About the birth of C-section recovery resources.
I was born and raised on a cattle and sheep farm in Kurnai country in Eastern Victoria, Australia. I grew up with a creative spirit, always making something new whether it be in the kitchen, the sewing room or the farm workshop. I also showed a love of caring for others, particularly babies and elders. After finishing high school I studied nursing at a major city hospital and later completed my midwifery course to become a double certificate Nurse and Midwife.
After working in clinical practice for over 3 decades, I reached a point where I was no longer enjoying my work. The increased workloads and staff shortages left me feeling distressed that women weren't getting all the care they needed and deserved. One day in my hurriedness, I severely rolled my ankle and ruptured a tendon in my foot. The injury caused months of pain and difficulty walking causing me to work reduced hours. Some time later, I began to view my injury as a catalyst for change and chose to walk away from the work I had once loved. I returned to nursing working in a variety of specialities for some months, however my passion for being with women in birth eventually drew me back to midwifery.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been somewhat of an empath so after my own c-sections, the capacity to empathise with women grew. I can readily identify with a woman’s fear and pain associated with surgical birth. I learnt the importance of supporting the wound during any sudden movements such as coughing, sneezing or vomiting in order to protect the five layers of stitches from separating at any level either internally or externally. Commonly nurses and midwives would use a rolled up towel, taped into place for women to hold as a splint for their wounds.
One of the things I’m often asked is "How on earth did you get started in all this?"
One day whilst I was preparing a towel for a new mum, her partner who had been observing the process, challenged me as to why there wasn’t a dedicated device available in this day and age. That got me thinking.
I spent several months looking for a wound splint to no avail. This led me to the idea of designing and manufacturing a splint, so after several months of research and development, the SAC splint was born. SAC being an acronym for Surgical After Care. The SAC splint is now authorised for use as a class 1 medical device by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and I was thrilled to be shortlisted for Nurse / Midwife of the year during the 2019 Australian Healthcare Week, for my invention of the SAC splint.
The success of the SAC splint sparked in me the idea to create a one stop online site for education and resources, primarily to reach out and care for women who birth their babies by C-section. I believe it is important that women know the vital role they can play in self care during the recovery process.
This idea resulted in the founding of ‘Caesarcare’, offering medical devices, education, consultations and resources for women and general patients preparing for surgery. Our innovative products & services, help empower patients for optimal healing and recovery post surgery.
"I believe you must actively participate in your own care to optimise healing and recovery"
That means understanding the rationale behind post surgery advice and restrictions. I believe the best post-operative outcomes are achieved by incorporating the services of interdisciplinary health care professionals to attend to the needs of mind, body and spirit, inclusive of each individual’s unique cultural and spiritual practices .
Most importantly, I believe that no matter what your obstacles, you have the power to overcome. My philosophy is largely borne out of my own life experiences, in particular two near death experiences. The first was when I was six years old when sepsis nearly took my life and the second was during a very complex c-section and near catastrophic hemorrhage.
In addition to my clinical practice, my work as a sessional academic teaching undergraduate midwives core subjects for many years has given me many new insights. I am a passionate life long learner and have been fortunate to have many great teachers throughout my life. I include my partner and six amazing children amongst them as they continue to help expand my own ideas and challenge me. I strive to live a fully creative, compassionate and meaningful life.
My company’s mission is built on a bedrock of love and nurturing and a passion for empowering patients to achieve the best possible outcomes through knowledge and dedicated resources. Caesarcare offers both free and paid content designed to equip patients with the latest evidence based practice.
I have cared for thousands of women post c-section and surgical patients over the past four decades, in addition to being a patient myself. I may not have all the answers but I can point people in the right direction with all of their questions.
My commitment is to bring you the very best of what I know, and to keep it real 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 and enriching and beneficial relationship.
Lots of love, Leonie