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The Wesley Hospital’s home visits provide postnatal support to new mums

Mums and bubs in Brisbane are reaping the benefits of The Wesley Hospital’s new Maternity Home Visiting Service – a postnatal support initiative that was launched in September 2014.

Wesley Maternity Unit midwife Joanne Hardcastle said the initiative provides mums two visits to their home by a Wesley Hospital midwife while their baby is still less than four weeks old.

“Our experienced midwives provide full health checks for mum and baby, feeding support, early parenting education and most importantly, a friendly face to offer encouragement.”

Ms Hardcastle, who oversees the Home Visiting Service as the maternity clinical educator, said the team visited 55 mums within the service’s first three weeks of operation.

“Our focus is to educate, support and instil confidence in new mums and ensure they are settling in safely and comfortably with their baby,” she said. “Patients say they appreciate the hands-on support and the ability to raise any early parenting or child development concerns with experienced midwives rather than guesswork or ‘Dr Google’.”

The service is available to all patients who give birth at the Wesley Maternity Unit and live within approximately 25 kilometres of the hospital at Auchenflower. Wesley Maternity patient Ainsley Hellen gave birth to baby William, her second child, in September and received two postnatal visits from Ms Hardcastle that month.

“Although William is my second child, I had many more questions that came to mind once I left hospital. It’s been fantastic to have the extra support at my own home, to ask Jo lots of questions and have peace of mind that everything is progressing well,” Ms Hellen said.

Ms Hardcastle said breastfeeding was one of the main areas where mums needed extra support and patients could be referred to the Maternity Unit’s dedicated lactation clinic if they required further assistance following the home visits.

Dr Luis Prado, director of medical services at The Wesley Hospital, said the new initiative demonstrated the Wesley’s commitment to continually improving its maternity services. “The Wesley Maternity Unit is a very important part of our hospital and we are delighted to provide this enhanced service for mums with new babies,” he said.

The Wesley Hospital Maternity Home Visiting Service is funded by the Queensland government’s four-year, $28.9 million mums and bubs initiative.

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