Birth of a great idea
LIKE most first-time mothers, Kyla Lake is eagerly awaiting the birth of her baby this month.
Her midwife Teresa Walsh is just as excited because Kyla’s baby will be the first born in Ipswich under the new Medicare for midwives laws, part of the government’s health care reform package.
A change in national laws on November 1 last year gave mothers the choice of a private midwife for their pregnancy and birth care in hospital and the ability to claim a Medicare rebate for the services.
Ms Lake said having a midwife had helped quell any fears or concerns she had regarding her pregnancy and birth.
“They give you tips and advice and talk to you regarding what will happen at hospital,” Ms Lake said. “It makes you feel more relaxed about the whole process.”
The 24-year-old Walloon resident is due on March 20 and plans to give birth in Ipswich Hospital.
“I’m very excited, but a little bit nervous as well,” Ms Lake said.
Ms Walsh has joined four other midwives to start local business, My Midwives, enabling women in Ipswich and Toowoomba to be among the first in Australia to choose their own midwife.
She said expectant mothers and midwives got to know each other during the pregnancy and birth, with the midwife available for advice and support for six weeks after the birth.
“The floods in January delayed the launch of My Midwives in Ipswich where I live so I have been helping out with the first births in Toowoomba,” Ms Walsh said.
“My Midwives clients had 13 beautiful babies in February, which was more than we expected, so women really seem to like our service.
“My midwifery partner in Ipswich, Hazel Mastin, and I hope that families in the Ipswich area will like having this new choice for their pregnancy and birth care too.”
She said midwives worked in collaboration with obstetricians at the hospital and other health providers to make sure women got all the care and support they needed during pregnancy, birth and afterwards.