Development timeline: December 2018 - December 2019
We are developing new clinical practice guidelines to help Victorian healthcare services manage home births.
To develop the guidance, we will:
- seek feedback on the DRAFT guidance in November, and
- get it independently reviewed.
Why are we developing this guidance?
There is currently no homebirth clinical guidance available to guide safe homebirth practice in Victoria.
In response to evidence that offering homebirth to low risk women is no less safe than a hospital birth, we are developing guidance and practical advice for Victorian public and private maternity care services, to support safe public and private homebirth care.
Having a baby at home through the public hospital system is an option available in most states in Australia. In Victoria, two health services offer this service.
We know 75% of women having a homebirth are under the care of a private midwife, and the numbers of women who currently access homebirth through a public hospital are small. However support and interest is growing; in Victoria there were 131 homebirths in 2000, increasing to 315 in 2015. This is a 2.6 and 1.8 fold increase for low risk and high risk women respectively.
Scope of guidance
This guidance is being developed for Victorian maternity and neonatal care providers including midwifery, medical, nursing, allied health professionals in regional and metropolitan health services, along with midwives in private practice providing homebirth services.
This guidance will also be of interest to professional societies involved in the care of pregnant women such as Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist (RANZCOG), and the Australian College of Midwives (ACM).
Although not the intended target audience, women and their families may also access this guidance for information about their suitability for homebirth and the care they can expect to receive.
Expert working group membership
|Safer Care Victoria|
|Nicole Allan||Maternity Services Officer||Australian Nursing and Midwifery Foundation (ANMF)|
Assistant Director Policy and Strategy, Maternal, Child and Family Health Branch, Health and Wellbeing Division
|Department of Health and Human Services|
|Lauren Brown||Senior Pharmacist - Neonatal Services||Western Health – Sunshine Hospital|
|Wendy Cutchie||Project Lead - Maternity and Newborn Clinical Network (MNCN)||Safer Care Victoria|
|Dr Miranda Davies-Tuck||Research Scientist, Epidemiology and Clinical Trials
NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow
Safer Care Victoria
|Maree Dell||Midwife Group Practice/Homebirth Midwifery Manager||Western Health – Sunshine Hospital|
|Dr Charlotte Elder||Chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Victorian Regional Committee, Obstetrician||Representing: Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists|
|Tracy Firth||Senior Project Officer
Coordinator maternity eHandbook
|Safer Care Victoria|
|Stuart Hill||MICA Flight paramedic||Ambulance Victoria|
|Jen Hocking||Victorian Branch Chair||Australian College of Midwives|
|Professor Caroline Homer||
Co-Program Director Maternal and Child Health
|Professor Rod Hunt||Director, Neonatal Medicine
|The Royal Children’s Hospital|
|Clare Lane||Privately practicing midwife||Clare Lane Midwifery Services|
|Shevaun O’Loghlen||Project Lead – Medical Indemnity Programs||Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA)|
|Annie Peters||Senior Policy Advisor, Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine Workforce, Policy and Planning||Department of Health and Human Services|
|Andrea Quanchi||Privately practicing midwife||My Midwives|
|Allison Shotton||Clinical Midwife Educator||Royal Woman’s Hospital|
|Dr Jacqui Smith||Medical Director, Perinatal
|Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER)|
|Lisa Smith||Maternity Services Operations Manager||Western Health – Sunshine Hospital|
|Colleen White||Operations Director Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent health||Peninsula Health|
Working group terms of reference
Last updated 28 Oct 2019
Page last updated: 11 Nov 2020