An innovative USC program that provides active support for pregnant women on the Sunshine Coast has been expanded following the University’s introduction of a dedicated Bachelor of Midwifery this year.
The University is now offering more places in its Connect program, which pairs student midwives with local expectant mothers as they progress through pregnancy, birth and postnatal care.
Bachelor of Midwifery Program Coordinator Dr Michelle Gray said Connect had involved more than 1,000 pregnant women since USC first offered a combined Nursing Science/Midwifery degree in 2013, providing clear benefits for all involved.
“The students accompany pregnant women to their antenatal appointments, whether that’s at a public or private hospital, a medical clinic, or with local private practising midwives,” she said.
“Having a student midwife follow a mother-to-be throughout her pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period allows them to build a strong relationship and connection.
“Students work under the direct supervision of health professionals, and it’s a vital part of their learning process for a student midwife.”
First-year Nursing Science/Midwifery student and mother-of-five Angelia Goulter said she was looking forward to gaining practical experience working as a student midwife in the Connect program.
“I’ve birthed four children of my own – two in hospital, and two at home – and my experiences made me want to learn more about this area,” she said.
“Personally, I know how important it is to feel supported and have continuity of care, so gaining hands-on experience by supporting a woman throughout her entire birth journey will be fantastic.”
Local women interested in taking part in the Connect Program must be less than 34 weeks pregnant when they first meet their midwifery student and can be birthing at any public or private hospital. For more details email Connect Program Coordinator Jessie Johnson-Cash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Source: University of the Sunshine Coast)