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May 16, 2021

Dad rushed back for home birth

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New dad Adam Van Veen holds his six-week-old daughter Lily-Pepper as midwife Suzanne Weir looks on. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Luis Feliu

Mullumbimby man Adam Van Veen was working on an offshore oil rig in the Timor Sea six weeks ago when he got a call from his pregnant wife Xan telling him her waters were breaking.

Adam, from Goonengerry, wasted no time in rushing back home where his wife was about to have the first publicly-funded home birth under a new program operating from Mullumbimby Hospital.

‘I was choppered off the platform, then caught a couple of flights and eventually got to Mullum where I rang home, but was told she was just about to give birth,’ Adam told Echonetdaily.

‘Well, I made it home just in time to cut the cord; it was fantastic.’

Adam, who returns to work on the Timor Sea next week, says he and Xan have been in ‘a love bubble for the past six weeks’ getting to know their first child.

‘She weighed only 2.66 kilograms at birth so she was quite small but it’s been great just watching her grow since.

‘I was so lucky to have seven weeks off work for this.

Adam said Xan’s birth had been ‘really quick, around two hours, no stress at all’.

He said under the home birth program, in which their names were drawn out of hat to qualify, the hospital ‘provides just about everything’.

‘From insurance and hospital support through the birthing centre, three different midwives visiting each week beforehand, basically everything you need to get for such a birth.

‘Xan had a water birth, so we hired the bath for that.


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  1. Another brilliant home birth story! And thanks to Birthafloat (www.birthafloat.com) for the birthing pool – what a beautiful way to come into the world.

  2. I was so delighted to read this article, as a mother who also home birthed it is really refreshing to see that hospitals are recognising that midwives are EXPERTS in birthing. This mother had the best support and surprise surprise, no complications…as I also had. A joyous birthing experience. The success stories need more press, good on you echo and mullumbimby for paving the way for the rest of Australia to learn from.


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