Gympie Midwife enjoys the gift of life every other day

MIDWIFE Dawn Shalom experiences the miracle of life every week on Gympie Hospital's Maternity Ward.

The midwife helps women on the journey that is motherhood before, during and after pregnancy.

Mrs Shalom's role in helping many new Gympie families take the first tentative steps of parenthood was under the spotlight yesterday for International Day of the Midwife.

The dedicated day was held with theme of walking with midwives for a better tomorrow.

This year, the day held added significance as come September, Millennium Development Goals end. One of these goals is to reduce maternal mortality by 75%.

Globally, 290,000 women and more than three million infants die each year as a result of pregnancy and childbirth complications.

It was a cause Mrs Shalom supported yesterday with her colleagues.

The Gympie midwife has been in the vocation for 17 years, qualifying in the United Kingdom in 1998 and working there for a decade before moving to Australia with husband Peter and teenage son James.

She studied to become a nurse before specialising in midwifery.

"I really enjoy being able to help mothers through pregnancy and the birth, as well as the care that comes afterwards," she said.

Mrs Shalom's vast experience comes to the fore with first-time mothers.

"I remember one mother holding her babying saying how much of a miracle it was," she said.

"That was a special moment."

Mrs Shalom said midwifery had changed over the years, involving a renewed focus on the importance of breastfeeding and no longer separating mother and baby immediately after birth in favour of "skin to skin" bonding.

Gympie Times


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