A home delivery bundle

WHEN Darren Mattock and his partner Lucy Sporne made the decision to opt for a home birth, they were puzzled why there was no system to make it easier for parents to afford this more expensive method.

Mr Mattock said that early in his partner's pregnancy they explored options for an out-of-hospital birth locally and discovered the Natural Birth and Research Centre at Lindendale.

“We knew right away that we'd found the right place and the right people to help us,” Mr Mattock said.

However, the issue for the couple was the fee that came with their decision, totalling thousands of dollars for pre and postnatal care, medical appointments and midwifery fees.

“Even with debts and no clear idea on how we would get by financially, the joy of the home birth experience outweighed the cost,” Mr Mattock said.

However, he wonders why, with all the strains on the public health care system, families who opt for a home birth could not be reimbursed for the expenses related to out-of-hospital births.

“The wellbeing of families in the community and the health care sector would benefit greatly if financial assistance was provided,” he said.

Mr Mattock said it would also address the issue faced by hospitals when there were potential problems with a home birth.

“I feel for those who want a natural birth, but cannot afford one. Natural birth services should be available to everyone in our community,” he said.

Ms Sporne described the quality of care she received from the centre as 'phenomenal'. Support worker Margaret Spain's depth of knowledge was unlike anything she had experienced with her first pregnancy, when she had twins.

“We still visited an obstetrician and had essential blood tests and health checks, but that was as clinical as it got,” she said.

When Ms Sporne gave birth to Charlie Robert on June 19, Darren, a registered midwife and her support worker were all by her side.

Mr Mattock said the centre was very professional and made sure the appropriate steps were taken to minimise the risk of complications.

The centre has assisted in more than 1000 births. It will hold a natural birth seminar later this year.



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