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What to expect from your midwife in New Zealand

The midwife you choose to care for you is responsible for your care throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth, and will continue to look after your and your baby’s care until baby is six weeks old. They (or the midwife they use as a backup) will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will provide you with care and information about the choices you can make. Your midwife will:

  • develop a plan with you for your care, including your labour and birth
  • talk to you about staying healthy during the pregnancy
  • be with you during your labour and birth 
  • refer you or your baby to specialist support if needed. For examples of when referral may be needed, you can check out the Council's Be Safe. paper on Referral Guidelines, or you can go to the full Referral Guidelines
  • visit you (or arrange for you to be visited) at the hospital and in your home at least seven times after your baby is born
  • refer you to your chosen Well Child Tamariki Ora provider after the birth of your baby
  • help you to enrol your baby at a general practice for doctor and practice nurse services.

Your midwife will walk beside you throughout your pregnancy journey. They will check baby’s growth, position and heartbeat, and take your blood pressure and arrange for you to have blood and urine tests. They will also make sure to offer screening tests and scans to check that both you and your baby are developing well. If you decide to have these tests and scans, your midwife will arrange them for you and then explain your results.

Your midwife or specialist doctor will explain how often you will need to be seen during your pregnancy. These visits may be able to take place in your home, at a clinic, on the marae or in a hospital.