Like mother, like daughter: when birthing babies is a family calling

Dynamic duo Nadia and Breanna Long.

Breanna Long is following in her mother’s footsteps; or rather, both her mother’s and great grandmother’s footsteps to become a midwife.

Breanna is a western Sydney based registered nurse who is currently completing her Graduate Diploma in Midwifery at University of Technology Sydney and doing her practical application as a student midwife at Westmead Hospital.

Nadia Long, Breanna’s mum, has worked as a midwife at Auburn Hospital for 35 years.

Nadia’s paternal grandmother, Zahia Tannous, also worked as a village midwife in her homeland of Lebanon.

“I always wanted to be a midwife,” said Breanna.

Breanna is loving her current placement at Westmead Hospital

“As my mum’s a midwife, I’ve grown up around everything that entails, so it’s always been an interest of mine.”

Breanna says that when she was awarded her Provisional P1 licence, she would drive to Auburn Hospital to visit her mum during tea breaks and ask her and the other midwives questions.

“It definitely appears to be a passion that’s in the genes!” said Breanna.

Both Breanna and Nadia initially studied general nursing and then moved into the midwifery speciality, both having a passion for pregnancy and birth.

“Working as a midwife is incredibly rewarding and enjoyable; the hard work definitely pays off,” said Nadia.

Nadia has worked at Auburn Hospital for 35 years.

“I think I’ve helped to birth about 1000 babies – I’ve lost count!”

“I love watching families grow and being part of that special journey,” followed Breanna.

“Being there to see the reaction from the parents and being able to support them through this time – it makes you a bit emotional too.”

Now they’re both working in the same field, this mother and daughter regularly exchange work stories and Nadia is on hand to hep Breanna in her studies.

“I have many questions about what I’m learning, and mum understands my learning style, so she really knows how to explain things in a way that I understand to help things sink in,” said Breanna.

Nadia also shares a special family connection with her grandmother.

In the 1990s, she delivered a baby who was the child of a man her grandmother had delivered back in Lebanon.

My grandmother had delivered the father of the baby, and then I delivered his baby in Australia,” said Nadia.

When it comes to exciting work stories however, Breanna already has one over her mum.

“One thing I’ve already witnessed that mum still hasn’t seen in her career is an en caul birth, where a baby is born still inside an intact amniotic sac!” said Breanna.

“It was my second day – it looked like a baby in a crystal ball – it was amazing.”

This Mother’s Day, both Breanna and Nadia are working; but what they will share is their first Mother’s Day together as midwives.