Planned Birth at Home : ANMF (SA Branch) and ACM confirm their joint support
The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) and the Australian College of Midwives have confirmed their support for planned birth at home with a midwife as a safe option for women with straight-forward pregnancies.
Both organisations have confirmed that a woman should have the right to access planned birth at home with a midwife, provided:
- The woman is given all relevant evidence-based information associated with planning a birth at home, including the risks and benefits;
- The woman and midwife have access to collaborative networks and pathways should referral or transfer become indicated;
- The midwife in attendance is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and is appropriately trained and qualified to manage maternity emergencies;
- The midwife retains the right to discontinue care where the woman chooses care against advice, noting that the midwife is expected to provide ongoing care in an urgent situation until appropriate referral/transfer can be made.
Position statements from each organisation confirm these core principles:
ANMF (SA Branch) Planned Birth at Home Position Statement
ACM Planned Birth at Home Position Statement
Registration as a midwife is a process that ensures the competence and fitness of the professional providing care to women at this important time in their lives. It is vital that women seek evidence of the registration of the midwife when they are taking advice or seeking assistance with their pregnancy and birthing plans.
The evidence is clear that planned birth at home with a midwife is a safe option for many women. As is the case with other aspects of health care, the ultimate choice must rest with the woman, provided that she has made a decision based on all of the evidence and information relevant to her.
It is the midwife’s responsibility to ensure that all of the evidence and information, including the risks and benefits associated with all options, are presented in a manner that ensures informed decision-making and consent.