After three decades working in obstetrics, Dr Anna Bof has lost count of how many babies she’s delivered. The figure, she says, is likely to be well over 2000.
But even after working with so many expectant parents, Anna still loves what she gets to do for a job every day.
“I really enjoy the fact that when you first see a patient or a couple they come with all the expectations of meeting their baby,” says Anna.
“You show them their baby on the screen when it’s so tiny, then you go through the ups and downs of pregnancy with them, especially if they are high risk, and then you get to be there when they see their lovely baby delivered.
“It can be an amazingly empowering event for the parents. I love being able to see the baby develop and sharing in that wonderful experience with them.
“Having worked for so many years now, it’s been wonderful to be a part of whole families from the beginning and seeing the younger siblings grow.
“There’s the gynaecology part too – helping women through issues from the start to the end of their reproductive life, educating and offering support.”
At school, Anna flirted with the idea of a number of different professions before she decided she wanted to be a doctor. She considered hairdressing, teaching, before ultimately deciding medicine would be a great way to do something to help people.
Anna says having a genuine passion for obstetrics and a calm demeanour as well as good skills is critical for anyone wanting a long career in the field.
“It’s extremely demanding personally… you have to love it to be able to give yourself to it.
“You also need that passion to help you cope when things don’t go well…. like a foetal death and you need good skills to get you through the emergencies.’’
Today Anna sees private patients at her rooms at North East Women’s Health at St Morris and delivers babies at North Eastern Community Hospital, as well as helping with high-risk pregnancies in the public system at Lyell McEwin.
“We’ve created a really good practice here (at North East Women’s Health). It’s not just coming for a visit, it’s getting a whole experience and learning new things. We have really good midwives and receptionists that help to care for our mums and dads.
Some of our midwives also work at North Eastern, which is really good for the mums. They get to know the midwives and then they see them at the hospital, which is a nice continuity.”
Anna has lived in the area since her childhood and loves the family-friendly environment at North Eastern.
“North Eastern Community Hospital is my local hospital. They have a good maternity unit, with a great group of midwives who interact and look after each other and their patients which is really rewarding for mums, dads and their family, and they are well supported by other areas in the hospital.
“Because it’s not a big hospital you get to know almost everyone, from cleaners to management, giving it that family feeling.”