Midwifery clinic provides care close to home
District celebrates 12 months of providing support for women and their families at Concord midwifery clinic.
Hayley Leonard is a first time mum to baby Carter.
"He's very boisterous. He's rolling and sitting up and eating solids. He keeps me on my toes," she said.
Hayley is one of 272 women who have been provided maternity care and support at the midwifery clinic at Concord Hospital that opened its doors 12 months ago.
In that time, 161 babies have been born under the care of midwives at the clinic.
The Bulbuwul Mudjin Midwifery Clinic — which translates to 'Strong Families' in the local Aboriginal language — offers a Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) model of continuity of care.
The Clinic's six midwives support women during pregnancy, childbirth and provide care for the family in the first weeks after the birth of their baby.
"The support from the midwives was phenomenal. I had my own midwife through the whole process and they could thoroughly explain things. There was after-hours support as well.
"They are like a friend, rather than a midwife to you. You establish a relationship with them throughout the pregnancy which is really helpful when you come to give birth.
"When Carter was born, I knew my midwife would be there. I felt comfortable, confident and safe and knew they'd have my back," she said.
The District marked the Clinic's first year of operations with a special ceremony on International Midwives Day.
For midwife Lucretia McCarthy it's been a rewarding 12-months.
"The feedback from the women is what keeps us going and motivates us to keep doing this work. We're constantly getting feedback from the women that having a midwife that they know is a massive advantage going into the birth and postnatal period," she said.
The Clinic cares for women with a low chance of developing complications in pregnancy. Women will continue to attend RPA or Canterbury hospitals to have their baby.
Kate Griew, the District's Manager of Clinical Governance and Practice Development for Maternity oversaw the set-up of the Clinic and its operations.
"The Clinic provides care for women close to home. It's been lovely to have a group of midwives who are so passionate and focused on the experience of the women and their families," Kate said.
Continuity of care models result in higher levels of satisfaction and better outcomes for mothers and their babies and allows midwives to work to the full scope of practice, she said.
There are plans to further expand the model of care across the District.
"We've expanded the MGP at RPA and we're working to expand the midwifery role in models of care where women do need medical input," she said.