A female midwifery assistant has told how she was threatened by a “vulnerable” baby and told to stay at home after he was born.
Midwives have said there is a high risk of the baby being left at home and they have urged mothers to take their babies to hospital.
Midwife Mimi Bannister told the Sunday People she was working in a maternity ward at a Melbourne hospital when a female midwives’ assistant called to tell her she had to be at home on Sunday.
The woman was wearing a full maternity uniform and was asking questions about a newborn boy, and she was afraid he would have to be put down, she said.
“The midwife was so upset, she had tears in her eyes,” Ms Bannisters told the newspaper.
“She was a bit of a loner, but she was really nice and helpful.”
Midwives say they are not able to take responsibility for the baby Ms Bancister said she had spoken to the midwives at the hospital and told them the baby was likely to have a head injury, a head deformity and an infection.
“It’s very important that women have a safe environment to work in, to be safe, and to provide for their babies,” she said, according to the Sunday Age.
The ABC has contacted the Victorian Department of Health for comment.
The midwives said they were not able at the time to comment on what their advice was.
“Our advice is to be very cautious,” Ms Manners said.
In April, Melbourne Midwives Federation president Elizabeth Cuthbertson told the ABC the midwives had received complaints about the number of women who were in danger.
“There are a lot of vulnerable women who are in the profession, and they are very frightened to go into the field, particularly the young midwives,” she told the broadcaster.
“Women are also afraid to report issues to the police, and the fear is, if they do report something to the authorities, they could be targeted and even prosecuted.”
It’s a really serious issue.
These laws are aimed at deterring unsafe and potentially dangerous behaviour by midwives and will help to ensure that the profession is safe and compliant,” a spokeswoman said.