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Standing up for Birthing Women

Birthing with a midwife who has been with you throughout your pregnancy and continues to care for you post-natal is considered the gold standard of care. All women should have this right if they choose it, yet in Australia attempts are being made to make it legally impossible for a private midwife to care for a woman unless they are under the jurisdiction of a doctor - yet it is the midwives who have the ultimate training in childbirth!

This particularly affects women who choose to birth at home with a private midwife, yet ultimately it affects all women because essentially it is about a system trying to say: we have a greater right over your body than you do. It is based on an old patriarchal system where the system plays the role of the authoritative father, while women and midwives are treated like children who just don't know what's good for them.

It is wrapped in the guise of 'safety' and 'protection' but there is nothing safe about taking away women's rights, be that the birthing woman or the attending midwife. The media will tell you that it is not about women's rights, it is about having the end result of a healthy baby, (as if this is some sort of big news that we were oblivious to, you know in our hunt for the perfect candle!). The two go hand in hand...a healthy baby emerges out of a healthy, well cared-for mama. Standing up for women's birthing rights is not about selfishly putting our 'birthing experience' ahead of our baby's life and health as the media would have everyone believe - it is about ensuring the most optimum birth possible in whatever circumstances that may unfold during that birth, ensuring the best of pre-natal, labour/birth and post-natal health for both baby and mother. If you want to read more, or support women by signing this petition, please go here.

(c) Dana Mrkich 2015

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