"Water Birth"

About: Broome Health Campus / Maternity/Midwifery

(as the patient),

My first child was a water birth at the King Edward Family Birth Centre & was a fantastic experience. I honestly couldn't imagine it going any more perfectly. I didn't have to have any form of drugs to help with the pain & I had no tearing nor needing stitches, etc. The midwives there were fantastic & was a complete hands off experience where I was able to let my body do the job it was meant to do. 

I now live in Broome, currently pregnant with my second child & absolutely blown away & gutted that they don't offer water births here. I know it is being pushed to go ahead, so I thought I would share my past experience to hopefully help the progress along in a positive way. We as women who are already putting our bodies through so much change should have the choice to birth however we wish. It's our bodies so should be completely our decision. I also think that if this option was available it would eliminate a lot of home births giving mother & baby faster access to a doctor if something should unfortunately go wrong.      

Responses

Response from Carmen Morgan, Regional Director Of Nursing, WACHS - Kimberley

Dear indigoek75

Thank you for sharing your story with us about the positive water birth experience you had at King Edward Birthing Centre. Our midwives are highly experienced and many have undertaken the training necessary to support water birthing however, the physical space and infrastructure of the birth suites in our hospitals, is not currently at a standard that would ensure your safety or that of our staff - and safety is of paramount importance to us. The remodelling of our birthing suites in the region to accommodate safe water birthing as per policy is on our infrastructure priority list, however there are no immediate plans for modifications given the many competing priorities at present. I remain fully committed to supporting the preferences of birthing mothers however and helping our exceptional midwives to provide their clients an exemplary obstetric service.

I am sorry the birthing suite modifications required to ensure safety won’t happen in time for the birth of your second baby. I extend my very best wishes to you and your family at this special time. Please do feel free to contact me personally if you would like to discuss this further via phone 08) 9195 2450 or via email carmen.morgan@heath.wa.gov.au.

Kind regards

Carmen Morgan

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Update posted by indigoek75 (the patient)

Thanks Carmen, but I have heard from various midwives in Broome that you have 2 blow-up pools available for use, but have not been given the go ahead. I'm guessing it will take a very long time to "remodel" the birthing suits, but in the meantime why not give the option to utilise the blow up pools especially if the midwives have undergone training.

Thanks.

Response from Carmen Morgan, Regional Director Of Nursing, WACHS - Kimberley

Dear indigoek75

You are quite correct, the maternity unit at Broome Hospital does have 2 inflatable pools; however the design of the delivery suite rooms was never intended to accommodate a filled pool in the space available and therefore does not fully comply with WA Health Department policy. Of utmost importance to us is safe extraction from the pool of a mother in any emergency. Such a situation requires the response of multiple emergency personnel, plus equipment. With a filled pool to negotiate in the room as well, I’m sure you can appreciate how problematic the provision of life-saving measures becomes. We are aware of how important having a water birthing option is to the community, yours is not an isolated story and we are listening. We are just not willing however, to support a water birthing arrangement that is not fully compliant or as safe as possible.

We are in the process of reviewing our options for the redesign of the Broome delivery suite in order to safely accommodate water births. You are right it will take time however it is a priority for us. I will ensure I keep you informed of our progress.

Kind regards,

Carmen Morgan

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