26 September 2023

Health Services to deliver home birth

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Eligible families in the ACT will now be able to access homebirth as a birthing option at Canberra Health Services following the completion of a successful trial program and evaluation report.

Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith said the Government had agreed in principal to all recommendations of the report, Evaluation of the Publicly Funded Homebirth Trial in the ACT, including that the program be incorporated as an additional birthing option for eligible women.

“The overwhelmingly positive feedback shared in the report highlights that the homebirth trial was well received and homebirth should be considered as an additional birth option for eligible women in the ACT,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“Most importantly, the report found women strongly felt that the care provided was safe and competent,” she said.

“Women reported a strong partnership with their midwives and felt they understood their strengths and concerns.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said the evaluation showed that the trial had achieved its goals and objectives and had very good outcomes.

“Forty two women had successful homebirths with more than 90 per cent of women experiencing no complications during labour,” she said.

“Giving birth is an exciting and highly personal time for women and families.”

She said the success of the homebirth trial provided an alternative for women who wanted to give birth in a familiar place with a midwife they knew and trusted.

“The success of the homebirth trial is a testament to the knowledge, experience and skills of Canberra’s midwives and health professionals,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

The 61-page trial report, conducted by the Burnet Institute, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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