About Mamatoto Midwives
The word “Mamatoto” means “mother baby” and describes the Mother and baby as one. What effects one, also effects the other.
Mamatoto Midwives are a small boutique Midwifery Practice of ‘hand picked’ Midwives based around Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley. We believe that for the far majority of women, birth should be a normal life event and that women and their families don’t need to fear birth and parenting if they are prepared well during pregnancy. Also having a known midwife through your pregnancy and Birth journey can improve outcomes for both mothers and babies.
You can choose a range of care options with Mamatoto Midwives. We offer Antenatal care, Mamatoto Birth Retreats, labour and birth care in your chosen environment of Home or Hospital. We also offer postnatal care. Most of our visits attract a medicare rebate, and Private Health Insurance rebates may apply and we can talk more about this when we meet you.
We have clinic rooms in Kew and Selbyx
Juliana Brennan’s Profile (Director)
It was towards the end of my Bachelor of Nursing in 1993 that I realized my calling was to work more closely with women. In 1995 I studied for my Graduate Diploma in Midwifery, and I never looked back on this decision.
As a student, I witnessed many births that were very medicalised with intervention, and it was not until I worked along-side Birth Centre and homebirth midwives that I realized that gentle, calm and empowering birth can certainly unfold for women and their families with the right support and preparation!
As a child, I grew up on a farm, and I witnessed many different mammals (generally cattle) giving birth. Rarely did we have complications with calving, and I was surprised as a student midwife at how many women had so much trouble and difficulty with birth. I couldn’t understand why so many women would hemorrhage, would find labour and birth ‘unbearable’ as the cows we owned rarely (if ever) had these issues. Over the years, I have discovered what I believe the answer. Women who are not fearful of birth and who are undisturbed, supported and who are very well emotionally and physically prepared for birth tend to have very straight forward and uncomplicated labour and births.
In 2011 I was one of the first midwives in Victoria and Australia to obtain my Medicare Eligibility, and in 2012, I was the first Midwife in Australia to get my Prescribing Rights and be an endorsed and notated Midwife with AHPRA. Mamatoto Midwives was launched and is rocketing into the future!
I completed my Master’s Degree in Midwifery in 2002 and my major area of study was Post Term Pregnancy. I published a comprehensive literature review on “The Risks associated with Post Term Pregnancy” in 2005 in ‘Women and Birth’. It is my long term goal to teach Midwifery in Third World Countries such as Africa…where I’ve already been lucky enough to travel to!
I am married to Tim and we have three beautiful children, all of whom were born in Birth Centres where we were supported by known Midwives. Harry, my eldest son is 19yo, Grace is 17 and Riley, my youngest son is 14yo. I had very positive birth experiences for all three of my children, Grace and Riley were Water Birth babies!
My special interests in Midwifery are protecting the first birth, Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC), and working with women who have experienced abuse and trauma.
I believe that every woman should have a known Midwife for her pregnancy, birth and early parenting and I support the research evidence that shows that continuity of midwifery carer improves outcomes for women by working as a Private Midwife and Director of “Mamatoto Midwives”.
Danielle Sorbello’s Profile
Registered and Endorsed Midwife
Danielle is currently on Maternity Leave and will be returning in 2022
Midwife and Mother of Daisy Maria
For as long as I can remember, I have always been drawn to pregnancy and birth. When I was a little girl I loved reading my Mother’s pregnancy and women’s health books. I even got up in the middle of the night to witness my pets giving birth. It truly fascinates me. As soon as I discovered the role of a midwife, I knew it was meant to be.
I grew up in a small country town in Gippsland, then lived in Warrnambool, Geelong and Melbourne while completing my Nursing and Midwifery studies. Along the way, I was able to gain valuable experience all over Victoria, includingwitnessing my first beautiful water birth at Rosebud Hospital. Fast forward to 2009 and I started working as a Graduate Midwife at The Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. I was privileged to work with women and their families from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, which I really enjoyed.
In 2010, I desperately wanted to join the COSMOS team, which was the caseload model of care. I had experienced snippets of continuity here and there and knew how beneficial it was for families to have a known Midwife for their pregnancy, birth and postnatal period. I was able to secure a position in a very supportive team of lovely midwives. It was an amazing experience and I will be forever grateful to the families who trusted me to support them during their parenting journeys.
In 2012, after a few months of international travel, I moved up to Brisbane. One of my career highlights was being part of a Midwifery Group Practice called “Birthing In Our Community” at Mater Mothers’ Hospital. It was a brand new program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, and is still going strong today. Working closely with the community was so special and a privilege I will never forget. I absolutely adored my team and the families we met along the way. We were often considered the “family midwife”, caring for sisters, cousins, aunties etc. It was a privilege and still makes me smile when I think about my time there.
In 2017, my husband Anthony and I welcomed our daughter Daisy into this world, supported by my wonderful colleagues. It confirmed for me how important it is to be cared for by people that you know and trust. In 2018 we moved back down to Victoria to be closer to family and friends. I have been working in the public health system, but can no longer ignore my desire to provide true woman-centred care.
I love supporting women to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy, birth and beyond. Knowledge is power! I am passionate about promoting positive experiences for not only women, but their entire family. Being “with woman” in the community is a dream come true and I am very much enjoying working with Mamatoto Midwives.
Dina Phillips Profile
(Registered and Endorsed Midwife)
Mumma, Nanne and Midwife,
I am so grateful to be part of the Mamatoto team, providing holistic midwifery continuity of care to women during one of the most profound times of their life.
I became a mother in 1998 and my experience under the continuity of care model was so positive I knew I wanted to become a midwife and support women as beautifully as I was during this unique and vulnerable time. I was blessed to have my next two children under the same model of care, my choices were heard and respected at all times, leading to a fully supported home birth with my third.
I commenced my Bachelor of Health, Midwifery in New Zealand in 2010 at the wonderful age of 40(better late than never). It wasn’t always easy, as life takes us on journeys that we haven’t anticipated, but my dedication and determination got me through. I graduated in 2013 and two days later moved to Melbourne to commence the next chapter in my life.
After six months of settling into Melbourne I was offered an opportunity to undertake the Midwifery Graduate Programe at St John of God Hospital in Perth. This was an amazing opportunity as I consolidated my learning supported by new colleagues, family and friends.
On completion of my graduate year I returned to Melbourne and undertook a position in the private healthcare sector working with women antenatally, during labour and postnatally. During this time I furthered my study to attain Medicare eligibility and prescribing rights which in turn enabled me to register as an Endorsed Midwife.
I then gained a position on the inaugural team that through collective passion and vision for continuity of care in midwifery practice, successfully established the Know Your Midwife programe into the private setting.
I am dedicated to antenatal education and have been running classes for 3 years. I believe that education is a crucial component of antenatal care, leading to less anxiety and empowering women to make informed decisions that are relevant to them.
As a midwife I feel honored to have the privilege of sharing intimate moments with women from varying backgrounds who place their trust in me. We all have our unique stories, dreams and hopes, we inherently have the same needs which are to be heard, supported, encouraged and loved. Continuity of care with a known midwife upholds and respects these needs.
Shelley Taylor profile
It was leading up to and during my sisters first pregnancy that first called me to midwifery. She chose independent midwives to support her through pregnancy and birth and through this grew from a place of fear to a place of empowerment and confidence. I knew then that empowering women on their birthing journeys was what I was meant to dedicate my working life to.
I graduated from the Bachelor of Midwifery at ACU in 2015, completed my honours during my graduate year at The Royal Women’s in 2016. I worked with families in the antenatal, birthing and postnatal setting at RWH until last year and most recently I have been a part of the midwifery team at The Angliss Hospital.
My own personal experiences birthing my two boys further increased my desire to offer truly individualised and woman-centred care to families. After a long labour ending in a caesarean with my first babe, I had private midwives support me through my second pregnancy to achieve the healing VBAC I desperately wanted.
With the right support, I believe that a positive birth experience can show you your inner strength and give you the best start to your parenting journey. My sincere desire in joining Mamatoto Midwives is to be able to partner with families to help them to achieve their best possible experience of pregnancy, birth and postnatal care as they bring a new life into their family.
In my spare time I enjoy exploring the hills with my family, going to the beach, reading, sewing, knitting and making clay earrings!
Kirsteen Smith’s Profile
(Midwife and Mother to two little sweeties)
From a very early age I knew I wanted to become a midwife. I graduated as a midwife in 2011 and commenced my graduate year at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. I continued to work there for the following 10 years across antenatal, birthing and postnatal. In 2015 I worked in a remote village in rural Zambia, in a tiny, ill-equipped 1-room clinic, running pregnancy clinics, birthing services and attended to anyone who walked through the door. While I was there I raised enough money to build a fully functional maternity unit that is now run by 2 nurse/midwives. I continue to raise funds to support this clinic and the vital services it provides the women and children of the region.
I am extremely passionate about women’s health, and firmly trust in the power and strength of the woman’s body. My time in Zambia cemented my belief in the importance of education and how empowering knowledge is during what can be such a vulnerable chapter of life. My aim is to equip women with information to help them make the best, informed choices for themselves and their families.
My journey into motherhood began in 2017 when I gave birth to my first son, in the water, at the hospital where I worked. In this birth I felt strong, supported and safe with my independent midwife by my side. When I became pregnant with my second son, it was an easy decision to bring my son into the world at home, in my own environment, surrounded by my family and midwives. Both of my son’s births left me feeling empowered and confident as a mother and a woman and the pull to becoming a homebirth midwife grew stronger.
Whether you choose to birth your baby in a hospital or at home, the important thing to remember is that the choice is entirely yours. There is not just one way to bring babies into the world and I am extremely passionate about making sure women’s transitions into motherhood are safe, secure and supported.
I am very excited and honoured to now be working with the incredible midwives that make up the Mamatoto team.