Holly Taylor (left) with son Archie Patison and midwife
Angel Temple at Queen Mary Maternity Centre, at Dunedin
Hospital, yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The unsung heroes of maternity care were recognised
yesterday, the International Day of the Midwife.
The profession of midwifery was celebrated at Otago and
Southland hospitals. Holly Taylor, of Dunedin, said student
midwife Samantha Watson ''caught'' her 3.995kg son Archie at
Queen Mary Maternity Centre at 4.55am on Sunday.
''She was hands-on.''
She encouraged expectant mothers to allow a student midwife
to learn alongside their chosen midwife.
Archie was her second child and midwives were
''super-important'' in providing support during a pregnancy
and after the birth, she said.
The midwives at Queen Mary were ''amazing'' and came - at the
push of a button - to answer any questions about the health
and well-being of mothers and babies, she said.
The midwives deserved greater recognition, she said.
Centre midwife Angel Temple said she worked as a midwife
because she was ''passionate'' about women's health.
She encouraged more women to choose the career and care for
women in their most joyous and vulnerable moments.
''We cry with women and we rejoice with women.''
Southern District Health Board executive director of nursing
and midwifery Leanne Samuel said about 1800 babies were born
annually in Dunedin Hospital, about 1200 in Southland
Hospital and another 500 in the district were born at home or
in primary maternity units.
''We're really proud of the work of our midwives and their
commitment to the health of women and their babies.''
The celebrations at Dunedin Hospital included an afternoon
tea and a presentation by the New Zealand College of Midwives
of a book and a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
machine, which is used as an alternative to painkilling
In Southland, the day was celebrated by the New Zealand
College of Midwives with a bush walk and a morning tea at
In Queenstown, Lakes Hospital midwives held a celebration