NEW CHOICE: Midwife Teresa Walsh holds baby Ethan Booth next to mum Andeana Gardner with (from left) UQ student midwife Jessica Walker and midwife Hazel Mastin with baby Seren Wren, My Midwives clients Corina Manton, Rebecca McCarthy and toddler Ryland Wren.
NEW CHOICE: Midwife Teresa Walsh holds baby Ethan Booth next to mum Andeana Gardner with (from left) UQ student midwife Jessica Walker and midwife Hazel Mastin with baby Seren Wren, My Midwives clients Corina Manton, Rebecca McCarthy and toddler Ryland Wren. Claudia Baxter

A special delivery for mums

HAVING a baby is one of the most significant and wonderful time in a couple's life.

Up until recent times it was just standard practice to go through a private hospital and doctor of choice or to use the public hospital system.

About a year ago, another choice has come into play and it provides a completely different way to experience having a baby.

My Midwives Ipswich has been established, after a lot of hard work and dedication, to provide an alternative. Co-director and midwife Teresa Walsh is passionate about her work and about My Midwives Ipswich.

She said that the practice has been established to give women the chance to experience midwifery care, from the same midwife throughout the pregnancy to post care.

In many ways it returns to the days when birthing was at home, however, Australian women are more likely to deliver in a hospital, but the aim is to provide a less institutionalised event.

"It is going back to care that used to be provided. The amount of intervention is having an impact and women are facing high morbidity. It was a very natural process then it became medicalised. We are about giving women support to have a baby the way they wish, given that there is no risk associated with the choices and if there are we will talk these over and give advice," Ms Walsh said.

Because it is a different way of looking at pregnancy, and the associated care, it can easily be seen as perhaps an alternate or radical approach. Not so says Ms Walsh, a highly trained and experienced midwife.

"I have the utmost respect for my medical colleagues and I will access any support when it is needed. I will insist on accessing other services if required. This is about experiencing having a baby with a different type and level of support," she said.

Midwifery is a specific degree and graduates are tertiary educated and bring a great deal of knowledge and understanding around this area. It is somewhat similar to Nurse Practitioners who equally bring their own set of highly trained skills and knowledge to a patient.

"Research shows that developing a relationship with your care provider has some significant positive outcomes. These include less pain management required, safe birthing, support for breast feeding, instrumental birth is lower and caesarean sections are at only 13 percent. There is little to any inductions for labour for post date and intervention only when it is required," Ms Walsh said.

"Women get good care, we work collaboratively with hospital staff. My Midwives Ipswich can be accessed from early in the pregnancy and the mother is developing a relationship with her midwife who gives health checks, monitoring of the baby's growth and heart rate, we can order scans and blood tests and we will involve doctors as required," she said.

The midwife is on call 24 hours a day, for booked clients, "We attend at home or in our clinic at 6 Gray Street, Ipswich. Ms Walsh and Hazel Mastin are the two midwives at the Ipswich clinic and are highly trained, with international experience in midwifery. "I am passionate about the continuity of care to the mothers to be."

After a number of national reviews carried out on maternity services in Australia, it was only during the Rudd Government that the core issues were taken seriously and action was taken to include midwifery in Medicare.

"It was put in the budget and made available from November 1, 2010. Five midwives, including myself, went into partnership and opened in Toowoomba and Ipswich on that date.

Toowoomba was the first place in Australia to provide this service and build a relationship with the Toowoomba Hospital. The midwife gained visiting rights to the Toowoomba General Hospital on the first of July in 2011," Ms Walsh said. The Bundaberg and Gold Coast hospitals welcomed midwives and Ipswich General Hospital has followed this lead.

"There is nowhere else in Australia where this is happening," she said. According to Ms Walsh this is about giving a mother to be a real choice between going through the public system, with a private doctor and hospital or with their own midwife."

For more information contact them on 32829614 or visit mymidwives.com.au.



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