Mid­wifery reaches out

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Sjanna San­dalova

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.

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