Celebrating our Midwives: Heff Heffernan


Celebrating Midwife Heff: As told to Home Birth Canterbury by Jess

I had a homebirth for our first baby who was born in June. Our Midwife was Heff (Joan-Mary) Heffernan of Home and Waterbirth Midwives and, my goodness, I could not rate her enough!!

A friend had recommended her to us and we arranged to meet with her to discuss her being our midwife. She greeted us with a warm smile and an even warmer hug and we pretty much knew that she was the midwife for us! We had a chat about all the serious stuff and were just as sure. Initially, we weren’t going to have a homebirth and Heff never pushed the issue but after Burwood Maternity closed (the first time) we explored our options and thought more seriously about homebirth. We met with our friends Amy and Paddy to discuss their experience and we completely fell in love with the idea. Heff was so excited when we told her that’s what we wanted.

Throughout the whole process Heff was nurturing and empowering. This was our first baby and I felt so safe in her hands.

On the day of the birth she couldn’t be our primary midwife as we were her 3rd birth in something crazy like 48 hours but she made sure she was our secondary midwife. I had a very short labour so it was amazing for her to be there. Cree, her back up and our primary on the day, was lovely too.

Supporting Jess

My favourite memory of her being there is as I went into transition in the pool. I started to panic as I could literally feel my hips separating. She came over to me, embraced me and whispered “you are a strong and powerful woman”, and a sense of calm went around the room. She kept her hand at the top of my chest for a bit too to help regulate my breathing.

Heff calms Jess during transition

I could not have asked for a better Midwife experience. A few friends have said that they wouldn’t use theirs again but I cried when I said goodbye to Heff at our 6 week discharge appointment. Hopefully I’ll see her for a coffee soon and will definitely be asking for her for number 2!!

Heff Heffernan is a midwife with Home & Waterbirth Midwives


Photos shared with permission. Photography by Bloom Photography NZ.

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