15 March 2024

New system offering continuity of midwife care launched for Eurobodalla women

| Claire Sams
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Mother holding newborn baby boy in hospital bed

A new program means Eurobodalla women can see the same midwife throughout their pregnancy and into the early weeks at home. Photo: File.

Expectant parents in Eurobodalla Shire are now able to see the same midwife before and after birth thanks to a new program.

A new Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) model of care has launched at Moruya Hospital, offering continuity and personalised care to women across the shire.

NSW Minister for Health Ryan Park said that under the system, women were cared for by a known midwife throughout their pregnancy, during childbirth and in the first weeks at home.

“Women and their families gain reassurance from getting to know their midwife personally and can establish a familiar and trusted support base when they need help or advice, with a direct phone number they can call,” he said.

“This primary midwife is supported by a secondary or ‘backup’ midwife and works collaboratively with doctors when required.”

Queanbeyan Hospital and Health Service has operated its Midwifery Antenatal and Postnatal Service (MAPS) continuity model since 2020, while Cooma Maternity Services is expected to roll out its customised midwifery model in the coming months.

Bega and Goulburn are also set to follow.

“It is exciting to officially launch this service in Moruya, which empowers and supports women’s choices in the Eurobodalla,” Mr Park said.

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Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Regional Health and Member for Bega Dr Michael Holland said he was proud to see the establishment of a new Midwifery Group Practice in the maternity unit where he had worked for two decades.

“The continuity and personalised care from midwifery professionals will complement the existing midwifery service and the GP and specialist obstetric services,” he said.

“This will provide a functional and collaborative model of care providing women with more choice, greater satisfaction, and continued safety for them and their babies.”

The launch is part of Southern NSW Local Health District’s (SNSWLHD) ‘Know Your Midwife continuity of care strategy’, which sees tailored models of care implemented within maternity services across the district.

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SNSWLHD Midwifery District Manager, Bek Bowman, said international evidence supported continuity of care models as the best practice for improved pregnancy and birth outcomes and satisfaction for women.

“The opportunity to form close relationships with women in our communities in the very early stages of their pregnancy and walk alongside them during their birth and postnatal care is truly a privilege,” she said.

“The MGP model implemented in Moruya gives our professional and dedicated team of midwives the chance to use their clinical practice skills to achieve better outcomes for women and babies.”

Women across NSW are encouraged to connect with their local maternity service as early in pregnancy as possible to learn about and to understand the choices available for maternity care.

Contact details and information on maternity services across the southern NSW are available on the NSW Government’s website.

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