New Chief Midwife excited about role ahead

Latest News - 18 October 2019 | Chris Mallon has delivered hundreds of babies since she first began working as a midwife in 1999 and she says every single one was a privilege.

“We get to walk with women and their Whanaau through the most important experience of their life. And then you get to help them in their postnatal period and supporting them becoming a parent, if it’s their first baby,” Ms Mallon says.

These days, the newly appointed Chief Midwife at Counties Manukau Health is not working directly with expectant mothers and their whaanau, but her basic philosophy is the same as it has always been, which is providing women-centred care to ensure the best outcomes for Mum, babies and their whanaau.

The current Chair of the Midwifery Council has worked right across the spectrum of midwifery – in primary (lead maternity carer), and secondary and tertiary roles (hospitals).

Most recently Director of Midwifery at the Hutt Valley DHB, Ms Mallon’s first encounter with CM Health was when she visited to look at our community DHB team as part of her studies for a Master’s Degree in Healthcare.

“I looked at Counties’ wrap-around care.  I thought it was amazing. I shelved that and thought ‘this would be a good place to come’”.

Now back at CM Health, she says she can see an even greater commitment to the welfare and wrap around care of new and expectant mothers.  She acknowledges there is still work to be done to continually improve outcomes for women and babies.  This includes promoting breastfeeding, reducing interventions where possible, and supporting and enabling all our midwives, both DHB and Lead Maternity Carers, to provide the care mothers need and support them in a culturally appropriate way at such a key time in their lives.

 “In midwifery you actually do have lots of opportunities to actually support whanaau and help them to be the parents they want to be. And that’s pretty cool I think.”

She is looking forward to tackling some of the big challenges facing the profession such as recruitment and working at meeting the needs of our community and looking at what it could look like for midwifery. She is excited about working in the diverse and values- centred environment of Counties Manukau.

“People are kind, the values make sense. I can feel there is a buzz and people want to be here.  Who doesn’t want to be part of that?”

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