Proud parents with little Marley

Family enjoys using maternity facilities at Portland hospital

Little Marley Alexander might not realise it, but she holds a special place at Portland District Health.

Marley was the first baby born at PDH’s reopened birthing service and her parents Melissa Radley and Bart Alexander couldn’t be happier.

Their first child Luke, coming up three in January, was also born at PDH and Melissa says both were really good experiences.

Marley was born on September 5 in a planned caesarean. “With Luke I ended up having an emergency caesarean after quite a long labour; this time it was an option that we chose. We expected Marley to be quite big so it was easy to make the choice for a caesarean,” Melissa said.

With the PDH birthing service on diversion, Melissa and Bart had expected to travel to Hamilton to have their second child.

“On my 36-week check-up, obstetrician Dr Diab told us that Portland was about to resume birthing so we jumped straight on that. I didn’t realise we were going to be the first but we were excited to have it locally.”

Marley was born 10 days before due date, while Luke was 10 days overdue; Marley was born at 1.30pm, Luke at 1.30am.

Melissa said she and Bart were impressed with the service at PDH. “Second time you’re more relaxed and there were heaps of people around to help,” she said.

“Everyone was very excited to be having a baby born here again and it was definitely easier this time around.

“They provided a bed for Bart as well and he could come and go whenever he wanted and the maternity area is separated which is great and you can’t complain about the view.”

PDH’s birthing services reopened on Wednesday August 17 following an exhaustive search to recruit midwives to the health service in the face of workforce shortage across Australia and the world.