In the hope of reducing postnatal depression, Australian midwives are calling for pregnant women to be given funding to assist with their maternity care.

The landmark plan promoted by some midwives would see women given $9000 from the government to take control of their own maternity care.

“We think giving women access to money that they control to provide care the way they want… is likely to increase their satisfaction with their care,” midwife Liz Wilkes said.  “Women really only get $1500 to $2000 dollars from Medicare for their care.  They’re really out of pocket significant amounts.”

Currently only two per cent of Australian women have access to the same midwife before, during and after they give birth.  Some experts believe that continued access to the same midwife for the provision of more consistent care could help to combat postnatal depression.

The $9000 payment recommendation is part of National Maternity Services Plan. The plan and recommendations were handed down five years ago, but its findings are yet to be implemented.

A review of the Medicare benefit scheme is currently underway to determine whether expectant Australian women should receive the $9000 payments.  Findings of this review are expected to be released later this year.

Image Source: Shutterstock

  • Simply brilliant idea but how do you stop youth unwanted pregnancies,


  • This would be fantastic. Just a bit more support during and after pregnancy would go a long way


  • I don\’t necessarily agree that this will stop post natal depression.


  • Seems a little confusing – will the money help keep the same midwife? Are the 2 connected??


  • It depends upon how the money is given to the woman. I survived having different people during my pregnancies and even moved states during some of them. The time in hospital is not long for some woman and they should have longer.


  • That would help a lot of parents.


  • Im sorry but I would have to say no.
    How much would this cost the nation? It would be a one off payment…I get that but seriously there is so much focus on Mums, Parents, Babies and children. Maternity leave, child care payments, etc…
    Families get so much and yet our elder generations are over looked. Check out how much an aged person gets in their pension payment and tell me then if families have any cause to complain. The payments our older generations get after working a lifetime are something we all should be focused on and fighting for. Their payments should be double what they are at least. Seriously. Go to the Government website and check for yourself and see what a struggle life would be. One day we will all be there. Its shocking that we dont look after our aged population.


  • I think this is a great idea but where are they going to get the money to fund this and who is going to miss out on much needed funding (ie aged care, disability care).
    So women can’t afford to have a private OB and i some public hospitals you don’t have the continuity of care which is very important.


  • I never saw the same midwife, it was mostly strangers, but having said that I trusted the one\’s I did see and having that money would not have helped with my post natal depression because I didn\’t realise I had it. My baby was almost 1 year old when a doctor mentioned to me about post natal depression. He was 100% correct but I still didn\’t realise what was happening. Why do people think that money is a fix for everything? We have lost our capacity to reach people and understand the reality of life with a new baby. I certainly think that new mums are sent home too early and without the support needed for those questions that arise. First time mums especially need help. You are so frightened by the thought that this little person is dependent on you to survive that it completely takes over your thinking and although you go through the motions, there is no feeling or understanding that you are actually doing what is needed or right. I remember it well, we all survived and I wish that someone had kept telling me that I was doing a good job, money would not have helped, better support would have.


  • Why should tax payers be responsible for these pregnant women post natally? How far has our taxes got to go? Don’t the Aged Pensioners deserve some cares? We have paid our taxes and dues too! If you want a family, make sure you are ready for parenthood.


  • I just spent 18k on private hospital care as I am single and wanted the same midwives and OB (I didn’t want to be by myself) this payment could have helped. I have private health insurance but no pregnancy cover as it was unplanned.


  • It would be an awesome help but how do they plan to fund this? Government already want to take Medicare away from us amongst other things. As good as it would be, I don’t see it happening :(


  • This would certainly be great. In the town where I live we don’t have continuous access to the same Midwife throughout our pregnancies, births and beyond. I know that our doctors are pushing for us to have access to a program like that and funding would certainly help.


  • i feel the new Mums go home too early. They are sent home before they know whether or not their baby is feeding, when Mums are most vulnerable emotionally and other issues arise. They get 2 or 3 visits by a professional during the day but is at at night when baby often reacts and support is needed most. If htey were in hospital for a few more days the Mums would have assistance at hand.


  • This sounds like a great idea, I did not have the same midwife/Doctor from start to finish of my pregnancy it would have been invaluable.


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