Women who choose homebirth often do so because they would like to give birth with minimal medical intervention and medical pain relief. It offers woman and their family the opportunity to birth in the comfort of their own home, usually with the care of an experienced private midwife or through a publicly funded homebirth program.
Once you have confirmed your pregnancy, it is a good idea to see your GP or contact your private midwife to start your pregnancy care as soon as possible. If you have chosen a private midwife, you won’t need a referral from your GP unless they can offer a Medicare rebate in which instance you may require a GP’s referral.
Throughout your pregnancy, your antenatal appointments will most likely take place in your home or in a community clinic. During your appointments, your midwife will discuss with you your pregnancy, birth and parenting and will offer antenatal education classes should you chose to do them. If you have chosen a private midwife, as part of your homebirth plan, your midwife will likely discuss booking into a back up hospital.
Once your labour begins, your midwife or midwives will care for you during your labour and birth in your home. After your baby is born your midwife will likely stay with you for a few hours to ensure you and baby are both healthy and well. They will continue to visit you in your home during the postnatal period, this will vary depending on your specific arrangement and how you and your baby are doing.
If you are interested in homebirth you should contact a private midwife to discuss your suitability or alternatively contact the Birth Centre at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children to discuss the publicly funded Home Birth Program.
For information and contact details of private midwives in the ACT;
ACT Health Homebirth Service
At your Maternity Options service appointment which your GP will refer or you may self-refer to (Ph 51249977) occurs at approx. 10wks of pregnancy the midwife will discuss all models of care including homebirth. If you are interested in homebirth your name will be placed on the continuity waiting list. You will be contacted by one of the homebirth midwives around 14-16wks to discuss further.
To check the registration of your private midwife;
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia – Check your nurse or midwife is registered
For more information;
Raising Children Network- Homebirth