Speaking of homebirths, it looks as thought homebirth in Australia is likely to go underground as a result of new policies for health care professionals under the Rudd government. From the middle of next year, midwives will have to hold professional indemnity insurance. This is a problem because no insurance companies in Australia are yet willing to insure independent midwives so when the new regulations come into effect, it will no longer be legal for independent midwives to attend homebirths.
Although less than 1% of all births in Australia take place at home, more than 50 % of submissions to the federal Government's recent maternity services review came from women calling for greater support for homebirthing services, which according to The Australian claims up to a 10-fold greater share of births in some overseas countries such as Britain.
This is devastating and dangerous. Women who are committed to have homebirths will do so anyway and many obstetricians agree that it is much more reasonable to support midwives in the provision of quality care to women wherever they choose to give birth, rather than knowingly risk the lives of women who make choices outside the medical model.