Leonie Rastas: The C-section Recovery Whisperer®
Here's my story: I am a nurse, midwife, author, educator, wife and mother to six adult children born by C-section.
I was born and raised on the land in Kurnai country in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, and now live in beautiful sunny Queensland.
After finishing secondary school, I completed my general nursing course at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne and my midwifery course at Dandenong hospital, now Monash Health.
My nursing training taught me the importance of respecting everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable.
"I loved every minute of my nursing course and often felt guilty being paid for something I enjoyed so much."
I married my husband in my early twenties together; we had six C-section births over the next 15 years. In between babies, I worked as a midwife with four decades of career. I cared for thousands of women after caesarean births during my clinical practice.
My birthing experiences, particularly the birth trauma from a failed anaesthetic, have increased empathy for women recovering after caesarean birth. Aware of the minimal postnatal education and follow-up support for women after C-sections, I decided to do something about it.
Thus the birth of 'Caesarcare', an online service-based business offering childbirth education, helping women understand and self-manage the postpartum period.
In today's busy world, complicated by COVID, I know that women are not always attending antenatal classes or getting the information they need for a smooth recovery.
There are so many considerations for comfort, healing and prevention of complications that women need to understand after this major surgery.
One day, while I was preparing a wound splint from a rolled-up towel for a new mum, her partner, who had been watching me, asked, "Why wasn't a dedicated device available in this day and age"?
That got me thinking.……
After several months of unsuccessful searching for a wound splint device, I decided to design one myself. It took several months of research and development before the SAC splint was born. SAC is an acronym for Surgical After Care. The SAC splint is now authorised as a class 1 medical device by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (ATGA). It was shortlisted in the Innovation category for Nurse / Midwife of the year during the 2019 Australian Healthcare Week.
My work's mission is built on empathy, compassion, love and respect for women who need to give birth by caesarean section. I am passionate about empowering women to achieve the best possible outcomes through knowledge, skill and dedicated resources. Caesarcare offers free and paid content to equip women with the latest evidence-based strategies.
"I am a 'Midwife on a Mission' to educate and empower women and their carers for life after Caesarean birth."
I believe all women should be treated with dignity and respect and be given the accurate, research-based risks and benefits of their surgery and information about the recovery process.
"My commitment is to bring you the best of what I know from research and keep it accurate and honest. "
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. I'm thrilled we're connected, and I hope this is the start of a new enriching and beneficial relationship.
'Where passion meets pain, we find purpose'®
Daniellle McAlpine Johnson