(L to R) Jessica Hampton, Natalie Apikotoa, Purdy Watene-Zelezniak, Nadine Haggart, Leanne Mallard, Jade Grant, Brittney Tamou.

Nepean Hospital caseload midwife Leanne Mallard is well-accustomed to looking after Panther mums and cubs, having amazingly cared for six Panthers partners and their babies in the last 12 months.

Purdy Watene-Zelezniak, wife of Panthers winger Dallin, was the first partner to work with Leanne as the couple prepared for the birth of son Orlando last year.

"Leanne provided the most amazing care and support and I didn't hesitate to recommend her to the other expecting mothers at the club," Purdy said.

"She always made sure to work around Dallin's training schedule and even began coming to games and cheering the team on."

Purdy Watene-Zelezniak with Orlando, and Leanne Mallard.
Purdy Watene-Zelezniak with Orlando, and Leanne Mallard.

Caseload midwifery differs from standard maternity care in that the mother is cared for by the one midwife throughout pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period. This means the mothers come to form a strong and lasting bond with their midwife.

"You can be so vulnerable when you're pregnant and Leanne was always there to provide that loving reassurance that everything is OK," Purdy said.

Leanne has recently cared for the following Panthers partners:

  • Purdy Watene-Zelezniak, partner of Dallin Watene-Zelezniak - baby Orlando born in August 2017
  • Natalie Apikotoa, partner of James Fisher-Harris - baby Tahira born in October 2017
  • Jessica Hampton, partner of Waqa Blake - baby Zara born in December 2017
  • Jade Grant, partner of Sione Katoa - baby Credence born in January 2018
  • Nadine Haggart, partner of Dylan Edwards - baby due in March 2018
  • Brittney Tamou, partner of James Tamou - baby due in June 2018