Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Being an Advocate for Change

Something I'm hearing a lot lately at uni is how important it is to be an advocate for change.

Midwifery is a profession which is experiencing rapid developments at the moment, as birth is slowly returned to "normalcy" and attitudes surrounding birth are shifting away from the medical model and into the midwifery model. The benefits of less intervention, a quiet, dimly lit home-like (or home) environment, immediate skin to skin contact and delayed cord clamping, to name just a few things, are better known than ever, and thus the benefits of one-to-one care by a midwife, rather than an obstetrician, or obstetrical team, are coming into the spotlight, and midwifery is becoming a profession in its own right again! 

I'm really lucky to go to one of the only universities in Australia that offers a direct-entry Bachelor of Midwifery, with a strong, woman-centred focus and a curriculum which supports and encourages continuity of care between women and midwives throughout the ante-natal, peri-natal and post-natal periods. I count my lucky stars every day to be a part of such a degree, run by such enthusiastic, knowledgable and experienced midwifery academics. Being a young, childless, fresh-faced, enthusiastic first-year student, my eyes are really being opened to the disparity between evidence and practice in the hospital setting when it comes to maternity care, and I have no doubt that my opinion of what constitutes "good" midwifery practice will only grow as my degree, and indeed my career, goes on. 

Right now, what is really resonating with me is the lack of choice Australian mothers have over where they give birth. Many mothers probably don't even realise that they do indeed have a choice over where they give birth. They are simply sent from their GP straight to the hospital! So, I did what anyone with dreams of a career as a home birthing midwife would do and sent a letter to my local health district to ask that Medicare funded home birth be considered as an extension of the Lismore Community Midwifery Service, which delivers in-home antenatal and postnatal care to low-risk women in the Lismore area, and guess what? I actually got a reply!

So there you go - if you want to see change, be the change! This might not seems like much to some, but it's a start! We might even get the funding by the time I finish my degree - how cool would that be?

No comments:

Post a Comment