From a traumatic experience to safe and calm

THE birth of Emilie Keller's second child, Xander, was traumatic.

''I was left alone in the ward of my local public hospital - the doctors and nurses assumed I knew what I was doing,'' Mrs Keller, 30, said. ''But I really had no idea … They put me in a room and left me there.''

When pregnant with her third child, Amalia, she went back to the hospital, thinking there was no other choice. ''I was in tears in the car park after my first appointment,'' Mrs Keller said.

A friend told her about midwifery-led care centres, sometimes called birth centres. Until then, she did not know such centres existed.

Mrs Keller chose Ryde Midwifery Group Practice and gave birth naturally. Unlike with the births of her other children, Mrs Keller did not go on to suffer post-natal depression with Amalia. ''My midwife was with me the whole time. I felt looked after and totally safe. It makes a huge difference for the baby as well - Amalia has been my calmest baby to date.''

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