From the mouths of midwives: secrets of delivering and raising your baby


In May we celebrated International Day of the Midwife, and this year North Shore Private Hospital and JOHNSON’S announced the NSW state winner for Midwife of the Year as Barbara Maguire of North Shore Private Hospital. In honour of midwives everywhere, NSM brings you their most incredible advice.

‘To the wonderful mothers and fathers, Together you are the parents your babies need. You are capable. You are loving. You are strong. You are kind. You are wise. You are fearless. You are resilient. You are nurturing. You are good enough. Be confident in yourselves and have fun. We will be here to support you.’  Meg, Hornsby Hospital Birthing Unit

‘As a midwife with over 10 years’ experience, an antenatal educator and a mother of 2 young children, my advice to expectant parents is to take each day as it comes. Some days are tough and it is “normal” to still be in your PJ’s at 5pm, but the great days outnumber those tough days tenfold! Routine is good, but we need to be flexible and remember that we don’t need to have everything under control. With challenge comes reward, this is something I try to remember that about pregnancy, birth and parenthood in my job as a midwife and a mum!’ – Lee Ellem, Birthing Midwife of 10 years, North Shore Private Hospital

‘Following the birth of your baby the best advice to a new mother is to have as much of skin to skin contact with their baby as possible, irrespective of having a vaginal birth or a caesarean.  This can also be achieved with the partner. This helps the transition your baby is going through following their birth and it helps regulate the baby’s temperature. It’s fantastic for bonding and aids in establishing successful breastfeeding.’ – Michelle Daniels, Maternity Nurse Unit Manager and Midwife of 30 years, North Shore Private Hospital

‘As a midwife for many years I have been honoured to be part of the joy a new baby brings to a family. My advice to new parents is to accept support and not place high expectations on being the perfect parent. A new baby brings out every emotion from elation to tiredness as well as many significant changes to your life. Enjoy and share these many wonderful new experiences with friends and family ” – Sue Engele, Director of Clinical Services and Midwife for over 40 years

More wisdom from local midwives

  • Trust us, we are here to help you , we want the best outcome for you and we have the same goal: for you to have a  safe and enjoyable birth
  • The whole world looks and copes better with a good night’s sleep. Midwives help do this, which means we’re helping set parents and families on the right path to parenthood.
  • Breastfeeding advice: Position yourselves chest to chest, with nipple and nose in line. Wait for a big mouth, and bring baby to breast!
  • Remember, midwives are women and work with them!
  • Good routine for the day time. They wake: Feed, play ( sometimes), show tired signs ( clenched fists, jerky movements, frowning or grizzling) and then out them down to sleep.
  • Nighttime routine: wake, feed, put down. At night, have no eye contact and do not talk to them because that stimulates them. Use dim lighting.
  • When you’re in labour, I only have three rules:
    • Keep well hydrated or the uterus won’t contract regularly
    • Keep your bladder empty so the head can come down
    • Don’t fight the contractions, go with them and ride it like a wave

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