FILED IN: Tragic Endings

Australian home birthing advocate dies after home birth

Caroline Lovell. Photo:

Caroline Lovell, an outspoken home birthing advocate in Australia, has died after complications during the home birth of her second child.

Lovell, 36, was rushed to the hospital after giving birth on Monday, and died a short time later, according to the Herald Sun.

A spokeswoman for the ambulance company that transported Lovell told the paper that the woman was “critically ill” when paramedics arrived at the home.

Premier of Victoria, Australia, Ted Baillieu said that people should hesitate from a “rush to judgment based on a single experience” and that any consideration of banning home births was not being considered. Approximately .22% of women in Victoria opt for home births.

Victoria’s Health Services Commissioner Beth Wilson told 7News that she feels a woman “should have the right to choose the environment” in which she gives birth, provided that “medical back up is available if needed.”

The Herald Sun contacted a spokeswoman for Midwives in Private Practice who said, “[Death during home birth is] very, very rare and it’s just impossible to imagine what might of happened.”

She added that this was the first midwife assisted death she had heard of during her fifteen year career.

Lovell was described as a “passionate home birthing mother,” and she had lobbied in 2009 for changes to a health legislation amendment affecting midwives and nurse practitioners. The law provids “new arrangements to enhance and expand the role of nurse practitioners and midwives” in order to give them a “greater role in providing quality health care.”

The coroner is further investigating the cause of Lovell’s death.