Helping women to be the best mothers they can be 

This week is Nursing in the Community week (14 to 20 September 2020), which is an opportunity for us to show our gratitude to thnurses who make a big impact on the health and wellbeing of our community. 

From pregnancy to childbirth and beyond, Denae De Luca helps women who are doing it tough, to be the best parents they can be.  

Her role as a community nurse and midwife in Monash Health’s Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies team is one she considers ‘a special gift’. 

Working with the most highrisk and vulnerable pregnant women within the community, Denae says that the job has its highs and lows.  

“Working alongside women with such significant trauma histories and multiple complexities, is definitely a challenge – things change so rapidly, you have to be able think on your feet and adapt to change. 

“Being able to build a rapport and the trust needed to maintain a working relationship with this cohort of women is just the beginning, and being able earn the trust to share their stories and accept your help along their journey is a skill in itself. 

As well as providing healthcare, Denae’s job is also to educate, support, and empower the new mums to improve their lifestyle choices for themselves and for their babies.  

Denae recently received heartfelt message from one of her clients.  

The message reads: “You never judged me on my past. You gave me strength to pick myself up when I felt like I was falling apart. You helped me to believe in myself. You reminded me that I can do this thing (parenting) and that I am a good mum. Thank you for stepping into my life just when I needed someone”.  

She says that knowing you have done your best to give your client an opportunity to be a mother is rewarding, and that most clients are so grateful, no matter the outcome 

The events of 2020 have proven to be a big challenge for community nurses like Denae.  

“Not being able to assist my clients face to face, transport them, be within their homes, assess situations in person, provide hands on support and education or attend appointments for support, has left these women extremely isolated, vulnerable and at an increased risk of poor outcomes, says Denae. 

However, despite the ongoing challenges, she is proud of how well her clients are adapting to the changes.  

The ongoing engagement and positive outcomes for my clients is reassuring. Adapting to all the changes in 2020 and the different methods required to assists these women, appears to be working, despite the challenges.”  

Denae says that sharing the journey with women from pregnancy to childbirth and beyond is a special gift, and it is a privilege to be a part of with any woman 

Approved by Julia Oxley

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