For Flinders University midwifery student Jodi O’Hara, her own birthing experience at a young age had such a positive impact that she was inspired to pursue her own career in midwifery.
“Having had a baby myself at just 16 years old I knew what it meant to be cared for by a midwife during pregnancy,” says Jodi, who is now in her final year of the Bachelor of Midwifery.
“I was utterly inspired by my midwife, her ability to treat me like every other mother-to-be and not just another pregnant teenager really empowered me. I just knew I had to return the favour someday by offering women that same level of support.”
As a midwifery student, Jodi is already returning that favour by supporting pregnant women through their journey of childbirth.
Like all midwifery students, Jodi must undertake not only field placements at public and private hospitals in metropolitan and rural areas, but she must also complete the Call the Midwifery Student program to become a registered midwife.
By her side through it all
Also known as the Continuity of Care Experience (COCE), the program allows midwifery students to support women through their antenatal, birthing and postnatal journey.
Once a pregnant woman has registered interest in the program, they are allocated a midwifery student before meeting them for the first time and deciding whether it’s the right fit.
If it is, the woman and the student will develop a strong one-on-one relationship and together build a positive and reassuring birthing experience.
The student midwife will attend antenatal appointments, the birth, followed by postnatal appointments.
Flinders midwifery students must complete 15 COCEs to be eligible to graduate. The program is also shared by the University of South Australia.