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Baggarrook Yurrongi: Improving the health of Aboriginal mothers and babies through Continuity of Midwife Care

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In recent years the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) have been invited to join the La Trobe University’s Midwifery Courses Advisory Committee.  A representative for the ACM has been sought from the Midwifery Education Advisory Committee (MEAC).  At each review meeting the Committee may review any new course proposals, changes to course design and delivery as well as students and employers requirements or feedback. The committee may also be asked to review and assess how any plans align to the universities strategic directions and align with the Teaching and Learning Plan whilst also drawing on any relevant educational and research technology.  In addition the committee may assist the university to identify and develop opportunities for staff or other professionals in the area of continuing education programs.

The ACM representative is present to provide advice from the perspective of the ACM as the professional organisation for Midwives in Australia.  Virginia Stulz, MEAC Chair, is the current Representative for the Australian College of Midwives.

Outcomes:

The university advisory committee creates reports that are shared internally to note progress and decisions made and as an avenue for the university to share details of successful initiatives, research and projects undertaken by their teaching and research teams..  This committee also plays a role in the midwifery course accreditation process that is undertaken with AHPRA on a 5 yearly basis.

At the most recent meeting of the advisory committee a presentation was made that identified three NHMRC grants that the university had been working in the fields of perinatal mental health, domestic violence and Indigenous health.  The following information relates to the work that has been undertaken around Indigenous health and is shared with permission of the project lead Professor Helen McLachlan.


Sharing a research initiative

Baggarrook Yurrongi: Improving the health of Aboriginal mothers and babies through Continuity of Midwife Care.

Support for Aboriginal women in navigating the hospital system during their pregnancy and child birthing experience has been made possible by the Baggarrook Yurrongi model of continuity of midwifery care. The program was first introduced at the Royal Women’s Hospital in March 2017, and has since resulted in a ten-fold increase in the number of pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women receiving caseload midwifery – a model of care known to improve outcomes for mothers and babies. . The program, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, is a partnership between La Trobe University, four hospitals (the Royal Women's, the Mercy Hospital for Women, Sunshine Hospital and Goulburn Valley Health, Shepparton) and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.  Professor Helen McLachlan from La Trobe University said that "the aim is to close the gap in access to caseload midwifery – the gold standard of maternity care – to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal  women and their babies. In the future we’d love to see this model of care made available at all maternity hospitals and to all Victorian women."

 

Watch a video and read an article, from the SBS in April 2018, titled "A positive change in Aboriginal mother and baby birthing experience's"

Link here: https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/nitv-radio/en/article/2018/03/30/positive-change-aboriginal-mother-and-baby-birthing-experiences