to pose a question of their own.

In this episode of MY SAY, Sheila Kitzinger responds to a question posed by our FACEBOOK audience during our recent 'FACE OF BIRTH' UK shoot, June 2010.
In the clip Sheila answers the question "How do we educate our Dr's to give women all the information they need to make an informed choice about how they want to birth?".

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MC's stall at the Brisbane Parents, Babies & Childrens Expo this weekend

Come along to this weekend's Parents Babies and Chidren's Expo at the Brisbane Convention Centre and visit the "Pregnancy, Birth and Postnatal Options" stall, hosted by Maternity Coalition (MC) Qld. Staffed by many wonderful volunteers from MC, Home Midwifery Association (HMA), Birthtalk and Caesarean Awareness Network of Australia (CANA), we'll have information, magazines, memberships and lots of other fun goodies to sell and give away.

When: Friday 18 to Sunday 20 June 2010
Open: Friday 10am - 4pm (last admission 3pm)
Saturday and Sunday 10am - 5pm (last admission 4pm)

Entry is usually $14 for adults, but download a free entry ticket by clicking here.

Movie trailer: "Babies"

Click here for the trailer to a film just released in the US. Let us know if you know if/when it's coming to Australia...

Capturing on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all, this nonfiction feature from award-winning filmmaker Thomas Balm├Ęs simultaneously follows four babies, in Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco, and Tokyo, respectively, from birth to first steps. Every shot tells a story, as the adventure of a lifetime begins.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Are you an MC member?

Are you currently an MC member? By joining Maternity Coalition you are making a valuable contribution to our ongoing work to improve Maternity Services for women across Australia. Membership of Maternity Coalition also puts you in touch with a broad base of members who talk birth and trust birth. As an individual member you receive Birth Matters Magazine, published quarterly. Individual membership costs $40 in Australia and $65 for overseas members. You may also gift an individual membership to a friend.

New memberships or renewals can be done online here.

If you would like to check the status of your membership, you can email: memberships@maternitycoalition.org.au

Health Minister Nicola Roxon - insurance for midwives

Links to today's news articles re. Roxon's comments on insurance for midwives and homebirth:

The Australian: Private midwives to be covered by insurance

Sydney Morning Herald: Roxon optimistic about homebirth future

Minister Roxon's media release:

First Midwives to Benefit from Indemnity Insurance

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New article on Kindred website: Maternity Care for Highly Sensitive Women

Cas from Mumatopia has had another wonderful, thought provoking article published on the Kindred website, "Maternity Care for Highly Sensitive Women". Valuable reading for everyone who wants to see safe and appropriate maternity care for all women. Other great articles can be found on both websites.

Times & venues for QCMB roadshow - Dalby, Miles, Roma, St George (x 2) and Goondiwindi

In addition to the details on our previous post, see below for the flyers for the Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies (QCMB)'s Roadshow, visiting women and their primary maternity carers in Dalby (7th June), Miles (8th June), Roma (9th June), St George (10th June) and Goondiwindi (11th June).

Dalby (7th June):

Miles (8th June):

Roma (9th June):

St George (morning & afternoon 10th June)

Goondiwindi (11th June):

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MC Qld Brisbane gathering - 6.30pm, Tues 15 June, Mitchelton

Hi everyone,

Hope you can make it to MC's next gathering. Tues 15th June 6:30pm for 7pm start @ 177 Frasers Road, Mitchelton.

Ildiko Keogh
Convenor, MC Qld Branch
RSVP: ildikokeogh@hotmail.com

calmbirth® course with Sharon Gavioli in Brisbane - 26/27 June

See below for a message from Sharon Gavioli who until recently was very active in the Childbirth Education Association (which has now merged with Kyabra Community Association):

Hello to my fellow birth workers, previous clients and friends.

After months of gestation and some challenges, I am pleased to announce the start of calmbirth® prenatal preparation in Brisbane.

As many of you know I have been involved in childbirth preparation for close to 10 years. With CEA no longer providing childbirth education, I felt I needed to move in a direction to meet the needs of what I felt was important for birth to have the opportunity to be an empowering experience. That direction has been training to be a calmbirth® practitioner.

The program is well known and received well in N.S.W. and Victoria but in infancy here.

Essentially the program aims to address the beliefs and fears women and men have around birth and then from this platform offer tools to enable the women to embrace her own innate inner resources. It also provides men and other support people a clear understanding how to support themselves and the birthing woman.

I feel my background firstly as a mother to 7 children, then my experience of working as a birth educator and counsellor enables me to deliver the program with sensitivity and understanding of each person's own unique vision for their baby's birth.

Attached is a flyer for the first weekend course. If you feel this is something you, your friends or any of your clients may benefit from, please just let them know about it.

If you would like to know more about calmbirth® , you would visit my website www.calmbirthbrisbane.com.au or the national website www.calmbirth.com.au or contact me directly.

Thankyou for your support,


Sharon Gavioli R.N.
Grad. Dip. Childbirth Education
Ad. Dip. Counselling
Reg. calmbirth® practitioner.

p. 0417 083 803 e. sharon@calmbirthbrisbane.com.au

Beaudesert Maternity Services Public Meeting - report & photos

See below for the report from Alison Gaffney, mother from Stanthorpe & Maternity Coalition's consumer representative on the Beaudesert Maternity Services Project. Thanks to Ali, Bruce, Maree and others for such a great turnout to the meeting.

About a hundred people turned up to the Beaudesert RSL on Tuesday 25 May to hear the presentations on the proposed re-opening of the Beaudesert maternity service. Michael Rice the local GP was the MC and provided an excellent picture for us to follow. Hazel Brittain the Project Officer described the proposal in detail. Jocelyn Toohill (Senior Lecturer in midwifery, Griffith Uni) spoke about other successful models to work this way in Australia and Canada. Anne Moore (QH Maternity Unit) provided a detailed description of the model of this type operating in Mareeba, Far North Qld. I spoke about the importance of continuity of carer and how I became a consumer activist. Bruce Teakle spoke about what's happened historically, that the ball is now in the community's court to see it through and MC will be across this, supporting it how ever we can.

There were politicians from the Liberals, the Greens and the newly independent state Member for Beaudesert who was with the LNP until less than 2 weeks ago. There were 3 Scenic Rim Councillors present and many men happy to stand up and say what they could see were the issues. An Aboriginal elder spoke about the importance of bringing birth back to the community. Mothers spoke about their very real questions and concerns like 'what if this doesn't go ahead?', and all were very supportive of it happening. The local Child Health nurse was also vocal about how much support she will continue to give around this model being implemented. Midwifery students spoke about how this is the sort of place they want to be working in. Midwives who are providing very limited care there at the moment spoke about their love of the job and their excitement at the prospect of providing so much more.

I was hugely inspired by such a great turn out and response by the community and especially of a community action group being formed to follow the projects developments, provide info and be a community voice when needed.

What is needed by you blog readers, is to email our State Health Minister Paul Lucas directly and make it clear that this is exactly the sort of service that Queenslanders want and need, to put our system and our families in good health.

Alison Gaffney

Hazel Brittain, midwife & Project Officer, Beaudesert Maternity Services Project:

Alison Gaffney, Maternity Coalition

Bruce Teakle, Maternity Coalition: