Your Birth, Your way.

Your birth will shape the first steps into your parenting journey.

It has the potential to empower and strengthen your belief in yourself, your baby and your parenting abilities. But unfortunately some women and their partners can occasionally feel that their birth was not what they had hoped.

All women, pregnancies and babies are different, therefore there are a vast array of options available to us when it comes time to birth. From planned C-Sections to freebirths, the most important thing is that women feel heard, respected and are front and centre in their birthing experience.

We believe that by being fully aware of your choices, rights and opportunities in birth you are setting yourself up to have every opportunity to have the birth you envision!

What are your birthing options in Australia?

Hospital Births 96%

Public Hospital

-public patient (antenatal clinic): attend the hospital for all pre-natal appts, see whichever dr/midwife is on duty that day and birth with whomever is on duty that day

private patient, private midwife,

-mgp (caseload midwifery): 1-2 main midwives who do all your pre and post natal appts and are the ones to attend the birth. Visits at home or in the hospital. Continuity of care. Usually free-paid for by medicare.

-team midwifery care: like caseload but a team of midwives instead of 1-2

-gp care: gp can do all the pre-natal visits, some at the hospital, gp wont be at the birth unless you live in a rural area usually, the midwives from the hospital will attend the birth. Can be bulk billed depending on gp’s charging methods.

-OB in public hospital: some OB have visiting arrangements at public hospitals

-Private midwife in public hospital: some midwives have visiting arrangements to be your birth provider at a hospital (endorsed midwives)

Birthing Centres 2.7%

A few in private hospitals but most in public hospital. If in a public hospital all costs are covered by medicare.

Home Birth: 0.3%

-Publicly funded homebirth program:

-2 private midwives that do all your pre and post natal care and both attend the birth. Pre-natal visits at midwives home or yours.

Other support people at any of these locations: doula- can visit all locations, pre and post natal visits.

Home birth:

Rhea Dempsey: Because of contemporary cultural messages about how dangerous birth is, I can understand why homebirth is not an option many women consider. Nonetheless research around the world suggests it’s one that should be more widely considered.

Recent Australian research comparing home and hospital births tells the story: for low-risk women choosing homebirth we see no increased risk for babies, but stark differences in intervention rates. Of the women who planned homebirth 10% transferred to hospital for necessary interventions, emergency caesarean 2.5%, instrumental birth 2.5%, epidural 3.2%, episiotomy 2.9%. In contrast, for low-risk women choosing hospital the rates were caesarean 12.5%, instrumental birth 17.5%, epidural 27.5%, episiotomy 21.2%.

Merely by choosing a hospital, a low-risk woman increases her chances of intervention.

Of the homebirth women 95% had spontaneous vaginal births, while only 70% of women birthing in hospital did. This difference between 95% and 70% might already seem stark but it’s important to note, too, that the figure of 70% for spontaneous vaginal births in hospital doesn’t equate to normal physiological birth. It merely means the baby was born vaginally without the use of forceps or vacuum, so this 70% statistic can also include induction, augmentation, artificial rupture of membranes, managed third stage and other procedures. In contrast, the spontaneous vaginal birth statistic of 95% for women choosing homebirth equates predominantly to normal physiological birth.

These positive stats are reflective of homebirth research worldwide. Yet in Australia, in contrast to other countries and despite the evidence of its safety and benefits, homebirth is neither routinely promoted nor easily accessible.

Free Birth

Antenatal and post natal care can be done at antenatal clinic, birth centre or with GP, also entitled to MACH visits, can transfer to hospital after birth for mum and baby check up if required.

Planned vs unplanned freebirth.

Birth Professionals


Type of care

Private Hospital

Public Hospital

Birth centre


Pre natal

Post natal


Medicare rebate

Private health rebate?






In office

1 at 6 weeks in office


Only part in public hospital


Private Midwife





At home or her house

6 weeks of visits at your home




Caseload Midwife





Hospital or your home

2 weeks of visits at your home by your midwife




Hospital Midwife (Antenatal clinic)






1 home visit from child and family health nurse, follow ups at clinic if needed









At your home

At your home





Different types of pain relief

Type of pain relief

Method of administration

Who can administer

Risks to mother

Risks to baby



(Nitrous oxide)

Oral inhalation



Light headedness.

Increased heart rate.

Respiratory depression.

None known. Does cross placenta.

Opioids (morphine, pethidine, fentanyl)




Respiratory depression.

Impaired logic.



Nausea and vomiting.

Decreased gastric function.

Urinary retention.


Respiratory depression.

Reduced fetal heart rate.


Reduced breastfeeding initiation rates.

More for early labour, less effective after 7cm.

Maximum 4 hours of effectiveness.

Fentanyl has the least side effects to mother and baby of the opioids

Water injections

Injection into lower back muscles


Intense stinging at site for first 30secs-minute before pain relief felt.

None known.

Up to a few hours of relief.


Injection into epidural space next to spinal chord.


Blood pressure decrease.

5X increase risk of fever.


Nerve damage, sometimes long lasting.

Epidural abscess.

Epidural haematoma.


Extended 2nd stage labour.

Postpartum haemorrhage.

Heart rate abnormalities.

Increased chance of posterior positioning.

Lower apgar scores.

Much higher risk of needing resusitaction or help breathing.

Increased NICU stays.


Newborn drug toxicity.

Encephalopathy (brain damage).


Decreased neurobehavioural scores.

Decreased breastfeeding intitation rates.

Will also require a drip and catheter usually.

Varying levels of sensation loss with each person.

Mostly restricted to bed after that. Unless getting a low dose version.

Tube left in back to top up if needed.

Continuous monitoring of baby required from then on.

Doubles the risks of interventions like vaccum, episiotomy and c-section.

Marked decrease in natural maternal birth hormones.

Water immersion


In bath or shower.


None known.

None known.

Decreased use of pain medications.

Decreased risk of perineal injury.

Shorter 2nd and 3rd stage labour.


Electrical pads on lower back.


None known

None known

Not all hospitals provide TENS machines so you may have to BYO.

Changing positions, massage, counterpressure, heat/cold packs, breathing techniques, music.


None known.

None known

Acupressure/acupuncture, hypnosis, aromatherapy

Qualified practitioners

None known.

None known.




Stages of Labour

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