Our First Featured Midwife!
I am married to Ian and have three adult children Peter, Hannah and Stuart who have grown up around women, birth and babies.
I became a midwife in 1985 and am currently working both as a Midwife in Private Practice based in Echuca in rural Victoria and as a regional clinical midwife consultant based in a regional hospital.
In my private practice I provide one to one midwifery led care to women of northern Victoria and southern NSW. As the only midwife offering women the choice to birth at home in the area, I sometimes cover long distances to go to where the women are.
My midwifery philosophy is that all women deserve to be able to choose a known midwife regardless of where they want to birth and that homebirth is one option that should be available to all women for whom pregnancy and birth are anticipated to be healthy life events. I also believe that women who have chosen a known midwife should be able to birth with their midwife in the place that is most suitable for them, whether that be hospital or home, and that the women and I should be made welcome and treated with respect. To this end I have and will continue to work hard to develop collaborative arrangements with local health care agencies.
For many years now I have encouraged women to use water as one of their tools for labour and birth. Since purchasing my first birth pool from Simply Birth I have found that very few women donâ€™t enjoy the experience of submerging themselves into the water at some stage during their labours. Even women who claim â€œoh no Iâ€™m not a bath personâ€ seem to end up giving it a â€˜tryâ€™ and once in very few want to get out. Its fun and games sometimes to keep the water hot â€œ (we finally found a reason for boiling all that water at births, other than making the midwife a cup of tea that is!!) but even with the smallest hot water units and pots on the stove we have always managed.
I love using the liners because it has removed all my concerns about cleaning between uses. Each woman buys her won liner and they can then keep it for their next birth. Remembering we are in a rural setting one of my clients husbands made o hot house out of it to put over his seedlings and claimed it was perfect!
I now have 4 birth pools as part of my kit and hire them out to the women at around 36 weeks so they can have a practice. This gets the other kids into the act and gets all the excitement out of the way. The only issue we’ve had is beware the toddler with sharp pencils!
We have found out that even inflated the pool is easy to move and fits easily through most doorways. This enables it to be inflated and then stored in a spare room until needed. It is easier to put the liner on the pool when it is still slightly under inflated though. (Actually not that I would know as Iâ€™ve never done it but so the partners tell me and I pass the message on). My only rule is that it has to come back in the bag.
In my other role as a clinical midwife consultant I am encouraging regional and rural hospitals to look at introducing water into their units. In one unit the midwives are keen to offer women the choice of labouring and birthing in water, they have their policies in place but the issue has been lack of availability of baths in the birthing rooms. They are about to purchase pools from Simply Birth and I will be involved in mentoring the midwives through this process.
I look forward to a day when ALL women have the choice of labouring and birthing in water where ever they choose to birth.
My daughter Hannah is about to graduate as a midwife and it has been my biggest thrill to attend births together with her as s student midwife. I am hoping in the new year to do this again with her as registered midwife.
I will travel anywhere within a few hours of Echuca. As I said in the story there are no other HB midwives around here so the women find me and I go if I can