WHAT WE ACHIEVED, AND WHAT WE ARE STRIVING FOR
2019 was a huge year for Homebirth NSW! As an organisation, we are always striving for increased access to homebirth in Australia. Looking back on all of our incredible achievements in the year shines a light on how we are doing this, and what we are doing to work towards this goal. Let's take a little tour of 2019 in the life of Homebirth NSW...
Most notably, we rebranded from Homebirth Access Sydney to Homebirth New South Wales, providing us with a state-wide scope for creating opportunities to support homebirth families. This change will and has involved collaboration with homebirth communities and groups beyond Sydney, allowing for our message to spread further. With a new name, comes a new website! Our new website is in the design process now, woo hoo! This is going to be particularly helpful in finding your local privately practising midwives, accessing other local birth professionals and ease of access to information on all things homebirth. Are you a birth worker? Would you like to advertise with us? Click here to find out how we can support your business!
Speaking of information, we undertook some amazing projects so as to source evidence-based research, resulting in some invaluable, publicly available stats. This research included looking at the barriers to homebirth for women and midwives, which is vital in informing the advocacy work we, and you as consumers, can do. Check out the full report here.
Advocacy is at the crux of our ethos as the Homebirth NSW committee, exemplified in our submissions to the Australian Government regarding Medicare rebates for intrapartum care provided by privately practising midwives. Our research report showed that for 70% of the women in the study, the cost of hiring a PPM was a barrier to their choice of homebirth; our work around the availability of rebates is a step towards addressing this barrier.
Another option for those facing financial barriers, is the Publicly Funded Homebirth programs. We liaised frequently with hospitals and local women's groups to push for the creation and maintenance of these programs so as to ensure homebirth is becoming more accessible to all women. Kristyn, our advocacy officer, recently sat on the committee for the newly established Publicly Funded Homebirth program at Westmead Hospital. When major hospitals undertake exemplary programs like this, our hope is that other hospitals will take note!
Another way we are supporting families with their homebirth plans is by having a new National Homebirth Register! It's got a nifty map and everything! Check it out! This map shows you the midwives who are available in your area, as well as the hospitals offering Publicly Funded Homebirth programs.
There were of course many other tasks, events and projects we worked on in 2019, but it's impossible to discuss them all in one email! Click here for the AGM 2020 minutes. Here's a picture of us having a cuppa after the AGM, there were more of us at the meeting but we forgot to get a photo with everyone, oops!
That was 2019, what's happening in 2020?
Good question! 2020 has already seen new members joining the committee! The more we grow, the more advocacy work we can do! Here is the VERY concise version of our 2020 vision:
Thank you for reading, please get in touch about anything at all!
Claire Heenan (Communications)
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