By Melissa Grant
As a midwife with 13 years’ experience, Emma Enticott knows that having a baby is about so much more than giving birth.
That’s why she’s so excited about supporting new mums well beyond labour in her new role managing The Babes Project’s new national triage service.
The mum of one answers the triage phone and responds to calls for help to the crisis pregnancy support service, a role she fits around her regular job as a midwife at Dandenong Hospital.
Mrs Enticott says providing support to new mums is vital as often pregnancy and parenting isn’t something they are necessarily prepared or equipped for.
“Getting the supports during pregnancy is so important,” she said.
“It’s not about just the labour and childbirth and what can happen in that time, but what it’s actually going to be like to become a parent.
“There was a gap in perinatal care and that’s why The Babes Project exists.
“A lot of women go home (from hospital) after 24 hours so the home support needs to be thorough.”
The Babes Project supports women facing crisis pregnancy from conception until their child turns 1. The organisation has centres in Croydon and Frankston where staff and volunteers ensure clients receive regular emotional care, practical advice, essential baby supplies and connections to other health services.
As the dedicated midwife for The Babes Project’s national triage service, Mrs Enticott assesses first-time callers from around the country and ensures they get the right advice and encouragement at a vulnerable time.
She has been surprised – and relieved – by how much information the callers have shared with her.
“You have to build rapport quickly over the phone, and provide that safe space for a woman to share with someone they’ve never met – it’s definitely a privilege to be on the end of the phone,” she said.
Mrs Enticott, mum to 11-year-old Kai, became a volunteer with The Babes Project two years ago after learning about the organisation on Facebook.
“I was missing a bit of continuity in my own midwifery practice. With the hours I work, it can be a bit hit and miss whether you see the same clients. I’ve really enjoyed being at The Babes Project – getting to know women and following them on their journey.”
Mrs Enticott urges all pregnant women to download The Babes Project App to start linking with services that might be beneficial for them.