Birth Statistics

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Who are we?

We are mothers who have done what every woman should do before she has a baby, and that’s research research research.

We have gathered this information from books, brochures, medical documents, research papers, government reports, speaking to midwives, doctors, qualified doulas.

Most importantly, this information has come from women who have kindly shared their birth experiences with us.

We have put it all together so that it is easier for women in Australia to make an informed choice about where and with whom they choose to birth their baby. We also wanted to clearly show what a woman is really saying yes to when she accepts intervention during her labour and birth.

We love to hear your feedback or share your story by emailing us

About Us

Jennifer Brown

My sister had already had 2 natural births before I fell pregnant with my first child.

At first I didn’t understand the significance of this, I just thought that if she can do it then so can I.

I prepared myself with a few birth courses and with the help of two wonderful midwives had an amazing birth free of intervention in my local hospital. I did though have to leave the hospital during my labour and go home to stop the doctor from ordering the midwives to break my waters to speed up my labour even though we were both doing really well and there were 2 other empty birthing suites available.

I felt like super woman after giving birth and realised what a sacred event it was in a woman’s life.

At a dinner party a number of months later I had an argument with a young doctor (general medicine) about birth. She talked about it like it was some kind of circus performance that all women needing saving from, I was so angry and upset that this was the opinion of a female doctor who had just left one of our universities.

I also realised how passionate I was about birth so I went and completed a 6 month doula course, which sparked a fire in me regarding helping other women have the best birth for them. I also learnt a lot about what was going on in our maternity system and the risks and benefits around medical intervention.

The day that we got to see and hold an internal foetal monitor I was so disturbed by the fact that this small piece of metal was screwed into an unborn babies head, that I drove though a red light on the way home.

As I started to learn about the Cascade of intervention I thought if women really knew this stuff, most would say NO when unnecessary intervention was suggested

I thought wouldn’t it be great if there was a website that I could suggest friends to look at instead of ear bashing them about the risks of intervention, the difference between care providers and local hospitals stats. As there wasn’t one I thought I should probably put one together myself if I really wanted to help women make an informed choice.

During the recent movement to save private midwifery care I kept getting copied on some fantastic emails written by Michelle Meares. I noticed at the bottom of her email that she was a website designer. So I rang her up, pitched my idea and asked if she would meet me to discuss it. Thankfully Michelle jumped at the opportunity as she shared a similar idea and we put the website together in only 2 months.

I really hope that it is helpful and you have a better birth because of it.

Please remember we are mums not medical professionals so if there is anything that you are not sure of please do your own research and get back to us with any suggestions.

Michelle Meares
I am a mother with 2 children. My first child was born in the birth centre of a hospital with shared care from a GP and the wonderful midwives on duty that night I went into labour.

When I returned to my mother’s group after the birth, I was shocked to discover that of the 12 women in the group I was the only one to have had a natural birth free of interventions. More than half of the other women had caesareans and some of them were so traumatised by their births, they vowed never to have children again. I realised then something was wrong with how we care for women giving birth in this country. I learnt as much as I could about pregnancy and birth and was lucky enough to attend the Home Birth conference in 2000. I heard there from many midwives about how beautiful birth could be.

I found out I was pregnant for my second child and there was no decision to be made. I knew immediately that I would find an independent midwife and was lucky enough to have an amazing woman offering her services to the local area. My son was born on Mother’s Day in a beautiful home water birth. His birth story is on the website here. He was very large weighing in at 4.74 kgs and I had a beautiful birth.

When I first found out earlier this year that the Federal Government was planning to pass new laws which would restrict women’s access to independent midwives, I knew I had to help stop that happening. My daughter has been to 2 home births now and to think that she may not have that choice one day when she has a baby is ludicrous. Luckily I met Jennifer and we decided to share our skills and resources to help inform people how to have the kind of birth experience they wish for and why we need our midwives.

There are so many fantastic obstetricians and midwives working in our hospitals and we are very thankful for the services they provide. In 1968-9, my Grandfather was President of RANZCOG (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.) Unfortunately he is not here today to tell us what he would have thought about the way the Rudd Government is restricting the birth choices available to Australian women.

As a citizen of a democracy in 2009, I shouldn’t have to go underground to give birth to my child if I don’t wish to birth in hospital. We want Australian women to have a choice. If a woman wants to use the services of a private midwife, she must have that choice available to her wherever she chooses to birth.

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