While local women may not be able to deliver their babies in Cobar, they are able to access the support services of a local midwife to help them throughout their pregnancy.
Rachael Collingridge is a community midwife who said it’s a privilege to be able to support women and their families throughout their pregnancy journeys.
“It will be three years this week I have been in Cobar, and I feel very fortunate that I get to work with fantastic staff at the Cobar Health Service.
“I get to be involved in the care and lives of women during one of the most amazing life experiences a woman could have,” Rachael said.
She said living locally and being known to Cobar women helps her to build a trust with them which will help to improve their pregnancy and birth experience.
“I see women for regular antenatal checks: having blood pressure checked, answer any questions about the pregnancy, and of course check the baby’s wellbeing and listen to the heartbeat.
“For women who require a higher level care from an obstetrician, or referral to other support services for physio/mental health/diabetes team etc this can also be organised,” Rachael explained.
She said with restrictions during COVID-19, they have made use of Telehealth services with the birthing facilities, which she said has been a huge benefit to women.
Rachael said it was ideal for a woman to make a connection with a midwife by about 14 weeks into their pregnancy.
She said women can self-refer to the community midwife via community health or they can be referred through their GP.
“Midwives are trained and experienced in caring for all women through pregnancy/birthing, with direct links to obstetricians and the woman’s chosen place of birth.
“Midwives empower women to be involved in their care, and can provide support and education on all things pregnancy and birth.
“Midwifery care has been shown to improve outcomes for mum and bub.
“Having regular midwifery care through pregnancy reassures women that all is well with the baby, it can be done locally and reduces the amount of travel women do to Dubbo.”
Rachael said after the babies’ birth,
the mums are then recommended to
Community Health’s experienced Child Health Nurse, Tarra Burke, for postnatal support.
“Tarra and I have a close supportive working relationship, and this ensures the women have fantastic postnatal care.
“This involves home visiting / and community health appointments as required for baby checks, advice and immunisations.
“Breast feeding support is also available via the ABA, Australian Breastfeeding Association, along with a Virtual Breastfeeding ‘Drop In’ for support.”