The Australian College of Midwives has published a first edition guideline regarding transfer from planned home birth to hospital care.
The guidelines provide:
- guidance to midwives in situations where transfer from a planned birth at home into hospital is required during the intrapartum and immediate postpartum period and up to six weeks postpartum, for either the woman and/or her newborn;
- guidance to midwives if the woman declines transfer for herself and/or her newborn; and
- a template Transfer of Care Summary for use by the midwife transferring the woman and/or her newborn from home to hospital.
The guidelines include a requirement that the midwife
- During the pregnancy, inform the woman of circumstances which may result in the need to transfer.
- Recommend that the woman book into a hospital;
- Establish a professional relationship with the hospital.
Requirements are also set out in respect of neonatal transfers.