A NOT-FOR-PROFIT midwifery group in Success is facing closure after the WA government cut its funding.
For over 20 years The Bump WA has been providing midwifery advice, pregnancy classes, a lending library and lactation consultancy to pregnant mums.
Bump board member Sara Bayes says research shows that midwifery advice leads to decreased intervention at birth and less complications, helping mother and baby and reducing strain on the public health system
“Through the program at The Bump WA, expecting parents are given objective information, allowing their fear levels about birth to go down,” Ms Bayes says.
“Women who are then not fearful of the birthing process are less likely to have an intervention during birth.
“An increase in post natal dissatisfaction caused by mothers not having control over their birthing options is correlated with post-natal anxiety.
“Mothers who haven’t been educated and informed correctly on child birth preparation, go along and except what is given to them by the Public Health System”.
Bump, which has four staff members and six board members, has started a petition calling on the state government to reinstate its funding.
Kylie Ekin, president of Maternity Choices Australia WA, says pregnant mums are frustrated at the level of education currently on offer at public hospitals, noting they focus more on hospital protocols rather than women and families’ needs.
She claims some public health services are also referring families to Bump for education and support, and without the organisation, many families aren’t fully aware of their maternity care choices.
“Consumers want access to information, affordable antenatal and postnatal education and support,” said Ms Ekin.
“If the community loses this amazing not-for-profit organisation there will be a large gap in the services that are available to families and this will place pressure on the public health system.”
Since 1985, the World Health Organisation has considered the ideal cesarean rate to be between 10 and 15 per cent.
But 14 of the 28 public and private hospitals in Perth have a cesarean rate of over 15 per cent, and in 2012 St John of God in Murdoch, had the highest rate at 57 per cent.
WHO studies have revealed that when cesarean rates rise above 10 per cent there is no scientific evidence that mortality rates improve.
Bump works towards preventing unnecessary cesareans and increasing the natural birth rate.
“Our program provides quality for expecting parents, quality is not what the government care about” says Ms Bayes.
Ms Ekin added that many women and their families, who said they received advice from Bump, were shocked to hear about the funding cut.
The Chook contacted WA health minister Rodger Cook for comment, but he didn’t get back to us before deadline.
To view Bump’s petition go to http://www.change.org/p/hon-roger-cook-savethebumpwa?
by NICOLLETTA DE GENNARO