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Byron Shire
April 1, 2023

Water-born babies star in new movie

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The subject of home birthing will be given another airing – or should that be watering? – in a new film to be screened this week.

The Northern Rivers branch of Maternity Coalition will screen Birth Day at Red Tent Yoga Studio in Byron Bay on Friday, followed by a panel discussion featuring a midwife, a doctor and a mother on the full range of birth choices in our local region, from home birth, water birth, breech birth, birth in a birth centre and local hospitals.

Birth Day is a moving depiction of midwife Naoli Vinaver Lopez, a midwife giving birth to her third child in water at her home in Mexico.

‘Ms Lopez is very articulate and gives her valuable insights into the experience of childbirth,’ said Sally Cusack, Northern Rivers branch president of Maternity Coalition. ‘We like to bring positive messages about pregnancy and birth to our community, as too often families come to the experience with fear and trepidation, and this film is a perfect vehicle for that.

‘We get a steady stream of enquiries from local women wanting to access home birth,’ said Ms Cusack. ‘It is surprising but home birth with a registered midwife is becoming increasingly difficult to access in this region.

‘The North Coast Area Health Service is investigating the possibility of publicly funded home birth, but a service has not been introduced yet. And if a woman wants to employ a registered midwife privately, then her options are few and far between, unfortunately.’

Birth Day will screen at Red Tent Yoga Studio at 5/102 Centennial Circuit, Byron Arts & Industry Estate, at 6pm for 6.30pm. Tickets $10 ($7 for concessions and BMid students).

A petition in favour of home birth services, to be presented to NCAHS, can be signed at www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-for-a-publicly-funded-homebirth-program.

For more about the Coalition, visit www.facebook.com/MaternityCoalitionNorthernRivers and www.maternitycoalition-northernrivers.blogspot.com.

Image: At rear, president of the Northern Rivers branch of the Maternity Coalition, Sally Cusack, Vanessa Wood with her son Willem, and a very pregnant Leah Laureau. Photo Jeff Dawson

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