Save the Family Birth Centre at the Royal Women's Hospital Victoria sign now

The Royal Womens Hospital (RWH) in Melbourne is planning to close its Family Birth Centre (FBC) upon relocating to the new RWH site. This is the latest in a long line of government sanctioned birth facility closures. The FBC provides free public care from a small, personal and highly skilled team of Midwifes, for women enjoying a normal pregnancy and who go on to experience a normal birth (ie: no major medical complications). The FBC provides a "home-like" environment, with large, friendly private rooms that contain double beds for partners to stay in; a deep bath and multiple showers for use in labour; expert evidence-based Midwifery care; and a million little touches that encourage a positive and low intervention birth experience (CD players and aromatherapy burners in every room for use during labour, birth balls, birth stools, beanbags, floormats, soft lighting for the room during labour, a "rooming in" policy for newborns and parents, an early discharge program, minimal medical apparatus and intervention during labour, a higher Midwife to birthing woman ratio than the labour and delivery ward, continuity of care, etc). The Hospital is now planning to "streamline" their birthing women into "low risk" and "high risk", all in the labour and delivery ward, where there are currently no private rooms, no homely touches, no double beds, no standard "rooming in" of newborns, lower staff to birthing woman ratios, far higher interventions, less availability of natural birthing aides such as bath, shower, etc.

The planned closure of the FBC is a travesty against informed choice and birthing options for women.

Whilst a Hospital Birth Centre is still intrinsically a Hospital environment, and there are some similarities between the FBC and the labour ward, the differences are vast, and it is those differences that set apart the FBC from the labour ward and necessitate its ongoing existence. It is what the FBC represents, and what it is a stepping stone towards (in terms of societal acceptance of normal birth and midwifery care based in evidence) that matters - and that is damaged severely by this closure. The statistics, research and evidence overwhelmingly support Birth Centre care for normal ("low risk") pregnancy and birth; yet this highly popular, healthy and successful option is now being removed from women's reach, due to factors including "cost ineffectiveness" (which has got to lead to serious concerns in respect to ethical conflict of interest; when a low intervention facility is closed because the Hospital is not making enough money from it, does this mean the Hospital makes more money from intervening in birth? A logical conclusion can only be yes, that is exactly what this closure means. And what does this mean for the health and wellbeing of those women who are receiving these profitable, but medically unnecessary, interventions?). A one size fits all (whether categorised into "low" or "high" risk or not) approach to birth is an insult to women and babies who need and deserve a range of varied options in their pregnancy and birth journeys. The FBC should remain an available choice for birthing women at the RWH.

Community and staff consultation on this planned closure has been noticeably absent. Many, many lives have been positively touched by a wonderful birth experience in the FBC. Many lives have, sadly, also been negatively touched by situations where this choice was not available.

If the way we birth our children, and a womans right to choose how she wishes to birth, matters to you (and it should matter to ALL OF US), please add your voice to this cause by signing this petition. The longrange effects of this massive backwards trend are dire. Birthing choices are being cut every year, and the marks are being left on the vulnerable women and babies in our system.

It is our responsibility to do something sign and be a "Friend of the RWH (Vic) Family Birth Centre"!


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Goal reached !
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Latest Signatures

  • 04 January 2016750. Philippa S
    Address 22 Hazel Street, Rasmussen Personal Birth Centres are an important option for families & are vastly different from main stream models of care. Dont deny women the right to choose the care appropriate for them.
  • 03 January 2016749. Nigel V
    I support this petition
  • 30 December 2015748. Jude W
    I support this petition
  • 30 December 2015747. Leanne Girdwoodr
    Address В Personal В
  • 26 December 2015746. Jenny J
    I support this petition
  • 25 December 2015745. Carol P
    I support this petition
  • 23 December 2015744. Kim I
    Address 34 waldemar rd,. eaglemont Personal choice is imperative in todays society. It is when this choice is removed that people feel deprived and abused. often the choice to birth in this manner is not taken up as there are many issues involved, but we
  • 16 December 2015743. Max W
    Address В Personal "Rationalisation" of resources should not mean cutting off resources.
  • 13 December 2015742. Ben Z
    Address 2b Charles Street Brunswick Personal Stop the rot!!
  • 10 December 2015741. Alice C
    Personal Women deserve REAL choices in childbirth. Please do not take this off us.
  • 10 December 2015740. Sandra N
    I support this petition
  • 09 December 2015739. Angelika B
    I support this petition
  • 07 December 2015738. Nick R
    I support this petition
  • 05 December 2015737. Dr Waihongt
    I support this petition
  • 05 December 2015736. Clare C
    I support this petition
  • 05 December 2015735. Claire M
    I support this petition
  • 05 December 2015734. Diane J
    Address 4 Gweno Ave, Frankston 3199 Personal Thank you for informing the public of the situation and allowing us to make our voices heard. I hope all politicians have been informed and all Women's Groups.
  • 04 December 2015733. Mandy K
    I support this petition
  • 03 December 2015732. Faye W
    I support this petition
  • 26 November 2015731. Angela S
    Address 02 Personal 02
  • 24 November 2015730. Catherine B
    Address 99 Mary St Toowoomba 4350 Personal В
  • 22 November 2015729. Jessica K
    I support this petition
  • 19 November 2015728. Michelle L
    I support this petition
  • 09 November 2015727. Jennine P
    I support this petition
  • 06 November 2015726. Erica C
    I support this petition
  • 28 October 2015725. Renee W
    I support this petition
  • 27 October 2015724. Kathy P
    I support this petition

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Eliza MartinezBy:
Petition target:
The Royal Women's Hospital Victoria Australia


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