It has been ages since my last post. It feels that way, anyway! I have had a few emails from some of my regular blog followers asking, "Are you still around?" and the short answer is, yes! The past 6 weeks have been incredibly busy.
4 new babies - all drug-free, normal births. 3 women birthed at Westmead Hospital, and one woman birthed at home. There were three first-time births and one VBAC. As a midwife, first-time births and VBACs bring the greatest satisfaction to my role as these are women who stand to experience the greatest amount of intervention in the general hospital system, and also the lowest chance of a normal vaginal birth. It is always such an incredible joy and pleasure to help a woman birth vaginally for the first time.
The women have provided really positive feedback about their care and their birth experiences, which is great. All of the women were so committed to having a normal, natural, drug-free birth, and they all achieved this (with a lot of hard work in preparation). They did Calmbirth courses, independent childbirth education, they read a lot of books, watched DVDs, surrounded themselves with women who had experienced the sort of birth that they had planned, wrote really detailed birth plans and cleared their fears and concerns about birthing to clear the path for a safe and healthy birth. One woman also had a doula on her amazing journey to a VBAC: Trisha Cook from Norwest Doula Services. Trish provided very skilled and attentive support for this couple and they were most grateful to Trish.
So as well as births, there is the postnatal care which is sometimes overlooked as we focus on the "big day" (or night, as is usually the case). For women booking with me for birth, I see them in their home every day for the first week, and this is also a very rewarding part of my work, watching the baby change in the first weeks of life, assisting with breastfeeding and the adjustment to parenting and watching as the new mother learns new skills and gains confidence.
As well as catching babies / helping women and their partners catch their baby, I have also been studying full-time. When I completed my MBA, I vowed never to study again. I was well-and-truly done with studying. However, being an eligible midwife requires that I complete a Graduate Certificate in Midwifery so that I am able to prescribe medications to mothers and babies through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal / neonatal period. So this has kept me busy too! The course has been interesting (it is not quite over yet) and has had its own challenges, but most of all it has been a lot of work! I will be glad when it is over but most of all, so proud to be amongst the cohort of midwives in Australia who will gain prescribing rights for the very first time in Australian history.
There are now around 130 eligible midwives in Australia; 24 in NSW. The numbers are growing very slowly, but they are increasing. The Eligible Midwife directory lists some of the eligible midwives if you are looking for one for your pregnancy, birth and postnatal care.
My next blog post will describe more about the new shared care model that has started at Westmead Hospital, and the new models of care that I have started offering.