- In the UTS Bachelor of Midwifery, student midwives have the opportunity to work closely with women throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth in accordance with the “continuity of care” model – the international gold-standard in maternity services.
- UTS student midwife Zoe Edwards had the opportunity to work with expectant UTS staff member Liz Morgan-Brett. Her kind and compassionate care left a lasting impression.
As part of the UTS Bachelor of Midwifery program, students are required to complete a minimum of 880 hours on clinical placement over three years. In their third and final year, students attend their designated hospital for 3-5 days a week, working regular shifts on maternity wards. In addition - as part of the degree’s “continuity of care” program - student midwives are matched with pregnant women whom they follow through pregnancy, labour and birth. Students build a close professional relationship with these women, attending regular antenatal appointments, building trust and rapport and being on-call for the birth.
Zoe Edwards completed her final year of the UTS Bachelor of Midwifery in 2016 and is waiting to graduate in May. For Zoe, the most rewarding aspect of the course has been delivering the continuity of care program.
“You meet a woman when the baby is just a little bump in her belly, you get to see the bump grow and you see her eyes light up when the baby moves. Then the excitement builds as she approaches her due date, and then you get a call – she’s in labour. You rush in to the hospital, then you finally get to meet the little human you’ve been feeling, measuring and listening to all that time. Being able to “catch” the baby, hand it to the mother and see her and her partner glow with joy - there can’t be a better degree in the world,” said Zoe.
In her third year, Zoe was matched with expectant UTS staff member Liz Morgan-Brett, the CEO of ActivateUTS. For Liz, working with Zoe throughout her pregnancy was a delight.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Zoe for the first time after one of our birth centre engagements, and she was just tops,” recalled Liz.” She was energetic, enthusiastic and knowledgeable as she took me through a monthly check-up. The supervising midwife didn’t really have to do anything because Zoe was on top of it all. There was a real sense of care and kindness too. Our two-year old son was with us, and Zoe engaged with him, playing a few games. It was just a really lovely experience.”
In August 2016, Liz’s pregnancy hit a speed bump when she fell ill with the flu and was admitted to hospital, where she spent a week in isolation. In these difficult few days, Zoe went above and beyond her regular duties, checking in with Liz whenever she could.
“Zoe wasn’t even on rotation on the women and babies unit at the time, but she’d heard that I was there. During her breaks, she’d pop in to say g’day and see how I was going. It made me feel really comfortable about being in isolation.”
“Liz was bedridden for a few days,” recalled Zoe. “It was awful to see her like that, but I was glad that I could be there to take care of her. I dropped in to see her when I could. I visited on the weekend and saw she was on the mend, and when I got back on the ward on Monday, I was really happy to see she’d been discharged”.
Liz reached out to UTS Professor of Midwifery Caroline Homer to commend Zoe for her kindness and expertise.
“I think a good midwife is someone with all the core skills and competencies, but also someone who possesses a level of kindness and compassion, and the ability to communicate clearly,” said Liz. “Zoe possesses all of those attributes, so if she’s an indicator of the UTS Midwifery course, then clearly it’s a first-class program.”
On October 17, 2016, Liz gave birth to a healthy baby boy, surrounded by loved ones with Zoe there for support.
“I was lucky enough to be there for many hours of labour and then the birth,” said Zoe. “It was a particularly lovely experience as Liz had family and close supporters in the room to welcome the new addition to the family.”
“I'm so grateful that women like Liz trust students enough to deliver their babies,” added Zoe. “Pregnancy and birth is such an intimate and often vulnerable time for women and their families. It really is a privilege to be included as part of that journey. We are training to become midwives because we are passionate about women getting the best care available.”
Byline: Jack Schmidt