Baby love paves the way for Jess’ new journey

What began as a simple love of babies has turned into something much deeper for Jess Koek as she embarks on a “dream” new chapter with West Moreton Health.

After four years as a Registered Nurse, including the past three at Ipswich Hospital, the 25-year-old began a fresh journey at West Moreton last week as one of eight new junior midwives.

The midwives, who are joined at the health service by 75 graduate nurses, will spend the next 12 months learning from senior staff while on rotation through maternity units such as the Birth Suite, Antenatal Clinic and Special Care Nursery.

Junior midwife Koek.

For Ms Koek, the chance to work as a midwife is both the realisation of a long-held ambition and an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of new and expectant mothers.

This is a huge dream come true. It’s still a bit surreal to finally be a midwife,” the Ipswich resident said.

“It’s been a long journey. Initially when I began studying midwifery, I just loved babies but having really gotten into the degree, it’s so lovely to be able to empower women.

“In doing that, you get to be a bit empowered yourself. It’s so special to be able to help a woman at a time when they need someone in their corner.

“Probably my main goal at the moment is to hone my skills and get more experience. It’s particularly important to build experience and confidence in Birth Suite because each birth is so unique.

Born and raised in Adelaide, Ms Koek completed her nursing degree at the end of 2019 before moving to Queensland with her partner in 2021.

She juggled her midwifery studies at the University of Southern Queensland with nursing work at Ipswich Hospital and said she had come to call Ipswich home.

“I love Ipswich Hospital. I can say that because I’ve worked at other hospitals,” she said.

“The people are great and there are such kind nurses and midwives. I’m really lucky to be part of that team.

“I’m really excited to finally start as a midwife. I feel like there’s a bit more pressure on me and responsibility, but I enjoy that.

“If you’re nursing a patient, it’s because they’ve got an injury or illness whereas with midwifery, it’s about supporting women through childbirth.

“Women have been birthing babies for thousands of years. It’s our jobs as midwives to empower them to trust their bodies and believe in themselves.”