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Antenatal care easier for Upper Ross women

Published:  21 August 2020

Mothers-to-be in the Upper Ross suburbs of Rasmussen, Kelso and Condon are set to benefit from a hospital-run antenatal clinic operating at the Upper Ross Community centre.

Clinical midwife consultant Audra Davis said for women living in the Upper Ross access to the hospital for antenatal appointments was difficult.

“There are a lot of young families in this area and unfortunately, women from the Upper Ross are failing to attend their antenatal appointments during their pregnancy,” she said.

“After much community consultation it was clear that transport was a barrier to people attending their appointments.

“Women without cars were catching three buses just to get to hospital and if you add in the complications of having other young children and dragging a pram onto the bus it can all seem too hard.”

Audra said it was clear that Townsville University Hospital midwives needed a presence closer to the Upper Ross community.

“From the beginning of their pregnancy women in this area can attend their appointments with a midwife at their local community centre which will make it much more accessible for them,” she said.

“The clinic will run on Mondays and Fridays and it is our goal to have the same midwife operate the clinic on each day.

“This will allow women to get to know their midwife and offer more continuity of care.”

For Rasmussen resident, Talitha Redshaw, the convenience of having her antenatal appointments in her local area was a great help.

“Attending my antenatal appointments just up the road is so much easier,” she said.

“With I was pregnant last time with my daughter I would have to catch the bus to the hospital or arrange for friends or family to take me to the hospital because I didn’t have a car at the time.

“It took three different buses to get to the hospital from my house so I’m so grateful that this time around I’ll only have to travel a short distance and have it all over and done with much quicker.”

Audra said antenatal care was a pivotal part of caring for pregnant women.

“It is in these appointments that we can establish any concerns the woman may have about her baby or her own health and make a plan to address these concerns,” she said.

“Poor antenatal care can result in low birth weight and premature birth, so it is an important element of care during pregnancy.

“Antenatal appointments are also an opportunity for midwives to refer women to other specialties such as dietitians, social workers or health workers.”

Audra said the Upper Ross Community Centre was also a hub for other services that could be of benefit to women in the area.

“There are resources for women experiencing domestic violence, requiring counselling or a playgroup,” she said.

“Operating out of this community hub means we will be able to be well-connected with other local services that can assist new mums.”

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