'Women should be able to give birth where they live'
KRISTY Benson is well aware of the old saying around the Heritage City: "there are no babies born in Maryborough."
But the Maryborough mother is calling for more support for the town's expecting mothers, petitioning Queensland Health for a Midwife Group Practice (MGP) model of care for Maryborough Hospital.
The petition has gathered more than 740 signatures.
"The fact that the women of Maryborough are not able to birth in their local hospital is bad enough, but then to add that we can't access the MGP because of our location adds extra sting to the situation," the petition reads.
"We want to have better birthing experiences and having a Midwife Group Practice that is able to service our area is a good start."
Ms Benson said the MGP model was an alternative to giving birth with the midwife rostered on at the time.
Instead it allows expected mothers to build relationships with a midwife and give birth with one of them present.
Through the petition, she hopes it will place additional pressure on Queensland Health to introduce a maternity ward to the town's hospital.
"We want group practice to be available for women in Maryborough, because even if the babies are born in Hervey Bay, we would at least be birthing with care provided through the pregnancy" Ms Benson said.
"But women should be able to give birth where they live.
"I hope it will result in better maternity care being offered to the women of Maryborough and outlying areas."
Currently mothers are transported to Hervey Bay to give birth.
Ms Benson, a former Hervey Bay resident, gave birth to her second child at the Hervey Bay Hospital through an MGP model.
She said it was "less traumatic" than her first birth because she knew her carer.
"If I'd lived in Maryborough at the time, I would have been taken out of it," Ms Benson said.