Maitland Midwifery Group Practice marks its 10th birthday to coincide with International Day of the Midwife

BABY LOVE: Midwives (front) Karen Grosse, Leah McDonnell, Rachel Upton, Casey Wiggins, Denise Wilde and Annette Wilson with Casey Currie, Tiffany Dever, Emily Muir and Ashley Booth and some of their children delivered under the Maitland program.
BABY LOVE: Midwives (front) Karen Grosse, Leah McDonnell, Rachel Upton, Casey Wiggins, Denise Wilde and Annette Wilson with Casey Currie, Tiffany Dever, Emily Muir and Ashley Booth and some of their children delivered under the Maitland program.

Casey Currie has five children - four born with the help of Maitland Midwifery Group Practice.

The practice is marking its 10th birthday this week, coinciding with International Day of the Midwife celebrated, Wenesday, May 5.

The group was formed to support pregnant women through their pre and post-birth experience with a focus on reducing the number of caesarean births at Maitland Hospital.

It has welcome 2800 babies since its inception.

Pregnant with her sixth child, Casey, said her sister-in-law referred her to the service. "I've referred everyone I know since," she said.

Maitland Hospital Nurse Manager, Women's and Children's Services, Nicole Williams, said midwives provide one-on-one support to pregnant women throughout their pregnancy, attend the birth and continue to provide care and support to mum and bub for up to six weeks post-birth.

"Nearly all the women who we've supported through the program have come back again for subsequent births and a lot of the referrals we get are word of mouth," Ms Williams said.

"One of our midwives has had 12 different school friends go through the program with her."

North Rothbury's Tiffany Dever gave birth to her youngest child, daughter Evelyn, just 10 weeks ago. She has used the service for all three of her pregnancies, the last two of which were under the care of midwife Annette Wilson.

"I went home the same day I gave birth to my children, knowing if I needed the support, Annette was available 24/7," Tiffany said.

"It's so reassuring to have someone who knows you and your family available."

Maitland mother Emily Muir feels the knowledge and calm reassurance offered by the group's experienced midwives, who now number seven after the program initially started with four, has been crucial to its success. Thirty-five weeks pregnant, Mrs Muir is preparing for the birth of her third child, and second through the group.

"It was a really different experience between the birth of my eldest child and the second. I just felt so much more supported for the second," she said.

"It's so nice to have someone that you've built a relationship with throughout your pregnancy there at the end as well. Even my husband felt it was better the second time around."

Nicole knows how crucial it is for women to have a positive birth experience.

"It gives women a feeling of safety and advocacy and we've seen some incredible successes," she said. "We've not only reduced the number of caesareans, but 90 per cent of the women who participate in the program continue to breastfeed six weeks after birth. "It's our gold standard of midwifery care."

Despite a challenging pandemic enveloping our globe, midwives have continued their selfless roles delivering thousands of babies around the clock, while also campaigning for safe staffing ratios in NSW.

On International Day of the Midwife, the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) is honouring the resilience of its midwifery members and their determination to support mothers and babies, despite the tough working conditions.

NSWNMA President and midwife, O'Bray Smith, said on International Day of the Midwife it was important to thank midwives for keeping mothers and babies safe, and to support their calls for midwife-to-mother ratios across NSW.

"Day in day out, you are giving every single part of you to the women and babies in your care so there is nothing left. We see you and we are so grateful," said Ms Smith.

This story Call the midwive - Maitland group marks 2800 births and a decade of service first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.