Published on 8 April 2014
The University of the Sunshine Coast is calling on more local mothers-to-be to join its innovative Connect Program.
This program links students in USC’s Midwifery programs with pregnant women to provide support and to learn about the experience of pregnancy, birth and becoming a mother.
Connect Program Coordinator Jessie Johnson-Cash said USC’s recent introduction of a combined Nursing Science/Midwifery degree had significantly boosted the number of midwifery students at the University.
“As a result, we are seeking as many local expectant mothers as possible,” she said. “This semester alone we are looking for more than 150 women to take part.”
Working under the direct supervision of health professionals, the midwifery students accompany pregnant women to antenatal appointments at USC's Collaborative Midwifery Clinic, public or private hospitals, or with local private practising midwives.
With the permission of mothers and again under supervision, the students can also attend births and provide support beforehand and afterwards.
Ms Johnson-Cash said the biggest benefit for expectant mums was the opportunity to have a known person with them throughout their pregnancy journey.
She said the Connect Program, which is funded by Health Workforce Australia as an Australian Government initiative, was providing student midwives with invaluable learning experiences.
“The level of learning they have experienced has been fantastic, not only in improving their clinical skills but also being able to see what pregnancy is like from the women’s perspective across that continuum,” she said.
“The feedback from mothers and students alike has been wonderful. The Connect Program has been a positive experience for everyone involved.”
Local women interested in taking part in the Connect Program must be less than 35 weeks pregnant and can be birthing at any Sunshine Coast public, private hospital or with an independent midwife. For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0409 598 763.
— Jarna Baudinette