Business analyst becomes midwife to help mums - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Business analyst becomes midwife to help mums

28 Jan 2021

A Brisbane-raised business analyst who worked in investment management and finance in London for 10 years has graduated from USC with her third degree – to become a midwife.

Christina Carde’s new Bachelor of Midwifery, with a University Medal for Academic Excellence, has already delivered her longed-for career change at age 46.

“I’m incredibly excited to have received a position as a Registered Midwife in the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service 2021 graduate program,” said the Bokarina resident.

“It’s where I did my clinical practicum, which included obstetric emergency training.

“I’m really looking forward to this tremendous opportunity to consolidate my practical and theoretical midwifery knowledge as I move into professional practice.

“My long-term goal is to bring about positive change in Queensland maternity services to support more women with perinatal mental health vulnerabilities and to strengthen their capacity as new mothers.”

In an unusual twist, Ms Carde will be working alongside colleagues from her previous job as a business analyst for the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS).

“I chose the midwifery profession during my time at the SCHHS because I saw the significant impact that the incredible midwifery team were having on the health and wellbeing of the women and families within our region,” she said.

The midwifery profession is personal for Ms Carde, who is the mother of two teenage boys.

“I had two very different birth journeys and I felt that I had a lot to offer in terms of my lived experiences,” she said.

“My own experience of a traumatic birth and a personal struggle with the undiagnosed postpartum PTSD have ensured that I’m aware of the significant role that a midwife has in identifying and supporting mothers most at risk.”

Ms Carde studied at USC alongside her husband Richard, who has almost completed a Master of Cyber Investigations and Forensics. And her eldest son has enrolled at USC to study Information and Communication Technology this year.

“Our sons have been really proud of our achievements,” said Ms Carde, who earned a grade point average of 6.82 out of 7.

 “Seeing their parents return to study demonstrated the importance of lifelong learning and it even alleviated the pressures that school leavers have, thinking they have to choose a lifelong career path immediately.

 “We had to work as a team to juggle assignments, exam study and clinical placements alongside work commitments, family birthdays, school sporting fixtures and homework support, so communication and organisation was incredibly important.”

Ms Carde, who is treasurer of the Queensland Branch of the Australian College of Midwives (ACM), published research during her degree on the role of technology in midwifery.

“I had articles in the Australian Midwifery News, presented at the national conference in Canberra and received the 2019 ACM Queensland Student Scholarship,” she said.

“With the ACM, I have had the opportunity to participate in the review of policy and guidelines, develop education opportunities for midwives and advocate for the profession.”

Ms Carde said the USC midwifery teaching team was inspirational.

“I loved attending lectures, listening to their clinical experiences and approaches, and participating in engaging and thought-provoking discussions with students,” she said.

“A highlight was my involvement in the Connect program, where students partnered with 10 women throughout the degree to support their pregnancy, birth and postpartum care.”

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