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Ninety-seven per cent of pregnant Australian women give birth in a hospital environment. It is considered the safest option for both mother and child, with medical staff and equipment on hand to promptly manage any complications.

However, studies have shown that stark, clinical hospital surroundings can hinder the natural birthing process, and have a detrimental effect on psychological, social and physical health of both mother and child.

Dr Lesley Kuliukas, a midwifery lecturer at Curtin University has more than 35 years’ experience in maternity settings (hospitals, birth centres and in the community) and in education. She won the Excellence in Midwifery Education award in 2018.

In this episode, Dr Kuliukas discusses the range of women’s birth options, different ways in which women can achieve a more positive birth experience and how giving birth with the support of a midwife and new technology, can be a safe and peaceful experience.

  • Where are women giving birth? What does the research say? (0.43)
  • What will happen in the event of complications? Won’t women just be transported back into a hospital setting? (3.39)
  • Is home birthing a viable option in Western Australia? (9.28)
  • What's the difference in the journey if you have private health insurance? (16.10)
  • Where do you see birthing going in 10, 20, 50 years' time? (23.02)
  • How will the role of the midwife change? (27.38)


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Curtin University supports academic freedom of speech. The views expressed in The Future Of podcast may not reflect those of the university.

Music: OKAY by 13ounce Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 Music promoted by Audio Library

You can read the full transcript for the episode here.