Home-grown midwifery model expands throughout the state

Staff from the Royal Hospital for Women’s midwifery team had a vision – they wanted to ensure all women having a baby at The Royal had the choice to see the same midwife both before and after birth. 

That’s why in September 2018 the hospital launched a first-of-its-kind model of care called MAPS – or Maternity Antenatal and Postnatal Service. Fast forward 18 months and the model has cared for just over 1100 women – with this number growing at a rapid rate.

Naomi Ford, the Clinical Midwifery Consultant leading MAPS at the hospital, said The Royal was the only hospital in the state, and possibly the country, offering MAPS before Sutherland Hospital led by example and launched the service last year as a result of The Royal’s success.

“This continuity-of-care model is effective because of the rapport and trust built between a mother and her midwife, before and after birth. We know that this has long-term positive health outcomes, not only for the mother, but for everyone around her,” Ms Ford said.

Lara and Steve Wayman used the model of care for the birth of their son Joshua (pictured). “My husband and I found MAPS to be absolutely brilliant and we're so grateful for the positive experience it gave us,” Ms Wayman said.

“Knowing I would see the same midwife at every appointment, and especially after my son had arrived, gave me assurance as it took out an element of not knowing what to expect. Building trust with my midwife helped me to build trust with the hospital as a whole.

“When things didn’t go to plan during my labour – and I required an emergency caesarean – I calmly trusted the direction of the midwives and obstetricians. A situation that can be traumatic for some women was a really positive experience for me.”

The model has proven to be so successful it is now being expanded throughout the state. Ms Ford is preparing a specialised MAPS webinar – where representatives from maternity services across NSW will learn about the model of care, so they can implement it at their hospitals.

“We’ve already had over 60 staff members from across NSW confirm their participation which is really encouraging,” Ms Ford said.

“As the only women’s hospital in the state, The Royal is renowned for being leaders in the field of midwifery. MAPS would not have been possible without the devoted team of specialists here at the hospital – the entire team behind MAPS should be really proud.”

Lara and Steve Wayman with their son Joshua