Sisters Have Double Reason To Recommend PDH

Photo: Brooke & Shauni Morrissey with babies Arlo and Annie
Friday, 23 February 2018
Sisters Brooke and Shauni Morrissey have double reasons to recommend Portland District Health’s maternity services after having their babies within 10 days of each other.

Shauni and her partner Thomas had their first baby, Annie Pender, on January 7 and on January 17 Brooke and her partner Stephen gave birth to Arlo O'Brien, a younger brother for Ivy.

After Annie had to be readmitted to hospital with jaundice, Brooke and Shauni and their new babies got to share adjoining rooms.

Brooke had her first child in Warrnambool but was keen to have her second close to home and family.

It was amazing. There weren't as many babies around so the staff could spend more time with you so I liked it more than being in Warrnambool, she said.

It was nice to give birth in the town I live in. I work at the hospital so I knew everyone and people could pop in and see us when they wanted.

I was referred to obstetrician Dr Yasser Diab and he was excellent, as were the midwives.

Shauni had a similar positive experience.

I found it fantastic. As a first time mum they were very supportive and I'd definitely go back,she said.

Formerly from Terang, Shauni had planned to give birth in Warrnambool but after moving to Portland decided to consult the PDH midwives. As soon as I had that appointment I knew I wanted to give birth here,she said. They gave me so much support and help and I was glad I made that decision.

When Annie had to return to hospital with jaundice, it gave the sisters a chance to share their experiences.

If Brooke had a shower I could wheel Annie's bassinette into her room so they could sleep next to each other. It was lovely, Shauni said.

PDH CEO Chris Giles is encouraging local mothers to ask their doctors for a referral to PDH.

We're aware of instances where doctors have referred upcoming mothers to other hospitals when they could have safely and more conveniently had their children in Portland, Ms Giles said.

So far this financial year PDH has delivered 45 babies, including six in January.

In addition to Dr Diab, PDH has 17 midwives along with staff members working in other departments who have a midwifery qualification.

PDH is a level 2 maternity service and has a close relationship with South West Healthcare paediatricians which enables the hospital to keep babies at PDH utilising telephone consultation and treatment in some situations.

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