A survey of women in Australia who choose the care of unregulated birthworkers for a birth at home

Article


Rigg, Elizabeth Christine, Schmied, Virginia, Peters, Kath and Dahlen, Hannah Grace. 2020. "A survey of women in Australia who choose the care of unregulated birthworkers for a birth at home." Women and Birth. 33 (1), pp. 86-96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2018.11.007
Article Title

A survey of women in Australia who choose the care of unregulated birthworkers for a birth at home

ERA Journal ID30465
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsRigg, Elizabeth Christine (Author), Schmied, Virginia (Author), Peters, Kath (Author) and Dahlen, Hannah Grace (Author)
Journal TitleWomen and Birth
Journal Citation33 (1), pp. 86-96
Number of Pages11
Year2020
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN1871-5192
1878-1799
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2018.11.007
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871519218306607
Abstract

Background: Anecdotally, the number of Australian women who choose unregulated birthworkers to support a homebirth without a registered midwife present is increasing.

Aim: To explore the experiences and reasons why some women choose unregulated birthworkers for a homebirth, and examine what they might do if changes in legislation removed this choice.

Methods: A survey was distributed via social media networks and data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Content analysis was undertaken on open-ended questions.

Findings: Eighty-two women completed the survey. Most reported they achieved an undisturbed homebirth with a flexible carer who provided continuity of care and respect for their choices irrespective of risk factors. Three women whose babies died described their homebirth with an unregulated birthworker as the worst experience of their life. Motivators for choosing an unregulated birthworker to support homebirth were: previous negative and traumatising birth experiences; limited choice; and lack of access to midwifery led models of care within mainstream services. Only a third of the women in this study said they would birth in a hospital if legislation prevented their access to an unregulated birthworker’s support for a future birth.

Conclusion: Maternity services in Australia do not meet all women’s needs, leaving some feeling no other option exists but to seek an unregulated birthworker to support a homebirth. Previous negative experiences with maternity healthcare providers, inflexible systems of care, and limited access to funding for homebirth with privately practising midwives were identified as motivating factors. These issues require solutions to prevent homebirth going underground.

Keywordsunregulated birthworker (UBW), choice and access,homebirth, freebirthFreebirth
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420499. Midwifery not elsewhere classified
420319. Primary health care
Public Notes

Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Western Sydney
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Permalink -

https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q5344/a-survey-of-women-in-australia-who-choose-the-care-of-unregulated-birthworkers-for-a-birth-at-home

  • 211
    total views
  • 13
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Education of family members to support weaning to solids and nutrition in infants born preterm
Rigg, Elizabeth Christine and Neville, Christine. 2021. "Education of family members to support weaning to solids and nutrition in infants born preterm." International Journal of Nursing Practice. 27 (3). https://doi.org/10.1111/ijn.12979
The rise of the unregulated birth worker in Australia: the canary flees the coal mine
Rigg, Elizabeth. 2020. "The rise of the unregulated birth worker in Australia: the canary flees the coal mine." Dahlen, Hannah, Kumar-Hazard, Bashi and Schmied, Virginia (ed.) Birthing outside the system: the canary in the coal mine. Australia. Routledge. pp. 117-135
Woman centred care: has the definition been morphing of late?
Rigg, Elizabeth and Dahlen, Hannah. 2021. "Woman centred care: has the definition been morphing of late?" Women and Birth. 34 (1), pp. 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2020.12.013
Not addressing the root cause: an analysis of submissions made to the South Australian Government on a Proposal to Protect Midwifery Practice
Rigg, Elizabeth, Schmied, Virginia, Peters, Kath and Dahlan, Hannah. 2015. "Not addressing the root cause: an analysis of submissions made to the South Australian Government on a Proposal to Protect Midwifery Practice." Women and Birth. 28 (2), pp. 121-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2014.12.005
Attitudes towards breech management among a team of maternity clinicians in Australia undertaking breech training
Rattray, Janene, Rigg, Elizabeth, Partridge, Bradley and Taylor, Melissa. 2020. "Attitudes towards breech management among a team of maternity clinicians in Australia undertaking breech training." Women and Birth. 33 (4), pp. E348-E356. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2019.08.002
A mixed method case study: the preparedness of a school of nursing and midwifery in teaching mandated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in undergraduate nursing curriculum
Best, Odette, Carey, Melissa and Rigg, Elizabeth. 2019. "A mixed method case study: the preparedness of a school of nursing and midwifery in teaching mandated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in undergraduate nursing curriculum." National Nursing Forum 2019: Nursing Now - Power of Policy. Hobart, Tasmania 21 - 23 Aug 2019 Deakin, ACT, Australia.
The role, practice and training of unregulated birth workers in Australia: a mixed methods study
Rigg, Elizabeth C., Schmied, Virginia, Peters, Kath and Dahlen, H. G.. 2019. "The role, practice and training of unregulated birth workers in Australia: a mixed methods study." Women and Birth. 32 (1), pp. E77-E87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2018.04.007
Why do women choose an unregulated birth worker to birth at home in Australia: a qualitative study
Rigg, Elizabeth Christine, Schmied, Virginia, Peters, Kath and Dahlen, Hannah Grace. 2017. "Why do women choose an unregulated birth worker to birth at home in Australia: a qualitative study." BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 17 (1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-017-1281-0
The role, practice and training of unregulated birth-workers in Australia: a mixed methods study
Rigg, Elizabeth C., Schmied, Virginia, Peters, Kath and Dahlen, Hannah G.. 2017. "The role, practice and training of unregulated birth-workers in Australia: a mixed methods study." ACM 2017 National Conference: Midwives: the Truth is Out There. Adelaide, Australia 30 Oct 2017 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2017.08.038
Undergraduate nursing assistant employment in aged care has benefits for new graduates
Algoso, Maricris, Ramjan, Lucie, East, Leah and Peters, Kath. 2018. "Undergraduate nursing assistant employment in aged care has benefits for new graduates ." Journal of Advanced Nursing. 74 (8), pp. 1932-1954. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.13691
Violated and vulnerable: women's experiences of contracting a sexually transmitted infection from a male partner
East, Leah, Jackson, Debra and Peters, Kath. 2017. "Violated and vulnerable: women's experiences of contracting a sexually transmitted infection from a male partner." Journal of Clinical Nursing. 26 (15-16), pp. 2342-2352. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13723
Exploring undergraduate nursing students' perceptions of working in aged care settings: A review of the literature
Algoso, Maricris, Peters, Kath, Ramjan, Lucie and East, Leah. 2016. "Exploring undergraduate nursing students' perceptions of working in aged care settings: A review of the literature." Nurse Education Today. 36, pp. 275-280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2015.08.001
Use of the male condom by heterosexual adolescents and young people: literature review
East, Leah, Jackson, Debra, O'Brien, Louise and Peters, Kath. 2007. "Use of the male condom by heterosexual adolescents and young people: literature review." Journal of Advanced Nursing. 59 (2), pp. 103-110. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04337.x