The Royal’s homebirth program yields outstanding results
The Royal Hospital for Women introduced its homebirth program for women with low risk pregnancies in 2018. Fast forward three years and the hospital has reached a momentous milestone: 100 women safely giving birth in the comfort of their homes, supported by a team of experienced healthcare professionals.
Camilla Kennedy’s son Jack is the Royal Hospital for Women’s 100th baby to be born at home, with the help of two midwives who set up the birthing pool in Camilla’s lounge room.
"The more I looked into it, the more it took out that fear of what if something could go wrong," Ms Kennedy said. “I think I went into active labour at 10 o'clock in the morning, 20 minutes later the midwives were here and at 2pm he was born. There was no anxiety to it, it flowed really well.”
Donna Garland, General Manager, Royal Hospital for Women, said the program has been extremely successful, with wonderful birth outcomes.
“Women planning to birth at home understand the powerful and life changing event that a positive birth can be and our team are very privileged to be a part of this space,” Ms Garland said.
“Every woman is unique and therefore it is vital that health services can adapt to each woman’s needs. Access to birth at home in a supported environment is an important option for many families.”
Dr Andrew Bisits, Director of Obstetrics, Royal Hospital for Women, said a clear arrangement of care between home and hospital enables homebirths to be considered as an option.
“Women who plan to birth at home have a long term relationship with their midwife who is with the woman in the lead up to, during, and after the birth for postnatal care,” Dr Bisits said.
“Women find birthing at home calming as they are in their comfort space and it is often a family experience, something that’s not possible in hospital, especially during the pandemic.”
There are four publicly funded homebirth programs in Metropolitan Sydney including the Royal Hospital for Women, Wollongong, Belmont and Westmead hospitals.