BLOG: Celebrating International Day of the Midwife across WSLHD

Western Sydney Local Health District is celebrating International Day of the Midwife with a series of fun events across the district.

WSLHD Director of Nursing and Midwifery Maria Lingam is travelling to each district facility to warmly thank the incredible midwifery workforce, accompanied by WSLHD Board Chair Loretta DiMento and WSLHD Board Member Sue Coleman.

Westmead Hospital

The party’s first stop of the day was at Westmead Hospital’s Women’s Health Ward, Birth Unit and Maternity Ward, with staff assembling to greet the group and hear some powerful speeches from the guests.

“We want you to know how much we value everything that we do,” Maria said.

“You are all amazing people and are the backbone of Health, particularly in this area, and it is a wonderful piece of work that you do every day.”

Director of Nursing & Midwifery at Westmead Hospital, Carmen Morgan, also praised the group.

“The theme of International Day of the Midwife this year is around sustainability and that’s so important to all of us, not just around climate, but around women’s sexual and reproductive health as well around vulnerable women out in our community,” Carmen said.

“You do a wonderful job, under a lot of pressure. I know that you have so much passion for your work. I just want you to know we are completely in awe of what you do.”

Auburn Hospital

The festivities continued at Auburn Hospital, where Maria and team were warmly welcomed into areas decorated with thank-you cards and appreciation stickers celebrating the cohort of midwives who care for the Auburn community.

The focus of the speeches started with Auburn Hospital’s Clinical Midwifery Consultant Susanne Armour describing how the Auburn Hospital maternity service is midwifery-led, woman-centered and low-risk, with excellent outcomes and serving a very diverse community.

“Midwives are now needed more than ever to make health sustainable and to ensure women have a positive pregnancy and birth journey within their community so they may emerge physically and emotionally safe. To achieve this we want to make Auburn Hospital the centre of excellence for low-risk birth for women of ALL social, cultural, ethnic and financial backgrounds in NSW,” Susanne said.

One key takeaway from the passionate speeches was the fantastic work being done for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Auburn, with a particular focus on the engagement and support of CALD women both before and after their pregnancy journey.

“I just love working here,” Enass Akkouch, Auburn Hospital midwife said.

“It’s so nice to be able to care for so many diverse women from diverse backgrounds. Coming from culturally linguistically diverse background myself, growing up, I didn’t see that diversity in healthcare.

“Working at Auburn, it’s been amazing to see that inclusivity.

“We’ve seen so many different midwives, nurses and doctors coming from different backgrounds and you see the changes this has had on health care and the comfort of women, especially during their pregnancy and labor experience. Research shows that when women are cared for, with culturally safe and culturally appropriate care, it really does improve the experience.”

Blacktown Hospital

The day’s travels have come to a close on a high note with a big celebration at Blacktown Hospital to mark the occasion.

Attendees were treated to a fantastically funny video put together by the midwifery teams as well as sweet treats and heartfelt speeches from the leadership team in attendance.

All staff members at each facility also received a thoughtful take-home gift: a pair of socks covered in midwifery-themed artworks.