Wollongong Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


A Natural Born Midwife

May 05, 2017

As International Day of the Midwife approaches, Wollongong Private Hospital’s newly appointed Maternity Services Manager, Julie Walsh, reflects upon three decades working in midwifery, supporting thousands of families in the Illawarra through one of the most memorable times of their lives.

Julie Walsh has enjoyed a fulfilling career to date, starting out as a young post graduate midwife at Bulli Hospital. She was involved in the establishment of Shellharbour Hospital’s maternity ward and delivered the unit’s first baby in 1986. She moved to the Private Hospital sector in 1995, joining the team at Figtree Private Hospital. As the Birthing Suite Manager, Ms Walsh was instrumental in the hospital’s transition to the new Wollongong Private Hospital in 2016. This year, Julie is at the helm of Wollongong Private Hospital’s Maternity Ward having recently taken on the position of Maternity Services Manager. She credits her accomplishments to the loyal support from her team of dedicated midwives and Doctors.

Ms Walsh has delivered and cared for thousands of little bundles over the years and has even recently delivered the granddaughter of one of her very first maternity patients.

Having worked in both public and private maternity wards, Ms Walsh enjoys having more time to get to know her patients and their families at Wollongong Private Hospital. “Private hospital patients are encouraged to spend longer at hospital following the birth of their baby. This provides an opportunity for new mothers to bond with their newborn, while soaking up all the expert care and advice from midwives, lactation consultants and physiotherapists. When patients leave our care, they head home feeling confident and empowered.” Ms Walsh said.

Since commencing her training in the late 70s, Ms Walsh has witnessed a number of improvements in maternity care including technical changes that have helped to decrease morbidity and mortality rates. However one of the biggest shifts she has experienced is the growing involvement of women and their families in every aspect of their care. “Women and their families are now much more informed and proactive regarding their birth and postnatal care.” Ms Walsh said. “The Midwife’s role is to partner with women and their families, offering them support in making the safest decisions for their birth.”

For those considering a career in Midwifery, Julie Walsh says Midwives are highly sought after and the industry offers excellent employment prospects. It is also an occupation offering high levels of job satisfaction. “Being a part of such an important event in a couple’s life is an enormous privilege. To have the opportunity to share this journey with families and make a positive impact on their experience is truly rewarding.”

About International Day of the Midwife

International Day of the Midwife is celebrated on 5th May each year to highlight the important role midwives play in the health of mothers and children. This year’s theme is “Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for life”.