Justine van der Watt

Justine is a Registered Nurse, Midwife, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), working in Neonatal ICU since 2007 and all areas of midwifery between 2012 and 2018, before moving to predominately childbirth education, postnatal care, and breastfeeding support from 2019.  She is a mother of 1 daughter and a Certified HypnoBirthing (The Mongan Method) Educator.  In October 2021 Justine was elected to the Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand Board of Directors (and is currently the Director of Professional Advocacy) and has been on the HypnoBirthing Australian Steering Committee as the WA representative since June 2018.  She is passionate about educating families about pregnancy, labour, and breastfeeding. 

Outside of work, Justine also has a love for traveling, having been to over 80 countries, and doing work experience placements in Ghana and Sri Lanka.

What led you to a career in midwifery?

I am going to be very honest – I had no intention of working as a midwife when I actually applied to do the postgraduate diploma – I just thought it would be something interesting to see and have more knowledge about.

I have worked as a nurse in Neonatal ICU since 2007 and thought that was the area I would spend the rest of my career in. In 2011 I decided it was time to ‘settle down’ as I had been travelling and working overseas since 2005, and thought doing some extra study would help keep me in one place for a while.  I had the choice between doing a postgraduate diploma of midwifery or the NICU nursing graduate certificate. When I heard that 2012 was the last time a 12 month postgraduate diploma was going to be offered in WA I elected to do that (and thought I would do the NICU course the following year – haha!). Within 2 weeks of starting the midwifery diploma I realised that I truly wanted to work ‘with woman’ as a midwife.

Since graduating in December 2012 I have worked part time as both a midwife and in NICU as I love working in both areas – although starting Western Obstetrics in April 2021 increased my midwifery time.

What is your birth philosophy?

I believe that every birth should be a celebration of life and our amazing bodies. Women were designed to give birth. Women’s birthing instincts can be incredibly powerful and, with the right knowledge and empowerment, the majority of women can give birth as Mother Nature intended.

I am also a strong advocate for informed decision making – that all families have the right to have all the information possible, so that they can make decisions that are right for them.

What is the most rewarding part of being a midwife?

Seeing the joy on the mother’s face when she realises ‘I did this’ and secretly knowing that I helped them get there, even if I only played a very minor part in their journey.

What attracted you to be part of Western Obstetrics?

I am a big believer in continuity of care, but know that money is often a big deciding point when choosing the mode of care. I see that Western Obstetrics is working hard to bring together the best of both public health care and continuity of care.