West Moreton celebrates midwives

Women giving birth at Ipswich Hospital now have the option of a water birth, in situations where it is safe for both mother and child.Proud Bundajung woman Nicole Moller

The new service arose from a co-design workshop the hospital held with maternity consumers last year.

West Moreton Health Acting Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery Therese Hayes said workshop participants outlined their priorities for maternity services at Ipswich Hospital and one of the priorities was water birthing.

“We have taken that feedback on board and are happy to provide this option to women in consultation with their midwife,” Ms Hayes said.

Giving birth while partially submerged in a birthing pool can shorten labour and reduce the need for pain medication.

“Ask your midwife at your next appointment if you are eligible,” Ms Hayes said.

Tomorrow (Thursday 5 May) is International Day of the Midwife. West Moreton Health employs 167 specialty and culturally appropriate midwives, who are there to support the diverse needs of the West Moreton community.

Ipswich Hospital has a Gestational Diabetes Midwife to assist women with gestational diabetes through their high-risk pregnancy; a Bereavement Midwife to support those who have suffered loss at more than 20 weeks’ gestation, a neonatal death, or a diagnosis of foetal abnormality; several Midwifery Navigation Midwives who assist  women who have been identified as benefiting from additional maternity care; and an Emergency Department Access Midwife who assists pregnant women who present to the Emergency Department.

West Moreton Health’s midwifery team includes child health midwives; midwives who visit clinics, including ones at rural hospitals; and midwives who visit the women’s prisons.  

As part of West Moreton Health’s continuous drive for improvement, its midwifery services are evolving to keep pace with the region’s rapid growth and provide quality, patient-centred care to mothers and their babies.

Dedicated First Nations midwife for Ipswich Hospital

Proud Bundajung woman Nicole Moller has come to Ipswich Hospital to help First Nations women and their families grow strong and healthy babies.

Nicole, who is a trained midwife, started work at the hospital last month under a new program for West Moreton Health.

The Jaghu midwifery program aims to close the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families living in the Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul countries that make up the West Moreton region.

Hearing how her great-great grandmother gave birth without medical support on the verandah of a rural hospital inspired Nicole to become a midwife a decade ago.

Nicole’s first job is to yarn with local Elders and First Nations women about the support they need when they visit Ipswich Hospital.

“My family is from Bundajung country, but I have lived and worked in Yuggera country for so long, I've built strong connections with the community,” she said.

Ms Moller has come to West Moreton Health from the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital in Brisbane where she was part of the Ngarrama midwifery program.

"I am looking forward to seeing strong babies arrive close to their due date with no health problems for mum or bub here in Yuggera country,” she said.

If you would like to yarn with Nicole about the Jaghu program, or your birthing experience as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander woman at Ipswich Hospital, email Nicole at wm-jaghu@health.qld.gov.au.