A passionate group of midwives with a powerful message for policy makers and politicians: Making midwifery continuity of carer and community family birth centres a reality in South Australia

Megan Cooper, Paula Medway

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review

Abstract

Background: In 2016, the SA Branch of the Australian College of Midwives tabled three key strategic priorities, the first of which was to provide women with the option of freestanding birth centres. This was driven by an identified lack of access to midwifery continuity of carer models and increasing limitations with respect to choice of birth place and care provider.
Approach: This paper will discuss the key milestones, challenges and triumphs of working towards the development and implementation of community family birth centres in SA. Specifically, it will discuss the development of a written proposal, pivotal groundwork and relationships that facilitated engagement with politicians and key stakeholders and the key strategies that were not only used to put birth centres on the political radar, but also to emphasise the shortfalls of midwifery continuity of carer. Finally, it will present the future steps necessary to make community-based birth centres a real option for South Australian women.
Conclusion: Community family birth centres offer a potential solution with respect to improving women's choice and access to a known midwife. Such facilities also have the ability to reduce intervention and maternity care costs. Through the development of relationships with government, politicians and key stakeholders, the prospect of birth centres in SA is no longer viewed as an unachievable dream but a real possibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S20-S21
Number of pages2
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume32
Issue numberSuppl. 1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Midwifery
  • community-based birth centres
  • South Australia

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