Epworth Freemasons is on track to deliver almost 3,000 babies this year, as the hospital’s maternity unit turns 30.
The first baby was born in September 1991.
Midwife Judy Jackson started at Epworth Freemasons when the maternity unit opened in Victoria Parade. She is one of a dedicated dozen - 12 midwives who were among the original staff - who are still working there today.
She said Epworth Freemasons Maternity is like an extended family.
“It was such a big part of my life when my young family was growing up,” Ms Jackson said.
“My children say it was part of their lives too. In fact, two of my grandsons were born at Epworth Freemasons. Our team cares for each patient as if they were their own family”
Ms Jackson said from time to time she meets former patients who still remember the care they received.
“A couple of years ago, I was at my grandsons’ school and a woman who was with her Year 12 daughter recognised me. I cared for the woman when her daughter was born.”
Five years ago, Ms Jackson moved to the Special Care Nursery, which last month, was its busiest month in 13 years.
“The special care nursey has been quiet during lockdowns but in August we cared for 52 babies, including six sets of twins. “
Obstetrician Len Kliman estimates he has delivered more than 20,000 babies over the last 30 years, with the majority of those born at Epworth Freemasons.
He says a lot of things have changed, but the fundamentals remain the same.
‘It’s a privilege to care for a family on one of the biggest days in their lives. That’s one of the reasons that I have been an obstetrician for as long as I have. I feel proud to have been here since we opened maternity 30 years ago and it’s that feeling of family and first-class care for my patients, that has kept me here since then.’ Dr Kliman said.
The average age of mothers at Epworth Freemasons is 34 and hospital Executive General Manager, Simon Benedict, said staff are beginning to see a second generation of Epworth babies being born here.
“In fact, a patient services staff member and her three sisters were all born at Epworth Freemasons and she delivered her son here last year,” Mr Benedict said.
“People keep coming back to have their babies at Epworth Freemasons because of our personalised approach and support, every step of the way. Our recently appointed Maternity Concierge helps people navigate their way through booking with us and with any questions about their hospital stay. We also have dedicated Pre-Admissions Midwives to help with any concerns before they come in and talk through any physical or mental wellbeing questions during pregnancy, working closely alongside our wonderful Epworth Freemasons obstetricians.”
The Epworth Maternity team is also celebrating the launch of its new book for parents-to-be, ‘Bump, Birth & Bub’ which follows the journey from early pregnancy through birth to newborn care and self-care. Written by Epworth experts, it answers the most frequently asked questions in an easy-to-understand way, arming parents with trusted information when they need it most.