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Maternity service could reduce travel for expectant mums | Warwick Today


Warwick Hospital midwife Sam Gale is optimistic the new maternity service will give pregnant women more flexibility. Picture: SUPPLIED

Expectant mums will have opportunities to give birth closer to home under a newly launched maternity service at hospitals in Warwick and Stanthorpe.

Pregnant women will be partnered with a known midwife capable of catering to their specific needs during and after pregnancy as part of what’s called a Midwifery Group Practice.

Rural executive director for Darling Downs Health Dr Chris Cowling said the service would reduce the need for soon-to-be mothers to travel away from home for maternity care.

“We know that these communities, Stanthorpe in particular, have been asking to have access to a local Midwifery Group Practice service for several years,” Dr Cowling said.

“Expectant mothers like the Midwifery Group Practice model … as it provides them with the continuity of dealing with one person throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and after birth care journey,” he said.

The service will complement existing care models provided to expectant mothers in both towns, Dr Cowling said, while also providing “further opportunity for mothers to birth closer to home”.

Sam Gale relocated to Warwick to raise his family four years ago and has been working as a Midwife at Warwick Hospital ever since. Mr Gale will join the new maternity service which he’s optimistic will be popular amongst the Warwick community.

“The Midwifery Group Practice will extend our ability to provide additional care to women in our region and give us the opportunity to provide extra postnatal and antenatal care,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to the flexibility that comes with working in the MGP model of care, having the ability to practice more independently and provide women the care they truly want to the best of my ability,” Mr Gale said.

Nurse and midwife Sophie Walker will be part of the team based in Stanthorpe, having worked previously in a Midwifery Group Practice elsewhere. For rural communities, Ms Walker said the service “helps bridge the gap” between care options available in cities compared to the regions.

“Rural women can be limited in how and where they can seek maternity care, this gives them more choices,” she said.

The service will be funded by the Queensland government under a $42 million investment into rural and regional maternity services outlined in the 2023 state budget.



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