After losing three litres of blood following the birth of her first child, Kate Taylor (GradCertClinEd ’20) became aware of how lucky she was to be living in a country with access to quality maternal health care.
‘It really alerted me to the fact that midwives, and their practice, actually save lives and it’s more than just cuddling babies.’
Two more children and two university degrees on, Kate is a registered midwife, working in clinical practice and lecturing in midwifery at Flinders University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She is currently completing her Master of Clinical Education at Flinders.
But it’s her humanitarian pursuits that are truly inspiring.
Before she began studying at university Kate felt she needed to give back to the world and decided to travel to Cambodia to volunteer on a floating medical clinic. She was assigned to maternal care.
With no formal midwifery training, she had only personal experience to lean on and quickly learnt that childbirth for women in low-resourced countries is very different to back at home.
‘I saw a woman with tears rolling down her face, who said that her mother had died from giving birth to her and that she herself was now petrified. It haunts me to this very day.
‘On the way back to Australia I was having this internal argument with myself that somebody had to do something. By the time the plane landed I knew that that somebody was going to be me.’
After three years of study while raising three young children, Kate became a qualified midwife.
Since 2007, and with the help of hundreds of maternal health specialists from Australia, she has travelled back to Cambodia to deliver training to more than 4,000 midwives, doctors and traditional birth attendants through her maternal health organisation The 2H Project.
‘The whole labour experience can be horrifically painful but it’s such a worthwhile journey. And then to be with the new parents and play a part in that joy is an absolute honour. It’s those real and raw emotions that make midwifery amazing.’
During the COVID-19 crisis, Kate has fundraised to send personal protective equipment such as gloves and hand sanitiser to support medical workers in Cambodia.
Photo courtesy The 2H Project