Pregnant women can choose to give birth at home as part of a publicly funded trial in Canberra due to start later this year.
The ACT government will begin the three-year trial, delivered through the Canberra Midwifery Program, in October 2016 for women who are at low risk for obstetric complications and live within 30 minutes of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.
In a statement ACT Health says, “the strict eligibility criteria to be considered suitable for a home birth is based on general and clinical guidelines and criteria, and continuous risk assessments undertaken throughout the pregnancy and labour”.
The first babies born as part of the trial are expected from February 2017, with a total of up to 24 births a year expected.
ACT Health Minister Simon Corbell tells The Canberra Times he’s pleased to be able to give women more choice when it comes to making their birth plans.
“Philosophically, it’s important that women are supported to give birth in the environment that’s most suitable for them and which is safe for them, and for many women giving birth at home is an option that they would be like to be supported in having the choice to exercise,” Mr Corbell says.
“The ACT has been one of the few jurisdictions without such a service, and that’s largely been due to complications with achieving sufficient insurance cover for the government to undertake the service. With those issues now resolved, we’re in a good position to offer the service.”
He said the strict eligibility criteria for expectant mums wanting to take part in the trial was there to protect them and their babies.
Babyology has shared many home birth stories such as that of a father in Brazil who captured a series of photos showing the raw beauty of his daughter’s home birth.
(via The Canberra Times)