LEETON mum Maryann Iannelli has shared her recent birth experience in the hopes it helps bring change at the town's hospital.
Mrs Iannelli recently gave birth to her daughter Michaela at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital.
During her pregnancy she received care from her local general practitioner and midwives at Leeton District Hospital and their help and support was something she couldn't fault.
While Mrs Iannelli was deemed as being "low risk", she decided to have her child in Wagga for fear if something went wrong in Leeton there wouldn't be a doctor available at the hospital here to help.
Previously, Leeton women were able to have their babies at the town's hospital, but now only "low-risk" births are allowed.
However, Mrs Iannelli questioned if something were to go wrong with a mother or child, would a doctor be available in an emergency?
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"It was my choice to go to Wagga and one many other mums have had to make, but this then also puts pressure on the hospital there and in other places like Griffith," she said.
"You already have a lot of things going through your mind when you're almost due ... the anxiety of then having to travel to a nearby hospital adds to the stress.
"I can't fault the care I was given in Wagga or the midwives here in Leeton.
They were amazing."
However, when Mrs Iannelli did give birth in Wagga in July, she was soon asked if she would mind coming straight back to Leeton to recover.
"You could see the midwife felt so bad for asking me, but they had five other mums scheduled to come in to have their babies that day, as well as any others that might also happen as well," she said.
"They are being pushed to the limit because hospitals like ours in Leeton can't offer all mums the chance to have their babies here.
"It's an issue affecting so many regional areas like ours, so something needs to change.
"The government needs to be acting. It's scary to think what could happen."
In less than 24 hours, Mrs Iannelli and her husband drove to Wagga, had their baby and then had to drive themselves back to hospital in Leeton to recover.
"It was a bit of whirlwind and we're lucky we could do it, but it's really not good enough," Mrs Iannelli said.
"Like I said, it's not a criticism of the staff or the nurses, they were fantastic.
"It comes down to the system being broken.
"There's a web of so many things that are going on. We need change."
The Irrigator has launched a campaign to push for better services at the Leeton hospital, including appointing a permanent doctor. Share your stories with us to help make a difference.
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