Home-birth program launched

TWEED women choosing to give birth at home now have the support of the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) with a new home birthing program launched last month.

All women considered healthy and likely to have an uncomplicated pregnancy who live within 30-40 minutes of Tweed, Mullumbimby or Lismore Base Hospitals will be eligible to participate in the 12 months Home Birth pilot.

NNSW LHD chair Hazel Bridgett said two women per month would be accepted into the program.

She said the board had received advice from a Home Birth Steering Committee, which included obstetricians and gynaecologists, midwifery nurse specialists, expert clinicians and consumer representatives.

"The Board has satisfied itself that the NNSW LHD midwives have the necessary experience, credentials and skills to undertake Home Births," Ms Bridgett said.

"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 the board will make a decision on whether the program will continue.



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