PEOPLE might not give International Midwives Day the recognition it deserves, but they certainly recognise its practitioners.
Talking to midwives at Grafton Base Hospital for yesterday's 24th annual celebration of midwifery, their on-street recognition is remarkable.
"People might forget our names, but they never forget our faces," said the clinical midwife educator at Grafton Base Hospital, Lee O'Shea.
"They see us in the street and give us this special look."
Ms O'Shea came to midwifery from intensive care nursing in 2006.
"It was pretty depressing work and I was looking for something more rewarding," she said.
"I wanted to work where I could make more of a difference."
Ms O'Shea used her own experiences as a mother as an inspiration for her work.
"What I'm most passionate about is getting woman to have a normal birth after they have had a caesarean section," she said.
"After a caesarean they have a scar and every birth after that is classed as a high-risk birth."
Ms O'Shea said with improved surgical techniques and other medical advances, it has become more accepted to go back to natural birthing.
"It's not as dangerous now, but there's still that thought out there you must keep having caesareans," she said.
On Monday Ms O'Shea and second time mum, Laura Gudz from South Grafton, came together for the birth of Michael.
"She was absolutely fantastic," Mrs Gudz said. "It was actually a pleasant, stress-free experience.
"The midwives are brilliant. You can ask them anything and they're not judgemental.
"It made this birth actually an enjoyable experience."
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