Jennie Teskey, Midwife and Counsellor
I was born at home in Richmond, SW London with a community midwife in attendance. My mother was a childbirth educator and founder member of the National Childbirth Trust, alongside Sheila Kitzinger.
As I was growing up, scores of pregnant women came in and out of my childhood home for their classes which included psychoprophylaxis (breathing and relaxation), hence loads of cushions for me to jump on – when the classes weren’t being run! This was certainly an early influence on my career choice.
During my nurse training at Kings College Hospital in London from 1979 to 1982 I spent 2 months in obstetrics and had my first experience of catching a baby. I absolutely loved it and applied for my midwifery training at The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in the West Country. It was an 18-month course that I started in 1985 (after a couple of years of travel and work around the world.)
In December 1987 I immigrated to Melbourne with my husband and 4-month old son Josh.
Since 1988 I have attended over a thousand births (600 at home) and I have also provided support for women choosing to birth their babies in hospital. The satisfaction I get from providing continuity of care is enormous. There are some families for whom I have attended 5 births and there are some women whose births I attended many years ago who are now having their own babies.
I birthed at home in Warrandyte for my second son, in the same room as my grandson was born in 2014. I was extremely honoured to attend this very special birth.
I completed a Master of Counselling at La Trobe University in 2013 and I am now offering counselling for women who need to debrief their birth experience and for women who are experiencing transition to parenting issues or antenatal/postnatal depression or anxiety. I am also available to counsel student midwives and midwives who are struggling to work in an extremely stretched maternity care system.
In 2011 I became an Endorsed Midwife, which means I have a medicare provider number so my clients can receive a rebate on their antenatal and postnatal care. I am able to order blood tests and ultrasound scans and have completed an online prescribing course at Flinders University, South Australia as a part of the requirement for Midwife Endorsement.