phone: 03 9808 9614
mobile: 04 111 90448

Joy Johnston Midwife < home

I have been a midwife since 1973, and practising independently since 1993. I am also a lactation consultant (IBCLC).
I am active professionally within the Australian College of Midwives, and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, Midwives in Private Practice, and other groups.

My four children, born after I qualified as a midwife, taught me that the medical model of care was not suitable for a well woman. The first three, born in a hospital in Lansing, Michigan, taught me that I could push boundaries. The fourth, born at a birth centre in Melbourne Australia, opened up new possibilities, and new philosophies. The babies themselves taught me about birthing and breastfeeding. I learn more from every woman who takes me into her life for the birth of her child.

I learn more from each wonderful baby as she or he enters our world.
It is not easy to practise as an independent midwife in Melbourne. Women do not, as a rule, question the care that is available through our public health system. Practices which are not supported by evidence, such as routine use of ultrasound, indiscriminate use of electronic fetal monitoring (and subsequent immobilisation of the woman) before and during labour, and over-servicing in many areas of medical care ensure that women giving birth are submissive to the dominant medical system. Options are not well understood, and not widely available.

Women who choose midwife care are discriminated against financially. Whereas free hospitalisation and subsidised visits to the doctor are available to all, care by a known midwife is expensive. Midwives are struggling to maintain a caseload that is reasonable, and 'burnout' is common. Some midwives juggle part-time employment as well as a midwifery practice.

In this climate, each of the stories in The Midwife's Journal is the story of a triumph. These births have all taken place since August 1997.

A new threat to midwifery practice has appeared in 2001, in that midwives can no longer purchase professional indemnity insurance. At the same time, the law in Victoria is being strengthened to make indemnity insurance a mandatory requirement for registration of all health practitioners .

Thankyou for visiting my website. I hope you will find it informative and useful.