Expectant mothers on the Gold Coast are benefitting with the launch of a Griffith University-led student midwives clinic.
Held at the Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH), the weekly antenatal service sees Griffith Bachelor of Midwifery students consulting women the whole way through their pregnancy. Students will also follow women across their labour and birth and into the early parenting period.
School of Nursing and Midwifery lecturer Janice Bass says the collaboration between GCUH industry practice partners and Griffith represents a “unique partnership which focuses on the continuity of care for expectant mothers and a high quality learning experience for the students.”
“The clinic offers women the opportunity to access a midwife-led antenatal clinic, while giving student midwives the chance to build relationships with women and better understand their childbearing journey.”
“Building positive long-term relationships with women across pregnancy facilitates care that is based on woman’s individual needs and preferences,” says Ms Bass.
“Partners and family members also become an important focus of care. Continuity of midwifery care has distinct benefits for woman with a large body of evidence now suggesting that all women should, regardless of possible complications, be afforded access to their own midwife within a multidisciplinary team.”
“We are learning a lot more by taking part in this type of clinical work,” says first year midwifery student Jan Robinson. Working in this way is fantastic. Not only does it allow us to see the woman’s ‘whole’ story but also we are learning to take responsibility for running a clinic and caring for women and families. The relationship we share with the woman is the key.”
“Meanwhile the students continue to be taught and supervised by Griffith midwifery lecturers as well as midwives at the GCUH. It is a win: win situation,” says Ms Bass.
Gold Coast woman Tiffany Shipp is expecting her baby in June and says she is really happy to be a part of the program. “This is my first pregnancy so I was a little nervous about what to expect but my Griffith student midwife has been excellent – very understanding and supportive. I think every woman should have access to this kind of midwifery care.”
Midwifery Manager of the antenatal clinic at GCUH, Lynne O’Brien, says she is thrilled to see the launch of the collaboration between the hospital and Griffith.
“We are now seeing a sustained increase in our activity so it is fantastic that through our partnership with Griffith we are able to provide such a high quality experience for both the women and student midwives.”
The antenatal service is expected to increase to include more clinics, and extend to provide postnatal care.
Women who are interested in attending should ask their GP or Midwife about referral to the clinic.