Blacktown Hospital midwife Agatha Osifo was 11 years old and living in her home country, Nigeria, West Africa, when she learnt first-hand from her grandmother what a midwife was.
She remembers visiting her grandma in the village and watching her look after pregnant women – all hours of the day and night.
“She was a traditional midwife,” Agatha recalled.
“I remember telling my Mum, ‘I really love Grandma’s job looking after pregnant women, it’s very fascinating’.”
With her grandma’s blessing, Agatha’s eyes were firmly set on a career in midwifery.
After relocating to Australia in her twenties, Agatha completed a Bachelor of Nursing and Diploma in Midwifery and has been working as a registered midwife at Blacktown Hospital ever since.
Agatha is now a seasoned midwife with more than 20 years’ experience behind her and has lost count of the number of babies she has delivered.
“I know I hold a record of 84 deliveries in one year,” Agatha said.
Every birth is unique, and I feel blessed to be the first person to touch this new creation each time.”
Determined to offer her mothers the very best support and care and learn more about quality improvement and clinical leadership, Agatha undertook a Master of Midwifery at the University of Newcastle via correspondence in March 2021.
The pressure of working as a midwife during the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact Agatha’s usually strong mental health, and just three months from completing her degree, contemplated not finishing her course.
“The pandemic period was not easy and there were times I almost gave up on studying,” Agatha said.
“It wasn’t an easy journey working full-time during the COVID-19 pandemic alongside submitting assignments whilst having the virus, but with support from my family and the university counselling service, I did it!”
On 12 July 2023, Agatha proudly graduated from a Master of Midwifery with her husband, three adult children and two grandchildren by her side to celebrate her success.
I felt so satisfied on my graduation day and it was so rewarding when I finally got to wear that gown,” Agatha said.
“Being able to support women through the birthing process and empowering them to make birth choices is my favourite part of my job.
“Birth is a beautiful thing.”
Original story published at: www.newcastle.edu.au/newsroom/featured/graduation-how-a-midwifes-passion-was-born