Not addressing the root cause: an analysis of submissions made to the South Australian Government on a Proposal to Protect Midwifery Practice

Rigg, Elizabeth and Schmied, Virginia and Peters, Kath and Dahlan, Hannah (2015) Not addressing the root cause: an analysis of submissions made to the South Australian Government on a Proposal to Protect Midwifery Practice. Women and Birth, 28 (2). pp. 121-128. ISSN 1871-5192


Abstract

Background
Reports of unregulated birth workers attending birth at home, with no registered midwife in attendance (freebirth), have become more frequent in Australia in recent years. A Coronial Inquiry (2012) into the deaths of three babies born at home in South Australia resulted in a call for legislation to restrict the practice of midwifery to registered midwives. A Proposal to Protect Midwifery Practice in South Australia was issued as a consultation paper in January 2013.

Aim
To report the views of those making a submission to the Proposal to Protect Midwifery Practice in South Australia.

Methods
Thirty submissions to the South Australian Government were downloaded, read and thematically analysed.

Findings
Twenty-five (81%) submissions supported the legislation, 5 (16%) opposed it and 2 (6%) were neither for nor against. Support for the proposed legislation was strong, however the underlying root causes that have led to the rise of UBWs attending homebirth in Australia were not addressed. Recommendations called for all stakeholders to work with women to develop a better framework of care that respected and met their needs and choices whilst safeguarding maternal and neonatal health.

Conclusions
The Proposal to Protect Midwifery Practice may promote greater protection of midwifery practice however, Private Indemnity Insurance (PII), collaborative agreements and power struggles associated with the medical domination of childbirth continue to marginalise homebirth and prevent women from accessing the care they want and need. These unresolved issues represent the root causes for UBWs attending homebirth; hence the proposal is only a partial solution.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 02:03
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2020 23:13
Uncontrolled Keywords: midwives; home birth; unregulated birth workers; Doulas; midwifery regulation
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111006 Midwifery
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2014.12.005
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31160

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