THE birth of Megan Smith’s first child at St John of God Midland Public Hospital has doubled as a mini-medical milestone.
She became the 80th patient to be referred to Moort Boodjari Mia since St John of God Health Care took over the hospital-based service in July 2016.
Moort Boodjari Mia means ‘family pregnancy house’ in Noongar and is a maternity support program for families having a baby with either parent or both identifying as Aboriginal.
Megan said she was grateful for the service.
“The staff were amazing and I highly recommend the service to others,” she said.
“The staff were extremely flexible with appointments and even picked me up when I was not well enough to drive.
“It is extremely convenient that they are based at the hospital and it proved very helpful during my pregnancy.”
Hospital Aboriginal health director Christine Clinch said their goal was to “help women stay healthy during pregnancy and give their babies the best possible start in life by providing support in the lead-up to the birth and up to four weeks after”.
“The service provides holistic care and cultural security, which is crucial to its success,” she said.
“As well as pregnancy support, it also helps clients that are facing other issues, so they can better focus on their new arrival.
“Some of the ways they do this is by yarning with them one-on-one, providing transport to appointments and having the flexibility to meet with them in their homes.
“Every woman who accesses the service is provided care by a team of clinicians, including a midwife, Aboriginal health liaison officer and Aboriginal liaison grandmother, who work together to develop individual care plans.
“In addition, Moort Boodjari Mia works closely with our maternity services at the hospital and other service providers to provide shared care.”
The service has been based at the hospital since July 2017.