Check out the Everybody Health Guide – winter edition now available online with highlights including: a snapshot of the Logan Maternity and Child Health Hub, a survivors tale about her battle with diabetes, an overview about the Redlands Healthy and Active Program, tips for winter wellness plus much more.
A lifeline for Logan mums
The Logan Maternity and Child Health Hub has been boosted by improved access to maternity care for women who traditionally do not seek care during pregnancy.
The hubs are an extension of the existing midwifery group practice offered at Logan Hospital, providing continuity of care during and after pregnancy.
For single mother-of-four Logan Lynette Gilpin, 41, it was the chance to give birth to a healthy child and have a new beginning.
Her baby Isaiah was the first baby to be born connected to the Waterford West Maternity Hub Jajumbora run through ATSiCHS (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child and Family Centre).
During her pregnancy, Lynette relocated from NSW, had no access to critical medical services or much-needed finances for things like transport options.
“I was panicking didn’t know where to stay and the service was a blessing,” she said.
“The midwife was like a friend and a comfort factor when I was in labour and I had someone by my side, it made a world of difference.
“This service should be rolled-out throughout Queensland and all of Australia.”
“Metro South Health has worked alongside its community partners in boosting maternity care for mums and newborn babies in Logan.”
There are three new maternity hubs offering community midwifery services, with hubs at Access Gateway, Logan Central and the Browns Plains Early Years Centre. They will share $3 million in annual funding.
Lynette was considered at-risk because of her age. The midwife helped her book into medical appointments, arranged transport and gave her advice.
“You are involved in the entire community and linked up with services after birth and provided with vital medical services,” she said.
“To be supported through early childhood is a crucial stage to know everything is okay with you and your baby for their development.
“I left the state in bad circumstances and I didn’t want to go through postnatal depression but I had more support than I could imagine.”
Six weeks after the birth, the midwife linked her with a mother’s group which continued to support her.
“I have met more mothers and it’s been a great chance to a new beginning,” she said.
“You are involved in the entire community and linked up with services after birth and given medical services.”
Metro South Health chief executive Stephen Ayre said the hubs were designed to meet the needs of women in the community who were not accessing health services.
“On average, pregnant women in Logan are not attending the recommended number of antenatal appointments which is why these new community hubs are so important,” he said.
“We know that providing good care and support before and during pregnancy leads to better long-term outcomes for babies and children – our future adults.
“There is a range of reasons why women are not accessing adequate antenatal care – including transport, cultural and social issues.
“Expecting mothers will have a ‘named midwife’ to support them through pregnancy and birth, which will help strengthen the bond and trust between mother and midwife which can be reassuring throughout the journey through parenthood.”
All three locations have free on-site parking, are within walking distance of public transport, and have links with other healthcare and social support services.
The community-based model of care was developed in consultation with many Logan representatives including consumers, community members, advocacy groups, unions and university.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services and Member for Woodridge Cameron Dick said the aims of the hubs are to improve access to maternity care for at-risk women in Logan.
“All Queensland children deserve the best start in life,” he said.
“Unfortunately, some health outcomes for Logan’s mothers and children are significantly worse than the state average.
“On average, pregnant women in Logan are not attending the recommended number of antenatal appointments.
“In 2014-15, 10 per cent of Queensland mothers smoked after 20 weeks gestation, compared to 15 per cent in Logan overall, with some areas in the community as high as 27 per cent.
“In certain areas of Logan, the rate of low birth weight babies is more than twice the state average of seven per cent.”
The three hubs will be staffed by a midwifery unit manager and a total of six midwives, which will be increased to 12 midwives in the third year.
The Logan local government area has the seventh largest population in Australia and the population of Logan is expected to grow by 75,773 people by 2026.
Logan Maternity and Child Health Hubs locations:
- ACCESS Gateway: 91 Wembley Road, Logan Central
- Browns Plains Early Years Centre: Cnr Middle Road & Wineglass Drive, Browns Plains
- Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS): 6 Glenda Street, Waterford West.