Sunday, November 14, 2010


Thanks Carolyn (Thinkbirth)for this link: and yes Carolyn you are correct in saying every item could be a blog on its own......

The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of normal birth is: ‘Spontaneous in onset, low-risk at the start of labour and remaining so throughout labour and delivery. The infant is born spontaneously in the vertex position between 37 and 42 completed weeks of pregnancy. After birth mother and infant are in good condition’.

It is a pity not every State and Territory in Australia adopts this policy TOWARDS NORMAL BIRTH: NSW is leading the way: the policy is aimed to increase normal birth and decrease surgical intervention. Western Australia needs to take a leaf out of the NSW book: I may even suggest it to our Minister of Health and our Chief Nurse and our Midwifery Advisor to see if we could not adopt this proactive lead to ensure that Normal Birth is the focus; even better I might give them Carolyn's 21 strategies to keep birth normal........

10 Steps
1. Have a written normal birth policy/guidelines, along with other
relevant policies, that are routinely communicated to all health care staff

2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to
implement this policy

3. Provide or facilitate access to midwifery continuity of carer programs in collaboration with GPs and obstetricians for all women with appropriate consultation, referral and transfer guidelines in place

4. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits of normal birth and
factors that promote normal birth

5. Have a written policy on pain relief in labour that includes the use
of water immersion in labour and birth

6. Have a written postdates policy/guideline that is routinely
communicated to all health care staff (All women have an agreed due date of birth
documented in their health record)

7. Provide or facilitate access to vaginal birth after caesarean section
operation (VBAC) that is supported by a written vaginal birth after
caesarean section operation policy/guideline (develop statewide workshop of GPs, midwives and obstetricians to exchange views and skills regarding VBAC)

8. Provide or facilitate access to external cephalic version

9. Provide one to one care in labour for all women experiencing their
first labour or undertaking a vaginal birth after caesarean section
operation, vaginal breech or vaginal twin birth (implement local guidelines/protocols that discourage activities that separate midwives from the woman in labour. This includes the use of centralised monitoring systems as they discourage midwives from being with the woman in the labour room)

10. Provide formal debriefing in the immediate postpartum period for all women requiring primary caesarean section operation or instrumental birth with the opportunity for further discussion and information transfer

What I really like is Carolyn's inspirational and passionate list: this is how it should really plain simple language that everyone understands....

Carolyn's 21 Strategies to help keep birth Normal:

1. Avert the medical 'gaze'

2. Be powerful and able to negotiate as equals to doctors

3. Establish a "round table culture'

4. Dispel 'urban myths' about birth

5. Support women to choose upright positions in labour

6. Educate teenagers

7. Promote the use of positive images of birth

8. Look at system issues: promote and change to woman centred midwifery models

9. Discuss what normal birth means to us and ensure we are talking about the same things

10. Listen to women with respect - what does the woman want?

11. Encourage women in labour to stay home as long as possible

12. Establish and provide support structures to help women stay at home in early labour

13.Establish and provide support structures so women can choose to stay home to give birth if desired

14. Examine our own attitudes to 'being with woman' in pain and uncertainty

15. Seek to establish a relationship with each woman

16. Allay fear: let woman know what birth is really about

17. Address anxiety of support people and other health professionals

18. Pay attention to the language we use

19. Have confidence in women's ability to give birth

20. Pay attention to our body language as body language conveys meaning: what are we saying?

21. Set up birth space intentionally - find out what makes each woman feel safe and do that.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yeah AHPRA coming to the party; Good News;

After some frustrated phone calls to the College and a few letters to AHPRA it is good to see that AHPRA are listening and things are becoming easier; it pays to voice your opinion and it is even better when the other party comes to the table; well done to the ACM (Barb Vernon EO) for going in to bat for us and well done to AHPRA for considering the issues on the table and resolving them....... here is some of the good news;

I have just had confirmation from AHPRA that: (via the ACM)

1. MPR certificate will from now on be taken as sufficient evidence of
c. Current competence to provide pregnancy, labour, birth and post natal
care to women and their infants;
d. Successful completion of an approved professional practice review
program for midwives working across the continuum of midwifery care;

2. Professional references can now be provided by a midwifery colleague. The requirement for a reference from a ‘member of the multidisciplinary team’ (obstetrician) has been dropped

3. References do not need to address every element of the ANMC competency standards. They are able to be a general third party statement of support for your application from a midwifery colleague or manager

As for my application I am happy to announce that;

AHPRA has also agreed that they would be happy for ACM to reissue MPR certificates to existing applicants with wording that confirms their review was in relation to their competence across the full scope of midwifery practice. I am still waiting on a response to my questions relating the 3 year / 5 year requirement on the application form & the criteria for certifying documents;

Fantastic; now all I have to wait for is that the college will send a certified copy directly to AHPRA on my behalf, (which won't take long) and I will get the amended original for my midplus folder to replace the current one.... then I will get my notation; yeah!

Step one; MPR completed;
Step two: Eligibility completed: next Medicare!

Keep watching this space............

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Red tape of AHPRA:

Next installment of my application for eligibility; here I was Miss Perfect at following instructions and I haven’t got it right; I had all my documents certified by a lecturer at the university stating "this is a certified copy etc"to be informed that this was not correct: for your information these are the certified people for AHPRA;

Who can certify documents?In Australia, the following people are authorized to certify documents:

Justice of the Peace, Bail Justice, Registrar or Deputy Registrar
Commissioner for Declarations, Commissioner for Oaths, Commissioner for Affidavits
Accountant (member of the ICA, ASA, NIA OR CPA)
Registered members of the teaching profession (not university)
Member of the police force
Sheriff or Deputy Sherriff
Public Notary
Permanent staff member of AHPRA

Alas this means I have to do it all over again; photocopy and resend. Second problem, the letter from my past employer was not sufficient, it was not enough to say that I had been employed across the spectrum of midwifery and that I was deemed competent by the institution, the manager has to address the ANMC competencies as well, this is a step too far… I have completed the Midwifery Practice Review which addresses each competency……I am a patient woman and I understand that you need to ensure that midwives are competent…. But this really is going overboard.

What I thought was going to be a relatively smooth process is turning into a mind field of red tape and bureaucratic nonsense; there is something to be said about waiting until the first batch have gone through to iron out all the problems, however one would not consider that there would be so many issues and the goal posts moving.
Watch this space: Pauline

Monday, November 1, 2010

How to apply for eligibility:

Today I sent in my application for an eligible midwife; like anything new the process is TIME consuming and there will be teething problems: I am hoping that I have completed everything as required; You do not need insurance to apply for eligibility; I have to say that I have had to send my application to Sydney as WA is not ready for this process: Here is my step by step process:

Step 1; Go to the AHPRA website and download on the first page fourth heading ‘Registration’ on drop down menu second one down click ‘Registration Process’; left hand side blue box; fifth one down; click common registration forms; Standard Format for Curriculum Vitae:print and save this form.

Step 2; While on the AHPRA website go to the Nursing and Midwifery site and download the Registration Standards for the Eligible Midwife third from the bottom; then on the left hand side fifth from the bottom click on forms; a third of the way down the page look for the heading Notations; click on Application for addition of notation as an eligible Midwife; print and save this form.

Step 3: Now you need to read and complete the forms; to make sure you meet these requirements before you apply; I have heard that there has been a problem with Independent Midwives who do not have Midwifery Managers.... so watch this space.... I would think that maybe one way around that might be that they could sign a statutory deceleration..... as this is legally binding.... but that will be for the Board to decide....lets hope they will work it out soon...

a. Current general registration as a midwife in Australia with no restrictions
on practice; You need to add your registration number with AHPRA:

b. Midwifery experience that constitutes the equivalent of 3 years full time
post initial registration as a midwife; Here you need a letter from your current Midwifery Manager outlining that you have worked across the continuum of midwifery care, antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal this letter is dated and signed;
You also need a statement of service; this is obtained from your HR department; I rang Health Corporate Network and gave them the years I work at the government institution and they sent me a very detailed statement of service;

c. Current competence to provide pregnancy, labour, birth and post natal
care to women and their infants; this can be proven by completing the Midwifery Practice Review (ACM) or some other accredited program(I don't know of any other one apart from the ACM one.

d. Successful completion of an approved professional practice review
program for midwives working across the continuum of midwifery care; as above

e. 20 additional hours per year of continuing professional development
relating to the continuum of midwifery care; if you have MidPLUS this will be easy you will just print out your summary; If you do not have MidPLUS you will have to produce evidence of attaining these points; copy your certificates and get them certified copies; I did not send any originals of certificates they were all certified copies.

f. Formal undertaking to complete within 18 months of recognition as a
eligible midwife; or the successful completion of: I wrote a letter using this wording saying that i will formerly undertake the course when it is ready.

i. An accredited and approved program of study determined by the
Board to develop midwives’ knowledge and skills in prescribing, or
ii. A program that is substantially equivalent to such an approved
program of study. As above.

Step 4: Follow the Standard format for CV; as it is slightly different to your current one; I just cut and pasted from my regular CV. One thing that is very different is the request for clinical / procedural skills - with this one I made up a table that gave the dates of my general clinical competences such as Obstetric emergencies; suturing, IV cannulation, neonatal resuscitation etc; and added certified copies of the certificates; You must make a declaration that your CV is true and correct and sign it. The CV has to be an original not a copy;

Step 5; add payment for your application; $90.00

Step 6: you also need someone to witness your signature when you have completed the application form

Step 7; Make sure you go through the checklist it is helpful to ensure you have completed everything; although the checklist does not ask for a letter from the manager and this is a requirement; Not sure why when you provide a statement of service;

Step 8; Take a copy of what you have prepared, I find this always good practice; double check it again and then post it to the AHPRA office in your capital city; if in WA post to Sydney NSW for the interim until the office is more settled in WA, as we only came on board middle of October.

I found this process tedious especially having to photocopy and get 16 copies certified of my qualifications and certificates; the CV was not problematic but had to be changed from my usual format; the letter from the employer was not difficult nor was obtaining the statement of service you just need to allow for the time to prepare for this application; I am hoping now that I have all this information that hospitals who require credentially will not want any more than this and when you have prepared it once it is then done.... life should be easy now....NEXT STEP MEDICARE PROVIDER NUMBER:

Lets hope I have not forgotten anything and have completed the application as required... will let you know how I get on......go on be daring take the step and apply for eligibility;

For more information visit the AHPRA website;