Justine van der Watt
I graduated as a Registered Nurse from the University of Notre Dame Australia in December 2004. After graduating I did a 'gap half-year' traveling through Europe and the USA. On my return I did a year of the Graduated RN Program at Princess Margaret Hospital (in Perth WA) from August 2005 - June 2006. I then travelled some more through Europe
In March 2007 I started working in the Neonatal ICU at PMH. By the end of 2007 I was back in Europe (I had discovered a passion for travelling!) and in January 2008 I started working in the UK as a nurse. For the next 3 years I worked between PMH and various NICUs in the UK - mostly Great Ormond Street, the John Radcliffe, St Thomas', and University College Hospital. I also spent some time nannying in France and bar tending in London and Austria.
In December 2011 I did a 4 week work placement in Ghana - 2 weeks on the 'labour and delivery' ward, 1 week in the 'NICU', and 1 week in a rural clinic (which was staffed by 1 RN and a 'pharmacy' technician)
In 2012, thinking it was time to 'settle down' ;) I did the Postgraduate Diploma of Midwifery training between Edith Cowan University and Osborne Park Hospital.
In February 2013 I did a 3 week work placement in Sri Lanka, all on the labour and delivery ward. In those 3 weeks I assisted with 20 births and witnessed with birth of least 20 more.
In July 2013 I found out I was pregnant and immediately started planning for a home birth, and in early March 2014 my daughter was born at home.
Being a midwife I had no idea I should be worried about not being able to breastfeed. You can read the full story of my breastfeeding/expressing journey and what lead me to start on this journey here.
Soon after graduating as a RN I discovered I had a passion for travelling and I have visited 81 countries to date. I also have a real interest in learning about different cultures, especially related to birth and how others care for their babies. We are very lucky to be living in a country like Australia, with our healthcare system and high standards of living, but I also believe we can learn a lot from 'traditional' cultures.
I am registered as a Nurse and Midwife with the Nurses and Midwifery Board of Australia, with Endorsement to prescribe scheduled medicines (this allows me to work privately as a midwife). I am a Certified HypnoBirthing® Educator. I am a member of the Australian College of Midwives, the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ), and the Childbirth And Parenting Educators of Australia. I have Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance with AON and MIGA. In January 2017 I did 120hrs of lactation education and in October I sat the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiner's exam.
About the classes:
Since starting my midwifery career something that has struck me is how unprepared most parents are for labour and birth, either because they just didn't want to know or, more often, they didn't know they COULD know. So many women I have looked after in labour don't know what their options are or that they have the right to consent (or refuse consent) to any procedure that is offered.
Teaching in labour is very difficult! So I decided to set up private antenatal classes. Yes, hospitals usually offer their own classes, however, in my experience group sizes are quite large, meaning you might miss out on asking the questions you want, and spaces are limited (there might be room for 20 couples/month, but there might be 200 or more women booked in to give birth/month) so many couples miss out on a place
A few centuries ago we used to watch our relatives and friends give birth, so when it came to our turn we understood what was happening. Now childbirth is done almost in secret, behind closed (sterile, hospital) doors. Often our only experience is what we have seen on TV, where situations are over-sensualised to create a good story, or we hear stories from our friends or work colleagues, and everyone loves to tell a good 'shock and awe' story! Birth has become scary for some, or at the very least, something to be 'endured'. I will go through what is 'normal' to show you that birth is not scary. I will also discuss common procedures with benefits and risk for both sides, so that you can decide if they are suitable for you and your family.
I really believe that knowledge is power. Labour and birth is a time in a family's life to be celebrated and cherished. Women should feel empowered when they give birth – it is a momentous thing to do! But sometimes things do not always go according to plan. If you are prepared for what could happen, you will be better prepared to make a decision, and sometimes during labour and birth decisions need to be made quickly.
In July 2016 I became a certified HypnoBirthing® practitioner and started teaching group and private classes. This is an internationally recognised childbirth education program that has been shown to reduce intervention rates and lower adverse outcomes. I used HypnoBirthing® to birth my daughter at home in 2014. Click here to find out more about the program and my classes.
Due to the popularity of the HypnoBirthing program, I am only teach this at the moment. For more information please see the HypnoBirthing® section
Breast pump hire & sales:
I rent and sell Spectra® breast pumps. My daughter, Olivia. and I had a very rough breastfeeding journey which saw me exclusively expressing until she was almost 10months (and gave her breastmilk until she was just over 1 year old). During this time I learnt a lot about breastfeeding and expressing. I also learnt that not all pumps are created equal. Spectra® makes high quality breast pumps, from portable handheld pumps suitable for 'occasional' pumping, to hospital grade pumps suitable for exclusive expressing. I will deliver these pumps to you (within 30km of the CBD, if you are outside this area we can arrange a place to meet), and provide you with information on using the pump and tips for expressing. From September 2017 I will start seeing clients as a lactation consultant - pre or post birth, for just about any issue. If I feel anything that is beyond my scope of knowledge I will refer on to other health professionals
Thank you for visiting. I really do look forward to hearing from you.