Obstetricians sidelined

Obstetricians sidelined!

According to the ABC news (link at end of post) Midwife care is the growing choice for birth for Queensland mums. I stared blankly at the TV, wondering what on earth the problem the could be.

Oh no, it’s outrageous!

Women are making informed decisions based on the best evidence available to them.

By the way, before you pass around the plate for my medical colleagues, calm down it’s only a total increase of 362 women who birthed at the Brisbane Birth Centre than last year.

Based on absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever Obstetrician Chris Zappala raised concerns that Obstetricians were being sidelined and argued patient care could be at risk.

Midwife led care at the birth centre is for low risk women. Obstetricians’ place in normal birth is most certainly on the side line, as far as I am concerned. Midwives are the experts in normal birth; it is what we are trained for. We know normal inside out and back to front. The moment normal is no longer, we know it.

When medical opinion or intervention is required it will be called for. Dr Zappala inferred that medical intervention would not be sought by midwives unless situation is dire. As a midwife, this inference is not just offensive it is incorrect and misleading.

Dr Zappala also said, and this is what really got me cross….”They (obstetricians) need to be in the room assessing mothers at critical points during their pregnancy and their labour, so as soon as they think they can add something or help, they can do so,”

Could anyone please tell me when exactly they had an Obstetrician sit with them for the duration of their labour, their whole labour so as soon as they think they can add something or help, they can do so. ???

 I am sorry, but I have never seen an Obstetrician sit with a woman throughout her labour. That is the midwife’s role. When did you ever see an Obstetrician sit for 12 hours plus providing one on one care, rubbing a labouring woman’s back, monitoring labour, and providing sips of water, reassurance and position changes?

Also I would be interested to learn what those critical points in pregnancy are that Dr Z implies Midwife care is failing women on. Routine antenatal care by any health care professional, Midwife, Obstetrician, or GP/ Obs  is designed to be a the key points in a pregnancy and our role is to assess and refer on as needed.

Dr Zappala would be better of spending his energy supervising those GPs who have no Diploma in Obstetrics, no experience in pregnancy care and 7 minutes per client providing care to pregnant women.  Please be aware not all doctors are created equal or more correctly put, qualified to provide antenatal care.

The sad thing about the birth centre model of care is that all the women wanting to access it cannot due to a restriction on the number of women the program can accommodate. Ballot system indeed! All women deserve midwife care.

Brisbane is not alone in this. When I worked at the Community Midwife Program (CMP) in Wangaratta we had exactly the same situation and women knew to book in the moment they had a positive pregnancy test to hold one of the prized spots in the program.

Midwife care is safe. There is ample evidence to support this which I can provide you dear reader upon request. Dr Z has provided no evidence to support his claim that women using midwife care for pregnancy and birth could be at risk.

Don’t just hit “like” I would dearly welcome your comments on this post.

I ask you: Does midwife care put women t risk?

You can read the ABC article here.


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