CELEBRATIONS for the first anniversary of a culturally-sensitive maternity service coincided with Naidoc Week.
St John of God Midland Public Hospital is home to Moort Boodjari Mia, meaning family pregnancy house, which provides a maternity healthcare and education service to indigenous families who live in the east metropolitan region.
Access to the service has increased by 30 per cent to 122 patients in just a year.
Alyssa Mogridge (18) has a one-year-old son James and is expecting another baby with partner Troy.
She said her GP referred her to the pregnancy house where staff made her feel comfortable and welcome.
Aboriginal health liaison officer Naomi Kelly is one of four team members who care for the pregnant women and their families.
She said her role involved ensuring families understand their options and sometimes to act as a voice on their behalf.
“It’s about closing the gap really, providing the whole clinical service and making them feel safe,” she said.
“There is still fear about a child being taken because they have heard stories about The Stolen Generations.”
Previously, the program based nearby was funded by the Department of Health and St John of God Health Care social outreach division.
The program offers a home visiting service, a dedicated antenatal clinic at the hospital, a community clinic at Koongamia Child and Parent Centre and a weekday “drop in” service for clients.