Birthing Outside the System The Canary in the Coal Mine – Paperback Pre-order Due 30 June

$78.00

This book investigates why women choose ‘birth outside the system’ and makes connections between women’s right to choose where they birth and violations of human rights within maternity care systems.

Choosing to birth at home can force women out of mainstream maternity care, despite research supporting the safety of this option for low-risk women attended by midwives. When homebirth is not supported as a birthplace option, women will defy mainstream medical advice, and if a midwife is not available, choose either an unregulated careprovider or birth without assistance. This book examines the circumstances and drivers behind why women nevertheless choose homebirth by bringing legal and ethical perspectives together with the latest research on high-risk homebirth (breech and twin births), freebirth, birth with unregulated careproviders and the oppression of midwives who support unorthodox choices. Stories from women who have pursued alternatives in Australia, Europe, Russia, the UK, the US, Canada, the Middle East and India are woven through the research.

Insight and practical strategies are shared by doctors, midwives, lawyers, anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists on how to manage the tension between professional obligations and women’s right to bodily autonomy. This book, the first of its kind, is an important contribution to considerations of place of birth and human rights in childbirth.

Australia 2020

Description

This book investigates why women choose ‘birth outside the system’ and makes connections between women’s right to choose where they birth and violations of human rights within maternity care systems.

Choosing to birth at home can force women out of mainstream maternity care, despite research supporting the safety of this option for low-risk women attended by midwives. When homebirth is not supported as a birthplace option, women will defy mainstream medical advice, and if a midwife is not available, choose either an unregulated careprovider or birth without assistance. This book examines the circumstances and drivers behind why women nevertheless choose homebirth by bringing legal and ethical perspectives together with the latest research on high-risk homebirth (breech and twin births), freebirth, birth with unregulated careproviders and the oppression of midwives who support unorthodox choices. Stories from women who have pursued alternatives in Australia, Europe, Russia, the UK, the US, Canada, the Middle East and India are woven through the research.

Insight and practical strategies are shared by doctors, midwives, lawyers, anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists on how to manage the tension between professional obligations and women’s right to bodily autonomy. This book, the first of its kind, is an important contribution to considerations of place of birth and human rights in childbirth.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Understanding the Problem

Introduction
Hannah Dahlen, Bashi Kumar-Hazard and Virginia Schmied

Freebirth in the United States
Rixa Freeze and Laura Tanner

Giving birth outside the system in Australia: freebirth and high-risk homebirth
Melanie Jackson

Understanding women’s motivations to, and experiences of, freebirthing in the UK
Claire Feeley and Gill Thomson

Birthing ‘outside the system’ in the Netherlands
Martine Hollander

The rise of the unregulated birth worker in Australia: the canary flees the coal mine
Elizabeth Rigg

Identifying the poisonous gases seeping into the coal mine: what women seek to avoid in choosing to give birth at home
Heather Sassine and Hannah Dahlen

The journey of homebirth after caesarean (HBAC): fighting the system or birthing in peace
Hazel Keedle and Sarah O’Connor

Seeking control over birth in the Middle East
Suha Hussein, Virginia Schmied

Why South Asian women make extreme choices in childbirth
Kaveri Mayra and Bashi Kumar-Hazard

Birth choices in Eastern Europe and Russia
Daniella Drandić and Nicholas Rubashkin, Tamara Sadovaya and Svetlana Illarionova

The modern-day witch hunt
Hannah Dahlen and Jo Hunter

Birth trauma: the noxious by-product of a failing system
Maddy Simpson and Agy Cater

Part 2: Working towards a solution

What are women’s legal rights when it comes to choice in pregnancy and childbirth?

Farah Diaz-Tello and Bashi Kumar-Hazard

The role of the coroner in Australia: listen to the canary or ignore it?
Bashi Kumar-Hazard

Keeping the canary singing: maternity care plans and respectful homebirth transfer
Bec Jenkinson and Deborah Fox

Why Aboriginal women want avoid the biomedical system: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s stories
Donna Hartz, Melanie Briggs, Sue-anne Cutmore, Dea Delaney-Thiele and Cherisse Buzzacott

Midwifing women who make ‘off-menu’ choices
Kathryn Gutteridge and Hannah Dahlen

Anthropologist, midwife, researcher: a perspective on birth outside the system
Melissa Cheyney

A conversation with the ‘breech whisperer’
Andrew Bisits interviewed by Hannah Dahlen

Obstetricians discuss the coal mine and the canary
Alison Barrett and Andrew Kotaska

Conclusion: keeping the canary singing into the future

Hannah Dahlen, Bashi Kumar-Hazard and Virginia Schmied

Australia 30 June 2021