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This month marks 20 years since Janice Butler began welcoming bayside babies into the world at Mater Private Hospital Redland, however she’s been a midwife for more than 30.
Her milestone comes just in time for International Day of the Midwife (May 5), a time to shine the light on all midwives and the crucial role they play in the lives of families.
Qualifying as a nurse in 1986, Janice went on to complete further studies and became a midwife in the hope it would make her a better mother when the time came.
“It did – it gave me confidence when I became a mum,” she said.
“Now, I’m going to be a grandmother for the first time and I’m able to share my knowledge and skills with my daughter.”
Janice has supported thousands of Brisbane bayside mothers during one of the most memorable moments of their lives, but says her role as a midwife was not quantified by the number of babies but by the special moments shared with families.
“My favourite thing about being a midwife is meeting the beautiful families that come to Mater Private Hospital Redland to have their babies,” she said.
“I get to support them during one of the most memorable times of their lives.”
Over the years, Janice has developed a special interest in supporting patients who experience perinatal loss.
“It is important to me to help those families navigate that dark day, just as I help most families celebrate their happy day when a healthy baby arrives,” she said.
First-time mum Samantha Fragale welcomed baby Isabella last week at Mater Mother’s Private Redland with the support of Janice after a complex pregnancy.
“You can’t find words for Janice,” Samantha said. “You couldn’t ask for a better midwife.
“I hope she realises what an amazing nurse and midwife she is, and how important she is to families like mine.”
Janice said the gratitude and appreciation from patients were the reasons she continued to love her job.
“It lifts me up and it reinforces that I am doing a good job – it makes everything worthwhile,” she said.
The 2022 theme for International Midwives Day is ‘Together We Care’.
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