Midwifery group delivers a 'gold standard of care' in Atherton



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Midwifery Group Practices are a major step for women and families of the Atherton. IMAGE: Supplied

A new midwifery model has been introduced at the Atherton Hospital, providing continuity of care for women throughout their birthing journey.

The model provides all pregnant women, regardless of risk factors, with the opportunity to receive one-on-one care from a known midwife, from her first antenatal appointment until six weeks after the mother and baby are discharged from hospital.


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The transition to a Midwifery Group Practice is a major step for women and families of the Atherton community and has been developed in close consultation with consumers and the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union.

Dean Stevens, Midwifery Unit Manager at Atherton Hospital said from this week, women booking in to the Atherton Women’s Unit will be allocated a ‘known’ midwife to care for them throughout their pregnancy, accompany them to and care for them during their birth and visit them for post- natal care in their home.

“Research shows that this model of care leads to better outcomes for mothers and babies, shorter labours, a reduced need for pain relief, fewer pregnancy complications and improved breastfeeding rates,” he said.

Tanya Fleming is one of the six new MGP midwives at the Atherton Hospital. She said they’re elated to step into their new roles, which provide an opportunity to practice the full scope of midwifery care and develop strong relationships with mothers, families and the community.

“The known midwife becomes the ‘constant’ factor in the pregnant woman’s journey, which is very comforting, especially for women that may have more complex needs requiring the involvement of various care providers,” she said.

Heidi Brennan from the Atherton Midwives and Mothers Alliance (AMAMA) said the group’s overjoyed MGP has commenced at the Atherton Hospital, representing the ‘gold standard’ of care.

“I, personally am one of the lucky ones who gave birth during the transition stage of MGP being implemented at the Atherton Hospital,” she said.

“I have no doubt in my mind that having this care made my pregnancy, labour and post birth period easier, due to feeling comfortable and confident by forming a close bond with my midwife.”

The Women’s Unit at the Atherton Hospital will remain staffed by a core midwife, 24 hours a day. They will play a pivotal role in supporting the caseload midwives for birthing and emergencies as well as caring for women who stay in the unit.

The introduction of the Midwifery Group Practice model has been welcomed by the medical staff and multidisciplinary team at the Atherton Hospital as well as the wider community.



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