Saturday 28 February 2015

Sunshine, cups of tea and yellow cards.

The forgotten world of private midwifery care.

Having a baby is the most special and anticipatory time of most people's lives. The care you receive in your pregnancy is of utmost importance. Knowing that you and your baby are in the safest of hands for your prenatal care is essential to rest easy at night.

I want to talk about today, something that is not well known and understood, and even not necessarily readily available, in our culture - private midwifery care. Having your own midwife who looks after you and your baby and guides you safely on your pregnancy journey and beyond.

Here are a few misconceptions about private midwifery care:

  • It's alternative, or for hippies
  • It's only for if you're having a home birth
  • It's very expensive
  • There's no health fund or medicare rebates
  • If something goes wrong you don't have a doctor or hospital available
Let me clarify...
Private midwifery care is available as an option for every woman. It's a flexible model of care that can be adapted to suit every woman no matter what their health status and intended mode and place of birth.
With recent progress with medicare, private midwifery is now more available to more women. If your midwife is a medicare eligible midwife then your care is likely to attract a medicare rebate, with some midwives completely bulk billing all ante and post natal care, add to this some health fund rebates and private midwife care is now more affordable than ever.  
Finally, a midwife, even working in a private capacity, is part of a multidisciplinary team. If difficulties arise at any stage there is a smooth process of collaboration and referral with other care providers, be it your GP or local maternity unit. Your midwife and you work together to adapt your care to your changing needs. 

Private ob v Private midwife

similarities - 

one on one individualised care

differences - 

  • wait time - your midwife comes to you and you're never waiting in busy, overbooked clinics

  • you really get to know and trust each other 

  • you form a team together - planning, discussing and choosing every step of the way. Not just the 'pilot guiding his ship' to quote an obstetrician I know.

  • ob antenatal appointment 5-10 min, midwife 45-60+ min

  • There is little need for prenatal classes with private midwife care as every midwife appointment is filled with little bits of information and education, it's a pregnancy worth of prenatal education sessions. We talk about the baby to be and the role it's being born into.
homebirth midwife
Your midwife comes to you.
You get to know and trust each other over many
 relaxed friendly antenatal appointments.

Trusting, relaxed, confidant - you're in safe hands.
this is going on in the background -
No need for babysitting or dragging bubs to boring,
long wait-it-out doctors appointments.

He's learning about becoming a big brother.

Care options...

Depending on your situation your care plan is tailored to suit.
In a normal, healthy, low risk pregnancy your care is taken on by the midwife and if any need arises she works together with the multidisciplinary team to support you in your care. This care is best suited to a home birth plan, but can also be adapted for hospital birth.

Midwife shared care is a great option to get the 'best of both worlds'. This is the same as the common GP shared care model with added perks: being in your own home, no wait time, private care continued postnatally.
This model works best for women who are planning to have their baby at hospital and also for women planning a home birth if there are minor complications in their pregnancy i.e. diet controlled GDM or history of complications in previous pregnancies.
The reason it works best for these cases is the women becomes familiar with the hospital, she books in, she sees the staff obstricitan and then carries on her care with her midwife with intermittent visits back to the hospital (at 30 weeks and then from 37wks). When time to birth arrives or transfer (in case of a home birth), the hospital and woman have a relationship and the transition of care is smooth and problem free.

Postnatal care...

Probably the best thing about private midwifery care is the relationship that has been fostered and grown in the pregnancy continues through the postpartum period. Your midwife you've come to know and trust visits you as needed in the postnatal period. Postnatal care continues into the 6th week postnatally. this care is usually included in the care package and is also eligible for medicare and private health rebates. 

Hannah and Andy enjoy the perks of private midwifery care.

If you are interested in private midwifery care in the Wollongong area and its surrounds don't hesitate to contact me by Email. Remember midwife care is a valid option for every woman and care can be tailored to suit your individual needs. Lastly, it's never too late to employ the services of a midwife, if you are unhappy with the care you are receiving this pregnancy (remember it's not just pregnancy, but birth and beyond) don't wait "until next time", take action, choose the care you deserve.

until next time, Louise x

Monday 2 February 2015

Brown paper packages tied up with string.....

These are a few of my favourite things.....

About being a midwife at a home birth.

Not being welcomed at the door... 
tippy toeing in, following the sounds...finding this.

Estimating the progress of labour, 
just by being with and watching.

just waiting...
getting close now...
secretly wishing she births in this spot where the light is amazing!

back to the safety, warmth, comfort of the darkened birth pool.

that cord...

The relief, when all is done, from all involved....
The idea that bed is near....

Sneaking just one with the flash ;-)

Counting 10 and 10.

Saying goodnight, you were amazing x

What a joy and privilege to be present for this families birth of their new daughter. It was on the spur of the moment when their midwife fell ill and asked me to cover her as back up until she could be back with her clients.
Lucky for everyone their midwife came good, the family had two happy midwives present (one wielding the camera). 

Birthing at 3am poses some difficulty for the birth photographer, trying to maintain the calm and darkened birth environment without compromising the quality of the pics too much.
The birth photos here are quite fuzzy and grainy from the lack of light, but they still tell the picture here so beautifully.

Thank you to this family for welcoming me in to their home for their birth and to my friend and colleague Rachele Meridith for being a support and teacher.

Until next time,

Louise x