The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) Board has endorsed the undertaking of a 12-month home birthing pilot supported from Mullumbimby Hospital, commencing today.
The Chair of Northern NSW Local Health District Board, Hazel Bridgett, said, ‘all women considered healthy and who are assessed as being likely to have an uncomplicated pregnancy and live within 30-40 minutes of Mullumbimby, The Tweed or Lismore Base Hospitals will be eligible to participate in this home birth pilot.
‘During the pilot period, two women per month will be accepted into the Home Birth Program,’ Ms Bridgett said.
‘The NNSW LHD has consulted extensively and has carefully evaluated the risks of providing home births before making its decision.
‘The NNSW LHD Board received initial advice from a Home Birthing Steering Committee, which included obstetricians and gynaecologists, midwifery nurse specialists, expert clinicians and consumer representatives who undertook a consultation process on the options for providing a Public Home Birthing Service,’ Ms Bridget said.
‘In considering the introduction of home birthing, the board has satisfied itself that the NNSW LHD midwives have the necessary experience, credentials and skills to undertake home births.
‘The board has also assured itself that a strong policy framework will be put into place, so that pregnant women agree to safety requirements to support the home birth.
‘Further, the pregnant women need to agree that home births will only proceed if they remain low risk births and to acknowledge that if their birth risk increases, then the birth cannot proceed as a supported home birth.
‘Once the 12-month pilot is completed its outcomes will be evaluated and the board will make a decision on whether home births will be approved to be undertaken on an on-going basis within the NNSW LHD,’ Ms Bridgett said.