Murwillumbah Hospital.
Murwillumbah Hospital. File photo

Maternity changes applauded

WOMEN giving birth at the Murwillumbah hospital will soon be safer, even if they are transferred to Tweed Heads in labour, a midwifery expert has said.

Southern Cross University associate professor of midwifery Heather Hancock said the Murwillumbah District Hospital will implement their new midwife-led birthing model in December.

“Those small community hospitals are moving to 21st century models of practice that involve continuity with mother and midwife,” Prof Hancock said.

“They should be applauded; it's a significant move.”

Prof Hancock's comments come after a story in the Tweed Daily News on Tuesday where the North Coast Area Health Service admitted some women expecting “low-risk births” are being asked to go to The Tweed Hospital during November.

“As November will be the transition month between the previous birthing model and the new midwifery lead model, it has been necessary to refer some Murwillumbah women to The Tweed Hospital for low-risk births in November,” a NCAHS spokesperson said.

The Murwillumbah hospital also transfers high-risk maternity cases to Tweed Heads.

But Prof Hancock said this new model of practice will ensure more safety for mothers and their babies.

“It means the woman will have the same midwife during pregnancy, birth and afterwards care,” she said.

“If a woman was in continuity care the midwife would go with her (in the ambulance to Tweed Heads).

“The mother would take her primary carer with her.”

Prof Hancock was involved in the orientation for these midwives and feels it is important women understand there is no cause for anxiety on their part.

“This continuity with women model is almost as good as it gets.

“It's a fabulous opportunity for mother and their babies and in terms of safety it's extremely important.”

Prof Hancock will next year head up a Bachelor of Midwifery at SCU Lakeside at Caloola Drive, Tweed Heads.

The three-year course is set to produce graduates with in-depth specialist knowledge, skills, values and experience in the full range of contemporary practice.

Do you agree with Profeswor Hancock? Have your say - leave a comment below.

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