Renee Haycock, Margaret Crameri, Karin Mills, Angie Garland and student midwife Erin Bayliss with the first baby born at Grafton Base Hospital in May, Charlotte Hottes.
Renee Haycock, Margaret Crameri, Karin Mills, Angie Garland and student midwife Erin Bayliss with the first baby born at Grafton Base Hospital in May, Charlotte Hottes. Adam Hourigan

Valley midwives to be recognised

FROM sharing the pure joy of a newborn to shouldering the angst when a birth doesn’t go smoothly, midwives specialise in handling the extremes of human emotion.

Tomorrow, the role these special people play in the community will be recognised with a picnic in Jacaranda Park on International Midwives’ Day.

Grafton Base Hospital maternity unit manager Angie Garland said the day was about celebrating midwifery.

“It’s a real privilege to help the families through the transition of labour and birth with their newborn,” Mrs Garland said.

“Once a year we like to celebrate it.”

Grafton’s maternity unit employs 23 permanent and four casual midwives – all of whom are trained nurses who went on to specialise in midwifery.

Between them, they help deliver about 500 bubs every year.

Mrs Garland, a midwife at Grafton Base Hospital for 16 years and the unit manager for five, described the experience of being involved in a birth.

“When it’s good, it’s really, really good,” she said.

“It’s a feeling of elation, and you’re so happy that the families are happy.

“Everyone’s joyous – that’s why I come to work each day.”

However she said the job had a challenging side.

“Not everybody has a normal experience,” she said.

“We help them cope when things don’t go according to plan.”

Midwife Sally Haig said since the maternity unit was established in September of 1966, four generations of families had been touched by its care.

“The unit is an intrinsic part of the local community and its families,” she said.

Midwives around the world celebrate the day, also called International Day of the Midwife, on May 5 each year.

The International Confederation of Midwives established the idea following suggestions and discussion among member associations in the late 1980s, formally launching the initiative in 1992.

All mums and babies are invited to the maternity unit’s International Midwives’ Day picnic morning tea tomorrow.

The celebration starts at 10am at Jacaranda Park, corner of Hoof and Prince streets.



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