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4 April, 2019

New service delivering for Tablelands families

A collaborative model at the Atherton Hospital that provides women with a continuity of midwifery care is having great success since its inception five months ago.

By Rhys Thomas

Fifty five women cared for by their known midwife, have given birth in the Atherton Women’s Unit since the implementation of a new Midwifery Group Practice at the Atherton Hospital five months ago.

Thirty baby boys and 25 baby girls have been born under the collaborative model that provides women with a continuity of midwifery carer; with support from doctors and the multi-disciplinary health team.

“There is strong evidence the Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) model of care provides better outcomes for mothers and babies and gives women a more positive birth experience,” said Atherton MGP midwife Tanya Fleming.

“Numbers are looking good for the Atherton MGP, with bookings up by 18% from this time last year and an expected overall increase in birthing numbers for 2019.”

Atherton Hospital’s Midwifery Unit Manager Dean Stevens echoed Ms Fleming’s sentiments, as he noted the enormous impact MGP has had on mothers from the region.

“The Midwifery Group Practice has built a real feeling of community, and it’s wonderful that mothers have access to a high standard of care,” he said.

“And I want to thank the entire community and the team at the Atherton Hospital for their enormous support and efforts since MGP began.”

The Atherton Midwives and Mother’s Alliance (AMAMA) invited staff and community members to gather for a morning tea to celebrate the success of the new model and thanked the community members and staff who have contributed to bettering local maternity services in Atherton.

“We’ve had amazing support from the Atherton Hospital staff, as well as community and Tablelands businesses, which have made generous donations and raised funds to help AMAMA,” said AMAMA representative Marama Taudevin.

“Both the former AMAMA representative Heidi Brennan and I had positive experiences with the Continuity of Midwifery Carer model in 2018,” she said.

“AMAMA’s focus in 2019 will be about ensuring that the consumers of the Atherton Women’s Unit continue to be listened to through our involvement in the new Midwifery Group Practice Governance meetings, which allow us to have ongoing input to the progression of maternity services,” she said.

Marama said local businesses have got behind the group’s re-vamped 150 AMAMA gift packs which will be given to every woman birthing in the Atherton Hospital.

Monthly AMAMA Circles are held on the first Tuesday of every month from 9-11am in the Annie Brown Garden at Atherton Hospital including a guest speaker, providing women a safe place to meet with other mums and grow their support network.

“Our presence at the hospital also gives us a sense of “home” and a feeling of safety and connection to the place we have chosen to birth,” Marama said.

AMAMA’s next major event is celebrating International Day of the Midwife on Saturday 4 May with a Work Out of the Day and Walk for Midwives organised by local CrossFit business owners’ Tommy and Madison Blain, who were the first couple to have their baby born under the MGP model.

The community is encouraged to come along and support this fundraising “Birth Warrior” event to celebrate and recognise the invaluable work that midwives do in supporting women and families.

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