Archived News Item

Mercy at work with Aboriginal women

The Anangu Bibi Birthing Program has been operating for almost two years in Port Augusta and the State Government of South Australia recently granted a further twelve months of funding.

This will serve as a stop-gap measure until the Health Department is able to roll out this model of maternity care for women and their babies state-wide.

The difference between this program and traditional obstetric care is that women have a choice about who will be their primary health care worker. These people share her care with her choice of GP or obstetrician as needed.

The woman’s primary carer, usually the midwife or AMIC worker (Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Care), provides a continuum of care throughout the woman’s pregnancy, for the birth and for several months afterwards.

The relationships of trust that develop provide the woman and her family with an experience of birth that is greatly enhanced by self-confidence and trust in her carers.

The beauty of working in the program is that job satisfaction is high, retention rates for midwives increases, and women are far more satisfied with their birth experiences.

Rates of normal birth increase, incidence of postnatal depression is reduced, and the next generation is given a healthier, more loving and peaceful start in life.

We will keep you posted on our progress.

From Sister Anne Foale

Any messages to Bernadette Marks.