TWO years ago Leeton was on the brink of having no maternity services available at the Leeton District Hospital.
However, that has all changed thanks to the hard work and dedication of the hospital’s midwives.
They are now leading what is known as the midwifery-led model of care, which allows low-risk babies to be born at the hospital.
However, they also provide support to mothers and babies throughout their pregnancy, as well as afterwards.
The group also works in conjunction with hospitals in Griffith and Wagga.
In recognition of their efforts, the group has been nominated in this year’s Murrumbidgee Local Health District Excellence Awards in the focus on wellness category.
Midwife LeeAnne Driscoll said more women in the community were becoming aware of the program.
“It doesn’t matter where they are having their babies … they can come here and book in with us and have shared care,” she said.
“It’s a great honour to be nominated.
“We put a lot of hard work into it, along with local doctors and (midwifery consultants) Narelle Heckendorf and Sandra Ford.
“They’ve all helped us along our journey. This program had to be implemented after we lost the service of our obstetrician.
“This was a whole new experience for us. We spent the last best part of 12 months working on the program.”
The program officially started in November last year and since then a dozen babies have been born at the Leeton hospital.
However, huge numbers of mothers have been seen to by the program.
Since its implementation, the program has been garnering attention from other small hospitals. “This is almost a pilot program, which one day other small hospitals might end up using,” midwife Jenny Ciavarella said.
“They might adapt it to work for them.” Every month the program provides on average between 300 and 500 “occasions of service” to Leeton shire mothers. The awards will be held on July 20.
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