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Continuity of Care at Concord's Midwifery Clinic

Midwife Natasha Fotofili finds working at Concord Hospital's Midwifery Group Practice Clinic very rewarding.

SydneyConnect video: Concord Hospital's Bulbuwul Mudjin Midwifery Group Practice Clinic

For Natasha Fotofili there was never a question about where she wanted to work as a Registered Midwife.

“Since I was a student, I wanted to work at Concord Midwifery Group Practice because it allows that relationship-based care where you get to know the families across the whole pregnancy, which is just beautiful, it is the best part of the job,” said Natasha, who is now a Registered Midwife in the Clinic.

The Midwifery Clinic, named Bulbuwul Mudjin – which translates to “Strong Families” in a local Aboriginal language – is a small team of midwives providing care for women who have a low chance of developing complications in pregnancy.

In the Clinic, a midwife is allocated to care for a woman during her pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period. The midwife is supported by a small team of midwives who provide care when the allocated midwife is on a day off.

“Working in Midwifery Group Practice, there is a building of trust, there is a friendship building along the way, you get to know a lot more about the family, what their wishes are … and you really want to look after them on the day they do birth their babies,” Natasha said.

One of the families Natasha has cared for through the clinic is Bianca and her baby daughter Peggy.

They first met when Bianca was 12 weeks into her pregnancy. Natasha saw Bianca at Concord Hospital for prenatal appointments and was with her at RPA Hospital for Peggy’s birth.

“On the day she went into labour, I was on call, and we went into RPA together … and Peggy was born on my birthday,” Natasha laughed.

Bianca said she was apprehensive about childbirth when she fell pregnant but the continuity of care from Natasha changed that.

“She was just so calm and peaceful and just gave me this real sense of faith in my body and so much confidence in my biological ability to have a baby,” Bianca said.

Natasha’s care also helped Bianca when the birth plan had to change.

“We ended up having to move into the Delivery Ward to have a vacuum delivery,” Bianca said.

“And for something that was quite different to the birth centre, it still managed to feel really calm. And I think that was hugely due to Tash's presence.”

Bianca said Natasha’s postnatal care in the home was like, “opening the door to a family friend rather than someone who we didn't know”.

Providing continuity of care through the Midwifery Group Practice model requires midwives like Natasha to be on call.

Natasha said initially she thought the job would not suit her young family but has found advantages in the flexibility of the role.

“Yes, we have to answer our phone, but our day-to-day work is very flexible with morning start times and finishing times and the reward of being on call is you’re being called for a family you know, and you want to be there for them,” Natasha said.

Natasha added that she can rely on the support of family and friends to help with childcare when she is on call.

“As long as you have that support yourself, this job is really rewarding,” she said.