GREENS SECURE AMENDS TO EXPAND INCLUSION WITHIN BIRTH TRAUMA INQUIRY
Today in Parliament, Amanda secured amendments to a Birth Trauma Inquiry, to ensure that it platforms the voices and experiences of LGBTQIA+ people, First Nations peoples and young people. Amanda also ensured that midwives, nurses, obstetricians and GP obstetricians also have the opportunity to have their voices heard.
I thank the Hon. Emma Hurst for raising the important topic of birth trauma and for the opportunity to speak to the issue and participate in the proposed inquiry. As a GP I have cared for dozens of people who have experienced birth trauma and who carry its physical and mental health impacts for months, years and even decades. It compounds the suffering of so many of my patients that people often think they are the only ones with their experiences. The narrative that exists in society around birth being natural, beautiful and instinctive has meant very few people have shared their experiences, whether publicly, with their family and friends or even with their GP. That is compounded by the fragmented nature of our healthcare system. Even when someone decides to seek support, it is not clear where to go and services might be unaffordable, geographically inaccessible or not culturally safe for First Nations people, young people, LGBTQIA+ people or people who speak a language other than English.
Patients and their families are not the only ones who suffer as a result of birth trauma. Midwives, nurses, obstetricians and GP obstetricians are compassionate and tireless workers who choose their professions to be able to competently and safely care for parents and newborns on their brightest and most difficult days. Not being able to do that work to the standard they have been trained causes health workers both moral injury and vicarious trauma. It is critical that any government response to address and prevent birth trauma takes into account not just obstetric and psychological best practice but the systemic barriers within our health system that prevent that level of care from being provided. For those reasons, I support the motion. I move:
That the question be amended as follows:
(1) Omit paragraph (1) (b) (iii) and insert instead:
"(iii)the availability of, and systemic barriers to, trauma-informed care being provided during pregnancy, during birth and following birth,".
(2) In paragraph (1) (c) omit "women and families" and insert instead "patients and their families and health workers".
(3) In paragraph (1) (d) insert after subparagraph (iii):
"(iv) LGBTQIA+ people; and
(v) young parents."
(4) Omit paragraph (1) (f) and insert instead:
"(f) barriers to the provision of "continuity of care" in maternity care,".
Amanda's amendments passed unanimously!
The motion at hand, moved by AJP MLC Emma Hurst, specifically named Amanda as one of the eight members of the committee. After Amanda's amends were agreed to, the motion as amended was passed.
To read the full transcript, including the motion prior to amendments as well as the debate, see Hansard here.