Midwifery Runs In Family At Mater Mothers’ Hospital


For Rosario and Diana Alvarez, midwifery is a family affair in more ways than one.

Not only do the mother and daughter duo love connecting with families and supporting them through their pregnancy journeys, but they get to do it together at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane.

The pair are part of the 400-strong midwifery team at Mater Mothers’ – Australia’s leading maternity service provider – who are celebrating International Day of the Midwife today.

With four siblings and two children of her own, Rosario’s love of babies and big families led her to becoming a midwife in her home country of Peru.

“When I moved to Australia, I wanted to continue midwifery because it’s what I loved,” she said.

“But I couldn’t speak English very well, so it took me about two years to work through the registration process and become a midwife again.”

That was 20 years ago and in that time there’s never been a second of doubt she pursued the right career.

“My favourite thing is to be in the postnatal area,” the 57-year-old Wishart resident said.

“I love to work with mothers and babies – supporting a mother and empowering a mother in those early days – it’s so special.”

Even more so now that she gets to work alongside her daughter, 23-year-old Diana, who was herself a Mater baby.

“I knew she would have the right nature to look after mothers and babies – she’s such a caring and nurturing person – so if she ever wanted to become a midwife, I knew she’d be wonderful,” she said.

“Having Diana as a midwife, as a colleague, as part of my team, just makes my day every day.

“I’m so happy to see her and I feel happy knowing that she’ll be with me in my final years of midwifery.”

The tight-knit duo travel to work together and can often be rostered to work on the same ward.

Diana says her mother never encouraged her to follow in her footsteps but gave her space to make her own decisions.

“Mum never actually spoke much about her job when we were growing up,” Diana said.

“It wasn’t until I was in high school and considering my options that I started to ask her about what midwifery involved and she shared her experiences with me.

“It all sounded like something I’d like to be part of.”

Diana embarked on a dual nursing and midwifery course and thrived during her final placement at Mater Mothers’ Hospital last year.

She joined the team permanently on rotation in February.

“There have been lots of special moments already – I think my rotation in birth suites was very impactful – just being there and sharing that special, vulnerable moment with families,” she said.

“I want to stay on the rotational program so I can continue to develop my skills and learn from others.

“I’m particularly looking forward to experiencing what it’s like in the Neonatal Critical Care Unit.”

As for working with her mum …

“It’s nice to have someone I can turn to ask questions, and it’s great to have someone to guide me,” Diana said.

“She’s so knowledgeable and caring in her approach – I just hope to be just as good as her one day.”

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