In Australia, expectant mothers from the ACT will soon have the option of participating in the first trial of publically funded homebirth.
The three year trial is due to commence in October 2016. ACT Health states that it expects to provide up to 24 births per year, or one or two homebirths a month over the period.
Importantly, this trial represents a show of support for women having a choice for how they prefer to give birth.
Importantly, this trial represents a show of support for women having a choice for how they prefer to give birth. The news will be a welcome opportunity for some expectant mothers, who may see giving birth at home in a familiar and private setting as a more comfortable experience.
Not all pregnant women in the ACT will however be eligible. For the safety of both mother and baby, strict eligibility criteria is required to be met before qualifying for the trial.
Included in this criteria, expectant mums must be at low risk of experiencing childbirth complications. Giving birth at home with a qualified midwife is generally seen as a safer option for women and babies in cases where there has been an uncomplicated pregnancy. Women must also live within a 30 minute catchment area of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children in Garran.
The trial will ensure that continuous risk assessments are undertaken throughout the mother’s pregnancy as well as labour.
Applications for the publically funded homebirth trial will open in October. If you would like information about the trial and eligibility criteria, ACT Health asks that you contact the Birth Centre Administrative Assistant on 02 61747341 between the hours of 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
Keep up to date with progress on the trial via Publicly-Funded Birth at Home’s Facebook Page.