Queensland is celebrating its midwives with a pay rise and increased resources across the state.
A new continuity of care model now allows Queensland women to choose a midwife as primary caregiver during their pregnancy, birth and after delivery.
Having a baby can be a scary and confusing time – and having a midwife there to guide expecting parents through the journey can relieve a lot of stress.
Midwife Liz Wilkes, managing director of the MyMidwife service, says the pregnancy process relies heavily on trust between parent and midwife.
“Trust is so important to mothers, and midwifery continuity models really do improve birth and satisfaction outcomes,” she says. “They are also cost-effective and are really common overseas.
“Mothers now have the opportunity to develop a partnership with their midwife and build confidence in their ability to identify any problems during pregnancy, labour and post-birth.”
Chief nursing and midwifery officer Dr Frances Hughes says International Midwives Day was the perfect opportunity to promote the new continuity of care framework.
“As part of our commitment to maternity services, mothers receive two home visits by a midwife or a child health nurse within the first four weeks of their new baby’s life,” she says. “These visits include an assessment of the baby and mother’s development and health, and provide an opportunity to offer support and advice on immunisation, sleep, injury prevention, breastfeeding and nutrition.”
More than 16,300 home visits took place under this Mums and Bubs program in the last quarter of 2013 alone.
The improvements to the care system also include 50 new midwives for rural areas, the reintroduction of birthing services at Beaudesert Hospital and the expansion of flying gynaecology and obstetrics services.
Midwives and nurses will also receive a three per cent salary increase – the third in the last 24 months.