Rhonda’s born to make a difference
Midwife Rhonda Jackson says she feels hugely privileged to have delivered more than 1000 babies during her 30year career.
And the Onehunga resident has dealt with many families over the years, which she thinks has had a positive effect on her.
“It’s absolutely the best thing. They make a difference in our lives. We develop each other.”
The Birthcare clinical manager of midwifery has also seen many changes in the sector during that time.
“When I started things were very structured.”
That meant the majority of women had their babies in a hospital setting.
But she says there are many more choices for pregnant women today, with hospitals, birthing units and home birth all popular options.
“What’s important is choice. People aren’t going to function well outside their comfort zone.”
She remembers her time practising in south Auckland as one of the most satisfying in her career.
“All the extended family attend which makes for a relaxed atmosphere,” Rhonda says.
“Each place you go has its own character, so it pays to be flexible and just work with it.”
She says there are several reasons for the shortage of midwives today, including a lack of places for midwives at tertiary institutions in the past and growth in population.
“We were caught short, like the medical profession.”
But Rhonda feels there should be a focus on educating women about the birthing process, which was one of the themes of International Midwives Day earlier this week.
She says ante-natal and post-natal classes, as well as sessions with physiotherapists and lactation experts, can help in the education process.
A new midwifery centre in Royal Oak, which opened on Monday, will also help educate women about pregnancy.
AUT midwifery lecturer Nimisha Waller, who will also be involved in running the centre, says it will benefit mums and midwives alike.
“Our vision is provide a place for midwives and women to have a community that can provide maternity information,” Nimisha says.
The centre is open Monday to Thursday, from 8am to 2pm, at 14 Erson Ave, Royal Oak.
For more information phone 625-9764 or email auckmrc@ nzcoms.org.nz.
Newborn: Birthcare’s midwifery clinical manager Rhonda Jackson, with three-day-old Agnes Laavasa.