MATENITY CARE: Jamie Costello was separated from her son Samuel Maudsley, who she had via emergency caesarean section at Gympie Hospital when he had to be flown to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for extra care. Her family believes a town the size of Gympie should have a hospital with a neo-natal unit able to provide the care her full-term son needed.
MATENITY CARE: Jamie Costello was separated from her son Samuel Maudsley, who she had via emergency caesarean section at Gympie Hospital when he had to be flown to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for extra care. Her family believes a town the size of Gympie should have a hospital with a neo-natal unit able to provide the care her full-term son needed. Contributed

Young mums speak out on giving birth in Gympie region

HOW far would you be willing to travel to have a baby?

For some Gympie mothers the answer is at least the Sunshine Coast according to comments made on Facebook in the wake of the maternity crisis engulfing Queensland's Western Downs region, where Chinchilla's maternity services have shut and Dalby's are precariously placed.

Gympie has fortunately avoided this disaster but some expectant mothers had to head south for "high risk” births.

Curra's Sam Pringle said she had to travel to Nambour for her first two births and "my third will be at the Sunshine Coast University (Hospital) due to Gympie having restrictions on certain things”.

Fran Cadell with daughter Layla, whose birth was moved to Nambour Hospital.
Fran Cadell with daughter Layla, whose birth was moved to Nambour Hospital. Contributed

Nat Costello said her daughter also needed to have two c-sections for high risk births and was taken to Nambour.

A third emergency c-section was done in Gympie and the "baby was then sent to Suncoast(sic) Uni Hospital because Gympie couldn't provide care for him but my daughter couldn't travel as she had just had a c-section so was left in Gympie with her newborn gone elsewhere”.

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"Gympie region should have its own hospital that can cater for all... the area is certainly big enough with surrounding towns that use Gympie Hospital as the main go to in a crisis.

"It's ridiculous that the basics of c-sections and neo-natal care after a c-section cant be done at Gympie,” she said.

Fran Cadell with daughter Layla, 5, whose birth was moved to Nambour Hospital.
Fran Cadell with daughter Layla, now 5 years old.. Contributed

Fran Lee also needed to be moved to Nambour for a high risk birth, and Lisa Kirkpatrick said she made the choice to head south to give birth.

"Made phone calls. Had shower. Packed,” she said.

"My parents brought me over some KFC chips. Got organized then they drove me from Gympie to Buderim Private Hospital. Got hooked up to everything for the night and had c-section 9am the next morning.”

Laurel Edwards said these events have to be considered in the context of location.

"Let's be realistic,” she said.

"There are many small outback towns that don't have any facilities for giving birth.”

However Nancy Evans said "realistic” was a nuanced term.

"Being realsitc is that the services that were always available in your local hospital should remain .

"Why should anyone have to travel from the Gympie area to the new 'local' hospital that is more than halfway to Brisbane on roads that are congested with traffic?

"Then your babies aren't born locally either.,” she said.