Long serving midwives call time after welcoming hundreds of babies at Geelong

St John of God Geelong Hospital midwives Yvonne Barr and Pat Huby have called time on their careers at the hospital after spending a combined 70 years caring for hundreds of women and welcoming their babies into the world.

St John of God Geelong Hospital midwives

18 December 2019

Yvonne, who started at the hospital in 1973, has cared for multiple generations of Geelong families in her time as a midwife at the hospital.

“There are multiple women who I have cared for at the hospital whose mother’s remember me from when they gave birth,” she said.

“Seeing each family again when their daughters’ or sons’ welcome new babies into the world has been really special.

“I have enjoyed being with women and sharing their journey when having their babies. It has been an absolute privilege.”

Pat, who started at the hospital in 1989, said she had loved looking after babies who needed a little extra care in the special care nursery and on the postnatal ward.

“I have very fond memories of my time at St John of God Geelong Hospital, particularly in the early days when we worked very closely with the Sisters,” she said.

Both Yvonne and Pat, who celebrated their retirements on Wednesday, said they had seen the hospital change significantly over their careers, including the development of three different birthing suites and four special care nurseries.

“I think things have changed for the better. Years ago one midwife would be caring for two or three women in labour but we now provide one-on-one care, and enhanced monitoring for the mother and baby’s safety and wellbeing,” Yvonne said.

“The hospital facilities have also changed and improved, I think I’ve seen about three new birthing suites in my time.

“The people, midwives, enrolled nurses, doctors, paediatricians, and ward clerks have all been a big part of my life and the support they have provided me has been amazing.”

St John of God Geelong Hospital Chief Executive Officer Stephen Roberts thanked Yvonne and Pat for their decades of service.

“It has been wonderful to have such experienced midwives, who have offered families a wealth of knowledge and support during their stay at St John of God Geelong Hospital,” he said.

“A big thank you from everyone at St John of God Geelong Hospital to Yvonne and Pat.”