Uniquely New Zealand.
In New Zealand women can choose to have the same midwife, or doctor care for them from early pregnancy through birth and up to six weeks afterwards as part of the country’s maternity services. These practitioners are the woman’s ‘LMC’ or Lead Maternity Carer with whom she contracts to access all funded supports such as pharmacy, pathology, radiology and, or hospital services as needed, in accordance with national guidelines. Maternity care has been free for all New Zealand women since 1938. The legislative support for women’s choice of a midwife was included in 1990, following a long campaign by women and midwives led by Joan Donley. Continue reading
Reports about the latest release of the Ministry of Health’s ‘Maternity Clinical Indicators’ suggest that either; reporters and some consumer organisations do not understand the origins and meaning of these ‘indicators’, or they have no concern for the welfare of healthy, first-time mothers and their babies?
The various rates of different childbirth interventions reported last month by the MOH, including Cesarean section rates, are the outcomes ONLY for women who are ‘standard primipara’; that is they are healthy, first-time mothers “aged between 20 and 34 years at the time of birth in a hospital or birthing unit”, whose birth of a single, head first baby at term followed a pregnancy with no “recorded obstetric complications that are indications for specific obstetric intervention.” The healthy circumstances of these women means they are amongst the most likely individuals who should have had a normal or natural labour and birth. Or as this report says, this group should have had “low intervention and complication rates ………… consistent across hospitals”. Continue reading