Midwife looks forward to opening of Family Birthing Centre

A woman stands besides a baby's crib in a birthing suite
Fiona Stanley Hospital midwife Rowena Davies
September 25, 2019

Fiona Stanley Hospital’s Family Birthing Centre, set to open next month, will be a gentle environment to give birth.

The centre’s team is already seeing mothers-to-be, and midwife Rowena Davies says the past two months in preparing for the centre’s opening have been exciting.

“I’ve had an incredible opportunity to listen to what women want when they give birth,” Rowena said.

“I’m looking forward to putting into practice our research and work with the advisory group and families.”

The design incorporates colour, shapes and smells that promote good birth outcomes and where women and their families feel comfortable and at home.

“These ingredients are designed to promote an active physiological birth and that’s what I want to be a part of,” Rowena said.

Previously a massage therapist, Rowena made a life-changing decision a decade ago to embark on a midwifery career following good experiences at the birth of each of her three sons.

“I had beautiful midwives at each birth so I knew it was an amazing job and a wonderful way to give back to women,” Rowena said.

“Birth can be such a transformative time, forever shaping how women think about themselves.”

One birth that stands out for Rowena was with a woman having her third baby, who came in with her husband who was unsure of what to do to reassure his wife.

“The woman’s contractions weren’t really established, and she was worried it just wasn’t happening,” Rowena said. “We sat in the shower for about one and a half hours, the woman on a fit ball, relaxed and passing the time chatting like two friends.

“Then the baby came with only one to two strong contractions – it all happened so quickly.”

The next day the woman saw Rowena and gave her a hug.

“What I remember is that big, joyful hug,” Rowena said.

“It was just a really lovely birthing connection – I felt I’d been part of her experience and had made a difference.

“Sometimes midwifery is about being with families and offering quiet support.”

Rowena has been with FSH in the maternity unit since it opened five years ago.

“I wasn’t there on day one, I arrived two months later, but I heard the stories about how full-on it was,” Rowena said.

It was busy – the birthing suite opened at 7am and the first baby arrived at 7.28am.

“Even when it is busy, the teamwork by this great bunch of staff makes it easy,” she said.

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