Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

A Sigh of Relief When Midwife Comes Calling

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

A Sigh of Relief When Midwife Comes Calling

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicole Fuge

MIDWIFE and lactation consultant Pauline Evans knocks on the door and is greeted by a new mum, tears welling in the mother's eyes.

At first, Pauline is concerned, until she realises they're tears of joy.

Pauline is one of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service midwives, paying home visits to families with newborns as part of the Extended Midwifery Service.

More than 2370 home visits have been made this year by the health service's experienced and trained maternal and child health professionals.

"It's an extension of the care we give in hospital, and a lot of mums find it quite daunting, the transition from the hospital to the home," Pauline said.

"In the hospital, they have a midwife available 24/7.

"Often they greet you at the door with tears of joy. They're so happy to see you."

First-time parents Amy and Shaun O'Brien, from Dulong, have had three home visits since their son Kaiden Daniel O'Brien was born at Nambour, on November 19.

When asked how valuable the service had been, their shared expression of relief said it all.

"I think it should be compulsory Australia-wide, especially for new parents," Shaun said. "If I'm working, it's impossible for my wife to get the baby in the car, with all the stuff and get to the hospital for a check-up.

"The in-house service is just great."

While many new parents have a list of questions at the ready, Pauline said the biggest concern was with breastfeeding.

"If they're stressed, often their milk production might be an issue," she said.

Pauline said being in a familiar setting meant the parents were more comfortable and relaxed, and able to process the information more clearly.

"Often, you'll find grandparents and other family members here and they all listen, too, so everyone learns," she said. "Sometimes women find it quite intimidating being in the hospital setting. …

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