Home' Southern Health News : August 2016 Contents Southern Midwifery
celebrates 10 years
BY SARAH KOLAR
A demand for greater continuity and
individualised care in pregnancy,
birth and beyond from women and
midwives, led to the development
of the Southern Midwifery Group
Practice (SMGP) at Flinders Medical
Centre 10 years ago.
The SMGP, which celebrates its 10th
anniversary this month, is available for women
who wish to give birth as naturally as possible
with midwives as their primary carers and
whose pregnancy is considered to be at low
risk of complications.
The service also started offering home birthing
as an option in 2012.
SMGP Clinical Services Coordinator Julie
Pratt said the service, which is made up of 20
midwives, provides care for about 650 women
“We pride ourselves on our low intervention
rate and a caesarean section rate of 10 per
cent,” Julie said.
“Women within the model are discharged
from hospital as early as four hours after the
birth of their baby.
“We have had great success with early
discharge as the midwives visit the women
frequently in their homes, where the support
offered is often more appropriate and tailored
to each individual woman’s needs.”
The Group Practice has established clinics at
GP Plus centres at Aldinga, Noarlunga and
Marion so women can access antenatal care
as close to home as possible. They can also be
seen in their own homes.
“Satisfaction with care is higher for women
and their families when they are cared for by a
known midwife,” Julie said.
“Outcomes are better, when you have less
intervention and more continuity in the care
the midwives get to know the women’s
expectations and this allows for more
“The move to offer home birth was a natural
progression as midwives were asking to be
challenged more and there was an increased
demand from women to have a safe service
offered at home.”
The SMGP is available to women who meet
the criteria for a low-risk birth and who live
south of Sir Donald Bradman Drive, north of
Sellicks Beach and west of Upper Sturt.
Celebrating 100 home births
Damian with baby
Upton, Asta, 4,
and Aurora, 8, at
the family home in
BY SARAH KOLAR
Willunga South parents Damian
Plueckhahn and Angelique Joubert
describe the recent birth of their son
Ziggy at home as an “exhilarating,
joyous and powerful” experience.
The couple, who also have daughters Aurora,
8, and Asta, 4, were the 100th family to
have a home birth as part of Flinders Medical
Centre’s Southern Midwifery Group Practice
Ziggy was born at home on Wednesday 20
July at 5.15am, with the assistance of midwife
“Damian and I believe our experience was so
positive due to being at home in our space
with absolutely no distractions or interferences
throughout all stages of labour and birth,”
“We had our first two children at the birth
centre at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
(RPAH) in Sydney.
“These experiences gave us confidence,
understanding and the courage to feel
comfortable with choosing a home birth for
our third child.
“Although the birth centre environment at
RPAH was very comfortable and supportive,
and equally so seemed the Flinders SMGP,
nothing can compare to the relaxed and
familiar environment of one’s own home.
“Then adding the support of the midwives
perfectly complements the home birthing
The SMGP did its first home birth on 2
November 2012, delivering Ravena Dixon’s
baby boy Joryan at 5.16am in her McLaren
Under the State Government’s policy for
Planned Birth at Home in SA, all home births
must take place within 30 minutes of the
nearest hospital by ambulance in the case of
an emergency. There are usually two home
birth accredited midwives in attendance at
All women who request a home birth through
the SMGP are screened for complications and
only those who have low-risk pregnancies will
Damian said "it was the family’s preference to
bring baby Ziggy into the world at home so
as to honour the sensitivity of the baby and
“Also, we did not want to get caught on the
freeway giving birth, and primarily we chose
home birth because the benefits for baby and
mother outweigh any other setting,” he said.
Midwife Andrea, who is home birth accredited,
said the birth was “amazing”.
“I loved being involved in the birth and for
the family to have the baby in the comfort of
their own home was something very special,”
SMGP Clinical Services Coordinator Julie Pratt,
who oversaw the development of the home
birthing service, said the 100th home birth was
a special milestone for family and midwives.
“Home birth is becoming a more popular and
safe option for women as the midwives have
undergone extensive education in obstetric
emergencies and that it is supported by SA
Health’s Planned Birth at Home in SA policy.
“This allows women to be able to choose home
“The midwives love attending births at home
because it is such a family event and they feel
part of that.”
8 / AUGUST 2016 / SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS
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