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  1. #1
    bookgirl is offline New Member
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    Question water birth and recommended birth-centres in inner- Melbourne

    Hello,
    I'm a healthy 27yr old and my partner and I are planning first baby in a year or so.

    I want a natural birth (ie no interventions) in a birth centre, ideally a water-birth and led by midwives. I've researched homebirths, but neither I nor partner are comfortable doing this for first baby, especially given friend's bad experience with it.

    Any recommendations of good birth centres in inner city Melbourne? I've heard mixed reviews about Royal Women's... (esp poor continuity of care, 50% transferred to labour wards..)

    Do I need private health insurance to get continuity of care for pregnancy and birth? If I'm a private patient, can I still have a natural birth or water birth at birth centre?

    Can you recommend OBs in inner Melbourne that are pro-midwives and used intervention as a ver LAST resort?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    xMaryx's Avatar
    xMaryx is offline Member
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    Good luck.

    As a rule, if that is the birth you want, the last thing you want is an Ob.

    I do not know of any inner Melb birth centre that does what you want. In fact, for my next birth, after having an ob for the last two, I am planning to homebirth if I can because I want what you do, and that is the only way I can see that I will get it.

    I have heard that Sunshine hospital is going to be trialling a home birth program soon. Basically, one of their midwives will help you birth at home and if conditions arise that are not safe for homebirth, you will be transported to hospital. This is a very safe option. When a qualified midwife is attending you, they can identify conditions that could become dangerous very early on and have you transported before they become dangerous.

    You do not need private insurance for continuity of care, many public hospitals have programs that provide this. I had a private ob, who missed my birth and had an idiot of an offsider turn up after the fact to try and stitch me up without anaesthetic. There is good and bad parts of both systems.

    I hope you find what you are after, and if you do, can you let us know where?
    Last edited by xMaryx; 12-01-2010 at 06:21 PM.
    Baby number 3 due in winter.

  3. #3
    Another Nik's Avatar
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    The Mercy for women in Heidelburg have a family birthing centre (i've heard good things but haven't experienced it myself) and a fantastic midwife care program. I had no Ob only midwives and they were fantastic and would definitely recommend them for a low risk pregnancy.
    Me and DH

    Plus:
    DS Our gorgeous Goo Boy
    July 09

    and
    Our beautiful "little" Pumpkin
    March 2011, 4.52kg (9lb 15oz), 53cm, HC 36cm

  4. #4
    xMaryx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Nik View Post
    The Mercy for women in Heidelburg have a family birthing centre (i've heard good things but haven't experienced it myself) and a fantastic midwife care program. I had no Ob only midwives and they were fantastic and would definitely recommend them for a low risk pregnancy.
    I have heard they are great. However, you may be able to labour in water, but water birth is quite rare.
    Baby number 3 due in winter.

  5. #5
    bookgirl is offline New Member
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    Thanks everyone, I'm really surprised and disappointed that more hospitals don't offer waterbirths...

    Re ob, there are a few open-minded, pro-midwife and anti-intervention ones around. Infact, one of them delivered me (with team of midwives) 27 years ago at RHW and it was a completely drug and intervention free birth - very rare in early 1980s... unfortunately, he has long since retired.

    I'm more than happy to have midwife only care during birth, but just thought I'd ask in case there's a super-brilliant ob you recommend for my preferred birth.

    RWH and Mercy both have a teeny bit of info on their websites about women choosing midwife-led teams for low-risk births, but almost no info on how this works in practice, and whether water births (or water labours) are possible.

  6. #6
    Papaya is offline Member
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    Hi birthgirl,
    I'm not sure if this is useful to you but I'm currently reading 'Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering' by Dr Sarah J Buckley (Australian). She made a comment that might be of interest "In most centres around two-thirds of women who labour in the water feel the need to get out of the tub to deliver their babies".
    I know that Mercy has tubs in the family birthing centre and in the mainstream birthing section (not sure of proper title) so you'd certainly be able to use water. They did say to us that in the mainstream section that women are not allowed to deliver in the tub. Don't know about the family birthing centre though. I can't tell you any more as we only did a tour. I'm only 9 weeks pregnant and busy exploring all my birthing options now. We are booked into the main section of the Mercy but I'm probably going to switch to the family birthing centre.
    They did say that you if aren't in one of their catchments you have no chance of getting in though.
    Me and He
    Doglet: 11
    Our little baby girl: Born Aug 12, 2010

  7. #7
    Another Nik's Avatar
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    In practice with the Mercy when you have all your check ups along the way you see a midwife instead of a Dr. You only see a Dr about twice I think - once at the beginning to make sure you're low risk and one near the end for the same reason. If you choose team care you will see a group of midwives that are designated for your area. So over the course of the visits you tend to end up seeing the same midwives with the idea that when it comes to the time you'll know one of the midwifes on the birthing suites. I ended up pretty much having the same midwife all the way. And you can definitely labour in water. There's a couple of baths and there is showers in every room - you can't give birth in the suites though (like pp mentioned) not sure about family birthing centre but I'd say it's unlikely.
    Me and DH

    Plus:
    DS Our gorgeous Goo Boy
    July 09

    and
    Our beautiful "little" Pumpkin
    March 2011, 4.52kg (9lb 15oz), 53cm, HC 36cm

  8. #8
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    I had my first in the birthing suites at the Mercy, and my second in the family birth centre.
    There are a couple of large baths in the suites, and a couple in the FBC. They allow you to labour in the bath, but will not allow you to deliver your baby in water. I heard someone say to a midwife something about "what happens if I start pushing and i can't or i refuse to get out of the bath?" and her reply was a very definite "we pull the plug".
    I spent most of my 2nd labour in the shower which was amazing, but as soon as DS2 started crowning they turned off the taps. I can definitely recommend the mercy FBC as a midwife-led, zero intervention birthing place. I don't think I had the same middy for any of my appointments, but they were all lovely and I would have been happy to have any of them there on the day.
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Me-30 DH-36
    Loly 29/05/07
    Moo 28/03/09

  9. #9
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    Hi bookgirl

    I had a waterbirth with my last 2 daughters at Boxhill Hospital - they have a waterbirth policy and have accredited their midwives for waterbirths. Although Boxhill Birallee isn't a birth centre, i believe going with their "Know Your Midwife" program is pretty equivalent to a birth centre. The program was fantastic, one midwife for the duration of your pregnancy, who is then on-call for when you go into labour, and who also looks after you in hospital, and then visits at home, it was THE most fabulous care!

    You can have a read of my birth story for my last daughter HERE
    Missed m/c 11wks '03
    DD1 9yrs old
    Missed m/c 9wks '05
    DD2 7yrs old
    Angel DS 13w5d, May '08
    DD3 4yrs old
    Missed m/c 10wks '11
    DD4 May '13

    *Please do not reproduce for FB*

  10. #10
    Loula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ally_belly View Post
    I heard someone say to a midwife something about "what happens if I start pushing and i can't or i refuse to get out of the bath?" and her reply was a very definite "we pull the plug".
    wow, i had the opposite with my DD2 (different hospital) - I had said to my midwife that i was keen on waterbirth, and although it was against their policy at that time (since changed) she said to me that she would ask me to get out of the bath when it was time to push, but that it was completely up to me as to whether i agreed to get out or not and i could refuse to get out (nudge nudge wink wink!!)!!
    Missed m/c 11wks '03
    DD1 9yrs old
    Missed m/c 9wks '05
    DD2 7yrs old
    Angel DS 13w5d, May '08
    DD3 4yrs old
    Missed m/c 10wks '11
    DD4 May '13

    *Please do not reproduce for FB*

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