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HealthInfo Canterbury

Midwives

Midwives provide maternity care for women from early pregnancy until four to six weeks after birth.

How do I find a midwife?

Pregnant woman touching belly

Find Your Midwife is an online database of members of the New Zealand College of Midwives. It lists profiles that include availability and contact details.

The Midwifery Resource Centre offers a drop-in service for women and their families looking for pregnancy and childbirth information. A midwife is available from 12 pm to 2 pm on most weekdays to answer questions and provide advice.

What qualifications and training do midwives have?

All midwives have a Bachelor of Midwifery degree, followed by mentoring from a senior midwife in their first year of practice. Midwives also undertake continuing education every year to maintain their practising certificates.

Practising midwives register with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand, which regulates the sector. They can also join the New Zealand College of Midwives, which sets professional standards.

Midwives are reviewed every two years, with patient feedback contributing to their evaluation.

Use these feedback forms to provide feedback about a midwife.

What do midwives do?

During pregnancy, labour, birth, and up to six weeks after the baby is born, the midwife:

Where do midwives provide their services?

Midwives work in a variety of settings.

Community midwives provide pregnancy care in a clinic or at your home. Two community midwives attend a home birth. Community midwives are also known as lead maternity carers (LMC). After your baby is born, a community midwife will visit you at least seven times (including five home visits).

Core midwives work shifts in maternity facilities in hospitals and primary birthing units. They care for you if you need to be in hospital during pregnancy or after birth. When the birth takes place, they work alongside your community midwife.

The Canterbury District Health Board primary birthing units are in Lincoln, Rangiora, Ashburton, and Kaikoura.

Is treatment funded or do you have to pay?

Midwifery care in New Zealand is funded for New Zealand residents and other eligible women.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. August 2016.

Page reference: 262040

Review key: HIMDW-262040