Homebirth midwives will have visiting rights to WA hospitals so they can continue to provide care to women who develop complications in labour.
It is part of a revised Health Department policy that allows women to choose homebirth but offers extra safeguards.
Women will be allowed to have a publicly funded homebirth only if they meet tightened criteria, which exclude women who have previously had caesarean sections.
Though groups including the Australian Medical Association have continuing concerns about the safety of homebirths, WA's chief medical officer, Simon Towler, said it was important women had a choice.
WA had about 200 planned homebirths a year - or 0.6 per cent of births.
Dr Towler said the policy gave health professionals guidelines to ensure the health and wellbeing of mothers and newborns.
Publicly funded homebirths were available only through the community midwifery program, and all homebirth midwives had to be registered to practise.
"A homebirth attended by a qualified midwife may be a suitable choice for some women who are at low risk of complications," he said.
Women who had a previous caesarean or were expecting multiple births were not eligible for homebirth under the program.
Dr Towler said even in women considered low risk, complications could occur that required transfer to hospital. "In line with the new policy, women will be informed that if clinically necessary they may be transferred to hospital," he said.
"The policy supports this transfer by detailing the systems and processes required for a smooth transition to hospital."To help ensure continuity of care the homebirth midwife can now provide care throughout the birth process, including in the hospital, as clinically appropriate."
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