Midwives

Jane Grant

Jane GrantAfter qualifying in the old Roman town of Chester in the North West of England in 1983, I travelled for a while and then came back to the UK and gained valuable experience in midwifery working in a busy unit. I married Iain in 1989 and we have three children – a daughter Flora, and two sons Jack and Harry. Flora and Jack were born at home in England and Harry is our token Aussie, born with the team midwives at Hornsby hospital.

We moved to Australia in 1997 with Iain’s work on a contract and Harry was born a year later. I worked on a very casual basis at North Shore Private whilst Harry was little and after he started school, I decided to search out a continuity of care program to work in and in October 2004, I started work at Ryde Group Practice at midwife working part-time.

In my spare time, I play tennis in a team and like nothing better than going horse-riding with friends.I love to go to the art galleries and have a keen interest in contempory art. One day, I hope to study art and become a volunteer guide at the MCA.

I have a particular interest in breastfeeding and studied for my IBCLC ( International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) in 1999. The Practice plans to work towards gaining Baby Friendly status over the next few years and I will be helping to guide this initiative.

Working in a continuity of care model is a rewarding and satisfying way for a midwife to fully utilise her skills and I’m so pleased and proud to be part of a great group of midwives.

Anne Keely

Anne KeelyWhen I started my career, people did nursing and then went on and did another certificate, most commonly in midwifery. During my nursing training I was lucky enough to do a midwifery rotation and witness some births and that’s when I thought I would go and do my midwifery training. I worked as a nurse for a couple of years, travelled overseas and started my midwifery training at St Margaret’s Hospital, Darlinghurst in 1983.

After completing my training I worked in a country hospital. It was a great place to consolidate my training because you worked in all areas and being small you followed the women throughout their stay. I came back to St Margaret’s Labour Ward in 1985 and worked there for the next eight years. I also had my four boys there, three of whom were caught by the same midwife. St Margaret’s closed in 1993. After maternity leave I commenced work in a small private hospitals for the next eight years, working in all areas. The maternity unit also closed under new management and so I came to Ryde in 2001.

At that time Ryde was a Level Two facility and being small, you could follow the women throughout their stay. In 2003, the idea was put forward for a Midwifery Group Practice at Ryde. A foreign way for midwives to work in Australia but common in the rest of the world. Once I read the proposal I was hooked and on the Working Party to implement the Group Practice. The Group Practice started in March 2004 and I had my first birth on April 4 2004.

I always enjoyed following women through and now I have the opportunity to be there for the antenatal care, birth and assist with the transition to parenthood. It is a privilege to share in these births and watch families start and grow. Being there at the beginning of the Practice I now see the familiar faces coming back for their second and third babies with the midwives.

Martin Griffiths

Martin GriffithsHow long have you been involved with Ryde Maternity and in what capacity?
I have been working as a midwife on the Group Practice since September 2006.

What did you do before you joined Ryde Midwifery Group Practice?
I have worked as a Welfare worker, RN and Midwife.

Why did you become a midwife? / Why are you a midwife?
I totally love midwifery. I love being with women in childbirth. To me pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood is an exciting and challenging time for women, their partners and families, and it is a privilege to work with women during this period in their lives. I love the challenges and surprises of midwifery and the knowledge that while childbirth is a common factor to us all every birth and ascent into parenthood is completely unique. This experience of real life always spins my wheels!!!

What do you like about Ryde Midwifery Group Practice?
I love Group Practice. I like working autonomously in a midwifery lead, woman focused service. Yet I enjoy the camaraderie and support of my terrific midwifery colleagues. I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

What do you find most challenging about working in the Ryde Midwifery Group Practice?
It is a challenge to be on call 24/7 and yet I enjoy it! You can’t have a bad day on Group Practice! You have to be totally focused and there for the women you are with. You can’t hide? You have to get yourself together focus and perform at a very high level all of the time.

Tell us a little about your family.
I am married to Narelle and have been for 24 years. We have 1 daughter. Her name is Kamala and she is 12 years old.

What is your most beautiful birth experience?
All births tug at my heartstrings. However the toughest births are the ones that really grab me and that I would describe as the most beautiful. Those babies that are born at the end of very long and difficult labours, where the mother has given everything and then some to create this life that first meeting between mother and baby after a long labour that is something one doesn’t forget.

Have you got any tips for expecting mums?
Be yourself, embrace your pregnancy and hold on and enjoy the ride!

What do you like to do most to relax?
I love AFL footy especially the Swannies, gardening on an autumn or spring day, a very cold beer, good coffee, my chooks, cricket, Harry Potter, Foyle’s War and West Wing.

Leonie Hewitt

Leonie HewittI have been a midwife for a long time but didn’t really understand the power of women and of birth, (not to mention the true role of the midwife) until I had my first child 18 years ago. It was just after the law change in New Zealand that gave midwives autonomy. Therefore I was able to have my own midwife all through my pregnancy, birth and postnatal period. I had a home birth, the whole experience changed my life.

Soon after my son was born I worked towards starting my own group practice which I worked in for a couple of years and then during the pregnancy and after the birth of my second child (also born at home). After my third child was born at home we moved back to Australia. I found it difficult to work in the Australian system of fragmented care. Consequently I was always on the look out for a model of care I would be happy to work in.

I did my masters in midwifery and worked hard at getting Katoomba hospital to have a group practice. This fell through and I found out that Ryde might be the place that would get caseload midwifery off the ground. All the stars aligned and we started this continuity of care model a year later. Its been a wonderful roller coaster ride since our inception in 2004 but I can honestly say I love my job. Something I really couldn’t imagine when I first came back to Australia.

My children are all at high school and growing like weeds, I spend many hours driving them to dance classes, boxing lessons and many other interests. My husband and I are renovating our house which takes up all our weekends off. But hey life is full.

Fran Kurniawan

Fran KurniawanI started working as a midwife in Australia in 1990, when I immigrated from Indonesia. Back home I had been working in a large hospital as a registered midwife, teaching and assessing medical students delivering babies.

After I had my first child, I looked for a part-time job without night duty. I worked in a maternity house quite similar to the Ryde model.

I am strongly supportive of this model of care, having always believed that this type of care is the best for both women and their midwives. I can see how confident the women are, being with midwives.

My own two children were both delivered naturally by a midwife, one in Indonesia and one a Ryde hospital. They are now becoming young adults.

It’s a real pleasure for me to work with the dedicated and confident team of midwives here in Ryde. This area has always been my favourite place to work, it is friendly and close to my home.

My heart always strives to think what is best for our team and the women they serve. I love to continue to update my knowledge – new developments, attending workshops and in-services when possible.

During my spare time, I love to care for people in the community, taking senior people to social events or church gatherings. I especially like to help the non English speaking women, because I understand their difficulties in communication. I am able to speak English, Indonesian and a little Mandarin.

Ali HouzePhoto of Ali Houze

I birthed my fourth child at Ryde in December 2002. I started working here as a midwife in February 2009. It’s like coming home!

I worked at Royal North Shore Hospital as a rotational midwife from February 2008-February 2009 after completing my Bachelor of Midwifery. Prior to that I worked as a Doula and an SAHM.

I became a midwife because I had a shocking first birth and then three beautiful births supported by a known midwife. I feel strongly that all birthing couples deserve a continuity of care from a midwife during their pregnancy, birth and postnatal period.

I love working at Ryde! I love the autonomy that I have and also knowing that I have the back-up, support and wealth of knowledge from the rest of the group to draw upon.

The most challenging aspect would be developing a public awareness of the concept of midwifery care being the safest option for a woman experiencing a normal pregnancy.

I have four children and a wonderful husband. Three of my children were born in New Zealand, two of them in our home. The children are still in school I’m teaching one to drive and one to read!

My most beautiful birth experience would have to be my own second birth, such a healing experience for both my husband and myself. I have been privileged enough to share in other women’s most beautiful birthing experiences though.

My biggest tip is to trust yourself. Your body knows just what to do. Simply follow the messages it’s giving you.

To relax I like to sit in a warm sunny spot and read. I also enjoy watching my children in their sports activities.

Kathy Lingard

Kathy LingardI have been a midwife for many years. After training at Royal Women’s Hospital at Paddington, I then moved to Ryde Maternity. Unbelievably, it is now 22 years later and I still love it. For several years now I have been working as a core support midwife and I also teach the parent hood classes.

As I have been here for so long, I am now seeing many new mothers to be, fathers to be and friends that I have birthed, so I feel very privileged to be here for the second generation of births at Ryde.

I live locally and am always running in to everybody for a chat; I am easy to spot in a crowd!!!!

I am not married but have a close family and a twin sister with children who call me mum also.

My child is a very spoilt cockatiel that is called Snowie and he goes everywhere with me. He has play dates with Ann Mirus’s cockatiels.

I love my house and garden and all the wild birds and TV (unfortunately).

Clare Kendall

Anne KeelyI have been working at Ryde Midwifery Group Practice since November 2010. Prior to joining the wonderful team of midwives at Ryde I worked at North Shore Private Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital and St George Hospital Birth Centre & Home Birth Service. I first learned about Ryde Midwifery Group Practice through case studies as a midwifery student, ever since that time I have wanted to work at Ryde, so working at Ryde is a dream come true for me.

I truly love what I do; I obtain a great sense of satisfaction and fulfilment as a midwife. I look forward to each day where I have the honour and privilege of working with women and their families in a continuity of care model like Ryde. I feel very fortunate to be part of a team of hugely talented, truly gifted and incredibly supportive midwives.

I am also a single mum to two wonderful children, a boy who is 12 and a girl who is 7. We also share our hearts and our home with our Staffy puppy called Lizzy. When I am relaxing I enjoy going for long walks, reading, hanging out with my family, quilting and waiting for the next episode of Greys Anatomy. I love learning; increasing my knowledge and developing new skills. In 2011, I am beginning a Masters of Midwifery program as well as several short courses / workshops.

The best advice I have for women is be in tune with and trust their bodies, your body knows exactly what to do, to grow and birth your baby. Also, you are always stronger and capable of more than you think you are.

Alyssea Kemp

I have been working at Ryde Midwifery Group Practice as a caseload midwife since December 2010.

Following completion of a BSc (Hons) and working in a pharmaceutical company for a year I studied nursing and knew I wanted to continue my study to become a midwife. I worked as a paediatric nurse at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead for 2 years before completing my Grad Dip in Midwifery and working at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for 2 years, in all areas of midwifery, but no continuity of care model was available there at that time. New challenges led me to work in Alice Springs for a year in 2008 (as a midwife), before moving to Canberra where I worked with a wonderful group of midwives in the Birth Centre at Canberra Hospital for 14 months. The position in Canberra was in a caseload model of care, which is how I had wanted to work since studying midwifery, knowing that it provided so many benefits for women and midwives alike! I came back to Sydney in December 2010 to take up the position at Ryde (and be closer to my family again).

I am single. Most of my family live in Sydney. I have several sisters and a brother (and brother in law) and recently a niece. It is lovely to be back in Sydney to be able to see my family more often.

I feel privileged to be at every birth that I have attended, but the most beautiful birth experience for me would be my niece’s birth in August 2010 at my sister and her husband’s home.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with family and friends, fellowship with lovely people in my church, reading, gardening (growing things in pots on my small balcony!) and getting out for walks.

I love being a midwife. Being with women and their families through their journey of pregnancy, labour, birth and the early postnatal period is such a privilege! It can be very challenging at times, but it is also very rewarding, particularly in working in a model such as Ryde MGP where we are able to get to know each other over several months! I feel it is a privilege to work in this way with a wonderfully supportive group of midwives and women and their families committed to having the best experience they can have thorough trusting their bodies and the normal natural processes of pregnancy, birth and early parenting.

Lorraine Grant

I moved from UK to Australia in 1990 with my 2 daughters Kelly and Hannah, in 2001 I gave birth to my son Jack. I had standard hospital care for all my pregnancies, as there were no continuity models of care available 32yrs and 25yrs ago.

I have always had an interest in midwifery, but did not want to go along the nursing pathway so when I heard there was a direct entry midwifery course coming up I applied as a mature aged student, I was accepted, and my journey began in 2005. I completed my Bachelor of midwifery in 2007; I began working at Royal North Shore Hospital in February 2008 as a rotational midwife.

During my training I was exposed to the continuity model of care through a student clinic, which enabled us to follow women through their antenatal, labour and birth experience. I was also privileged to be at the births of my 3 beautiful grandchildren, Ryan 8, Ella 4 and Grace 16 months. My daughter Hannah had both her daughters with a known midwife and had the most beautiful births, seeing the trust and the relationship develop with my daughter and her midwife, made me realise that this was how I wanted to practice myself eventually.

Why Ryde MGP? I did my homework very carefully, the accumulative experience, and the caring nature and passion of each midwife within this practice speaks for itself.

What I love about midwifery is that it’s not a job, it’s being with women and their families, educating them through their pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal period, helping them to achieve everything they need to for the transition into parenthood and beyond. My biggest advice to women trust your bodies and believe in yourselves, listen to what your body tells you. Partners you can never give too many foot and shoulder massages to a pregnant woman.

To relax I scrapbook, love taking photographs, read, currently reading The Game of Thrones series.