Child­birth trauma on the COAG agenda

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - JACKIE SINNERTON

RE­SPECT for preg­nant women and a push to re­duce child­birth trauma is on the agenda when state and fed­eral min­is­ters gather for to­day’s meet­ing of the Coun­cil of Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ments.

With re­search show­ing one in 10 women suf­fer post trau­matic stress dis­or­der fol­low­ing birth, the shock­ing health prob­lem is a hot topic in the Na­tional Strate­gic Ap­proach to Ma­ter­nity Ser­vices.

More than 900 sub­mis­sions and con­sul­ta­tion with 600 con­sumers have been con­sid­ered for the pa­per “Wo­man­cen­tred care — Strate­gic di­rec­tions for Aus­tralian ma­ter­nity ser­vices”.

The min­is­ters will be dis­cussing the pa­per.

Liz Wilkes man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of My Mid­wives, Aus­tralia’s largest pri­vate mid­wifery prac­tice, wel­comed the topic be­ing put in the COAG spot­light.

“Women have the right to be treated with dig­nity and re­spect. We need fo­cused at­ten­tion on models of care that make women feel safe and re­spected,” she said.

The na­tion’s peak ma­ter­nity con­sumer body the Ma­ter­nity Con­sumer Net­work says fund­ing will pay div­i­dends.

“Con­sumers have been cry­ing out for more ac­cess to a known mid­wife which re­duces stress and fear. This needs to be an ur­gent pri­or­ity for our health min­is­ters to ad­dress the high trauma rates from the way women are treated in birth,” net­work spokes­woman Ale­cia Staines said.

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