More Babies in Portland

Dr David Morris and Dr Ghazala Irshad - Obstetricians & Gynaecologist
Delivery of Emergency Transfer cot
Monday, 13 October 2014
More Portland women are having babies close to home thanks to PDH’s expanded maternity service.

Seventeen babies have been born in Portland in the first three months of this financial year, compared to five for the same time last year.

This includes four first-time mothers, the first time this has happened in Portland for several years. Over recent years first-time mothers have needed to travel to Warrnambool or Hamilton to give birth.

The upswing is continuing in October and follows the recruitment of a new obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr David Morris at the start of July. Dr Morris joined Drs Ghazala Irshad and Fariha Irshad and experienced midwives in the expanded PDH maternity team.

Midwifery team leader Colleen Hanmer said the increase was good news for the local community and part of the PDH commitment to trying to provide a fuller birthing service.

However, Ms Hanmer added that PDH remained a low-risk birthing service and would still need to transfer some mothers to Warrnambool, particularly at times when there is no anaesthetic cover.

We are getting more mothers choosing to have their babies in Portland, which is very promising,she said.

We are also getting very good feedback about the service.

PDH has also recruited a new midwife, Elizabeth Pilnik, who brings the team up to six to cope with the increased service.

While the expansion has been welcomed, Ms Hanmer said the ongoing success depended on retaining specialist staff to cover all eventualities.

We genuinely hope this trend will continue but we have to ensure we can supply a safe service and follow the correct consultation and referral pathways,Ms Hanmer added.

Dr Morris brings a wealth of experience to Portland. He most recently worked in Bendigo and Western Australia and was previously based at Horsham among other regional postings.

While now offering a more complete service, Portland still does not deliver high risk births such as premature babies or twins.

The team's last antenatal classes for 2014 will run from Wednesday November 5. For more information contact Mr Hanmer on 5521 0691.

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