Mothers can move mountains
We bearers of new life are a powerful lot. We perform life's most incredible act of growing then birthing babies. But when we're in the thick of raising young children, we can often feel like the antithesis of power. In or under-supported, sleep deprived, wild-haired sometimes screaming state, with seemingly endless demands on us, we can wonder if we'll ever be able to string a sentence together again.
But if our beloved birth services are suddenly under threat, we can catapult ourselves way out of our comfort zones into the public sphere to restore them.
In this episode we will hear from three mums on different campaigns to save their local birth stories. Rachel Bryant from Murwillumbah, Samantha Wibberley from Tamworth and Helena Mooney from Sydney have all been inspired to become birth activists from one day to the next. "I just couldn't stand by and let the closure happen." says Rachel.
We also learn about national health and safety standard Standard 2: Partnering with Consumers that means health services need to involve their patients in the planning, delivery and review of their health care. This standard means that health services can't close their services or deny services to their community without involving them in these decisions.
In all three stories from this episode, the community was not involved in the decisions relating to their local birth services. So, the initial focus for these women is get meetings with hospital management.
This can sound easy - surely the hospital will agree to meet their community, right? Well, none of Rachel's, Samantha's or Helena's first meeting requests were welcomed by their hospitals. In all cases, they have had to write lots of letters, build significant community support and in the case of Murwillumbah and Tamworth, rally out the front with their prams and placards before the doors were opened to them...
Find out how these mothers' stories of moving mountains play out in this podcast.
And we'd love to hear from you if you'd like to see change for your local birth services!
Right across this country we've seen the closure of 100s of birth services in recent decades, so if you live out of an urban area, changes are you've got limited birth choices. And that's not right. Our national maternity services plan calls for woman-centred continuity of care near where women live. This is how we get the best possible birth outcomes for women, babies, their families and our communities as a whole.
With sincerest thanks to all three heroines in this journey: Rachel Bryant, Samantha Wibberley and Helena Mooney and their communities supporting them. Without their efforts, evidence-based birth services would sink without a trace. Thank you also to Melissa Fox, CEO of Health Consumers Queensland who explains how hospitals are meant to engage with their patients or 'consumers'.
NE PLUS ULTRA
The authors of this segment are varied, each post will indicate the author of that particular post. For more information about our team, visit here