Sunday, 17 January 2010

Overdue NSW woman gets police check up |

A New South Wales woman, Rochelle Allan and her partner Daniel Jones, have been seeing their private midwife throughout her pregnancy and attending the local hospital for the screening tests that are routine in pregnancy. Rochelle and Daniel's intention was to have their second baby at home with a midwife they knew and trusted.

Rochelle and Daniel, looking forward to their new baby (from

"Ms Allan said that she had decided on having a home birth after a "horrific experience" at the same hospital two years ago when their son Bailey was born. I was induced and I spent 48 hours in labour," she said. "I don't want to go through with that again."

Ms Rochelle Allan was twelve days overdue and attended the hospital for a routine,  "CTG" a monitoring process, that records the fetus's heart rate and the woman's uterine activity together. The idea of this test, is to pick up any signs of fetal distress. The CTG is a useful tool, but no guarantee. The best way to ensure a fetus is well and happy is to ensure the woman feels relaxed, connected with her baby, well supported and knows her baby's movements - the mother is often able to detect if things are not 'right' and contact her caregiver for a check up. The CTG was normal and reassuring, however the doctors decided that Rochelle needed to be induced because she was 12 days overdue (not even two weeks overdue!) and booked her for induction the next day. Rochelle declined to be induced and told the hospital staff that and reminded them that she was giving birth at home with her midwife. Ms Allan rang the hospital and told them the next day that labour was beginning and she wouldn't be coming in.

The hospital staff sent the police around to 'check up' on Rochelle.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw the police officers at my door," Ms Allan said. "They told me they had been asked by the hospital to check on my welfare because I had not attended".
"The hospital knew I did not want to be induced and they gave me no medical reason why I should be."
Throughout her pregnancy, Ms Allan and her partner Daniel Jones have been regularly attending the hospital's antenatal clinic for mandatory tests and scans to monitor the baby's progress. A hospital spokeswoman confirmed police were sent to Ms Allan's house to conduct a "welfare check".

Now, I didn't know that NSW was a police state! I live here and I didn't know that.  Well, clearly the decision to send the police around was made in error, because the next day, the following headline appeared in the 'news'.

Home birth mum receives apology

The report says:

The Greater Western Area Health Service today offered Ms Allan an apology for the unexpected police visit, saying they just wanted to check she was alright.

"We are sorry if it ... caused her any distress but our intention was to check on her welfare," area health spokeswoman Sue-Anne Redmond told ABC Radio today.

The health service denied it was trying to pressure Ms Allan into being induced.

Sure sounds like 'pressure' to me!

Sending the police to get people to comply in a health related matter like this is 'bullying' and as such, is against the law. We all know what bullying does to a person's physiology! What an outrageous thing to happen to a pregnant woman, especially at this stage of her pregnancy, when peace, calmness and support are the ideal environmental conditions for a happy labour and birth.

There is a very happy ending to this story, as well as the very welcome news that the health service very sensibly apologised, as they should, for their heavy handed tactics with this young woman.

Rochelle gave birth to her beautiful baby this morning, in the peace and quiet of her own home, with her husband and her midwife. Her midwife drove three hours to be with Rochelle and her partner for the birth! Well done team!

  Welcome to your new baby Rochelle and Daniel. I bet Bailey is thrilled.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Also, the "mandatory" tests etc required during pregnancy??