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Careers at Peninsula Health: Q&A with Meagan Walpole

Name: Meagan Walpole

Job: Midwife, Women’s Health Unit, Frankston Hospital

Meagan provides a behind the scenes look at the role of midwives on the Women’s Health Unit at Frankston Hospital.

What does a typical day/shift in your role involve?

A day on the Women’s Health Unit (WHU) starts with being allocated to a particular area/role for the shift. Shifts range from providing one-on-one care to a labouring woman, caring for families in the immediate postpartum period, being present to receive babies born via caesarean section and tending to women who have come to the ward with concerns in their pregnancy. On a busy day I might be required in some, or even all of these roles. The nature of the day can be sometimes very challenging, but it is always immensely satisfying!   

Why did you decide to pursue a career as a midwife? 

As a child, I was always completely and utterly fascinated by pregnancy and the idea of childbirth.  It wasn’t until I was about 16 that I began to really explore the idea of being a midwife – a career of babies and gorgeous pregnant bellies? Yes please! Nowadays, my understanding of midwifery has evolved and my passion runs deeper than merely cuddling babies, though that is a lovely part of the job! The word ‘Midwife’ means ‘With Woman’ and I find myself increasingly focusing on this as I gain more experience in my role. I am a midwife because it’s so important to me that women feel empowered and supported in their pregnancy and birth. 

How long have you been a midwife for?
This is my sixth year as a practising midwife after starting my Graduate year at Peninsula Health in 2012.

What do like best about your job?

The team I work with is the cherry on top of an incredible profession. To find a group of likeminded midwives, doctors and specialists who all have the same passion that I do is an absolute joy. When I started studying I never imagined the friendships I would make, or the professional relationships I would be able to develop as a midwife. That has been one of the best parts of this journey for me.  We experience such a rollercoaster of emotions together – I couldn’t do it without their guidance and support. 

What has been one highlight of working in the Women’s Health Unit at Frankston Hospital? 

Memorable moments for me are when women and families come back to have their second, third or fourth babies and fondly recall the midwife they had for their first.  They’ll show photos of their children and reminisce about their birth story with us. That’s when I feel really good about my job –when a woman can find such positivity and joy in one of the hardest, most vulnerable, day/s of her life. That’s when I feel like I’ve done a good job. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I love catching up with friends over excellent coffee, hiking the Two Bays trail and relaxing with a good book by the beach. I’m all about that work/life balance! 

May 5 is International Midwives Day. Peninsula Health would like to thank all of our midwives including Meagan, for the important work they do every day to ensure that  mothers and their families receive the high quality of care they deserve.