Midwifery reaches out
Expectant mothers living in Kojonup and Gnowangerup can now look forward to being cared for by Katanning’s new midwives as they begin offering appointments in the two satellite towns.
The Katanning Community Midwifery Service has appointed its first permanent staff members, Larissa McInerney and Bronwyn O’Halloran, who are based at Katanning Health Service but will also meet women in both towns.
Katanning Health Service manager Robyn Millar said local women now had even more maternity care options thanks to the new staff and services. “Katanning Community Midwifery Service started in 2015 to give women and babies in the region access to specialised antenatal and postnatal care closer to home,” she said.
“Through the service, women can work with their chosen doctor or birth hospital to get good and convenient antenatal and postnatal care and have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
“Now that we have Bronwyn and Larissa on board, women can also look forward to building stronger relationships with their midwife, and the service can for the first time offer booked appointments in Kojonup and Gnowangerup.”
Katanning’s Jo Steel, who is due to give birth in Albany in November, Albany, said she was glad to be able to access help from midwives close to home.
“It’s great to have this service available locally, and to save the travel time and time off work that would be needed if I had to go to Albany for every single appointment,” she said.
The Katanning Community Midwifery Service midwives can also provide options with booking a birth hospital of the woman’s choice and provide health care referrals as well as antenatal care.
“We try to be as flexible as we can and work in with our local mums as to how and when appointments occur,” Ms McInerney said.
“For example, if a family chooses Narrogin or Albany for the birth, we work closely with the hospital so that we can do some of the check-ups here and the woman would only need to go to the birthing hospital to see their doctor.”
Ms O’Halloran said they could also offer support after birth.
“Following birth, we can provide postnatal care and breastfeeding support, including referrals to a lactation consultant, and liaise with the local child health nurse about ongoing care for babies,” she said.
Katanning Community Midwifery Service is available to women from 14 weeks of pregnancy from the Katanning, Kojonup, Gnowangerup, Tambellup, Woodanilling, Broomehill and Nyabing areas.