International Day of the Midwife 05.05.2020
The 5th of May has always been a special day in our family. It was my Gran’s birthday. My mum’s mum! She was such a welcoming, warm, friendly and funny woman. She loved life, loved her family and always made sure we had something sweet to eat. She was the one responsible for giving most of the family a sweet tooth and instilling a love of desserts. We all looked forward to family gatherings and celebrations, knowing Gran would do her baking best to provide decadent desserts for all to share.
So, when I first became a Midwife and discovered International Day of the Midwife was celebrated on the 5th of May each year – it seemed fitting. It would forever be a day I could celebrate my passion and also remember my wonderful Gran.
Family. Passion. Care. Joy.
All these words describe my Gran and what she was about. But they also describe what I do in my work as a Midwife. I have been a Midwife now for about 24 year and during this time have seen much advancement in technology and witnessed the making of many families. I am passionate about what I do, sometimes a little too much, but that is why I care so much about how a woman feels and how she perceives her whole birthing experience. If a woman feels positively about her birthing experience, the beginning of her transition to parenthood and the beginning of her bonding experience with her baby will only be enhanced – as she will engage with her baby, recover more quickly and learn more easily.
During my 24 years working as a Midwife, I was fortunate to spend 6 of these years working within a caseload model of care. I was lead care provider for a small number of women each month, co-ordinating their pregnancy care through the public system, being on-call for their labour and the birth of their baby, then providing postnatal care and support after discharge from hospital. This was an extremely fulfilling time in my career and a time where I hope many women experienced something special and also positive. I think of these babies, who will now be young adults or teenagers, and wonder if they realise how lucky they were to be born to women who received care in this program with such positive outcomes. Possibly not, but I do hope these mothers one day explain to their children how special their births were and how it affected them as women as time went by. Better still, encourage their children to seek out a similar model of care when they are ready to start a family!
Circumstances change and due to a move to a different suburb, I stopped working in the caseload program and started working in a Maternity unit of a small privately operated hospital. I was enjoying working within the unit and met some lovely families, who were very appreciative of the care given, but I only worked with these families for a short time and it felt like something was missing.
Continuity – working one on one with women, during pregnancy, during labour and birthing and during the postnatal period.
I realised it was time to offer some private Midwifery care in the community. Women attending the clinics at the public hospitals felt dissatisfied with their care, felt unsupported and felt there was little postnatal support available after discharge. So, I set up my private practice to offer shared continuity of care during pregnancy and postnatal care and support for up to 6 weeks. I felt I needed to offer something different; I needed women to know they did have another option and I needed women to know they could have a positive experience.
I care for women. I care about women.
Women care for their babies. Women care for their families.
Women need to care about themselves!
So now, even more than ever, women need support. On this International Day of the Midwife, the theme is :- “Midwives with women : celebrate, demonstrate, mobilise, unite – our time is NOW!”. Seek a better model of care for yourself, ask questions, you can have a positive experience and you deserve it!