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Innovative program recognised in HESTA awards

Photo: HESTA
Deanna Ward is one of 12 midwives and nurses to have been named a finalist in the 2018 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards, for the development of an innovative midwifery program.

Believing there was a better way to support women on their journey to motherhood, Ms Ward developed the national ‘Know Your Midwife’ (KYM) program, which offers mums-to-be holistic care with their midwife and obstetrician throughout pregnancy.

“The Know Your Midwife (KYM) program was developed as a service improvement project as part of the James Cook University Master of Nursing - Leadership and Management program,” said Ms Ward.

“I asked women accessing our maternity services ‘what do they want in our maternity service?’.

“Responses included ‘having a midwife throughout pregnancy labour, birth and postnatally even in the private sector’ was a common point.”
The KYM program offers mums-to-be continuity-of-care through the coordination of regular antenatal appointments, care in labour and birth and postnatal care with a highly experienced Midwife and chosen Obstetrician.

“This allows you to to form meaningful and trusted relationships with both healthcare providers," she said. 

“The KYM Midwife and your Obstetrician will share your care. They both will provide you and your loved ones with individual care and follow you through your journey into motherhood.”

The KYM program is the first program of its kind that gives women the choice of a shared-care model where women can have a ‘known’ Midwife and ‘known’ Obstetrician care for them throughout their pregnancy, birth and postnatal journey.

The KYM Midwives are also registered or in the process of being registered as Endorsed Midwives, which are recognised by AHPRA to be competent to work throughout the continuum of care and meet specific criteria.

Currently Ramsay Health Care are sponsoring around 80 Ramsay Midwives with education support to complete the Griffith University Prescribing for Midwives course.

“KYM Midwifery care facilitates the relationship between the midwife and the women, with each woman bringing unique life experiences to the relationship.

“From this relationship the KYM Midwife brings individualised safe, quality care that is holistic, culturally appropriate and acknowledges women’s spiritual, physical, social, cultural, psychological and emotional needs.

“This relationship incorporates the woman’s newborn, partner, family and other support people that have been identified by each individual woman."

So far, the KYM program has received immense support from women and families in the community.

"We receive positive feedback by women of the importance of having a midwife involved in their care," said Ms Ward. 

“I feel this nomination shows the power of women to speak up and support healthcare that they want.

“We worked together to develop the KYM program and that’s why it has been so successful in our community and now the nation.”

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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a widely published journalist with more than 15 years experience in the media and communications industries.

Specialising in health, business, property and finance, Nicole writes regularly for numerous high-profile newspapers, magazines and online publications.

Before moving into freelance writing almost a decade ago, Nicole was an on-air reporter with Channel Nine and a newspaper journalist with News Limited.

Nicole is also the Director of content and communications agency Stella Communications (www.stellacomms.com) and a children's author.