What is a registered midwife?
Midwives are formally trained and fully integrated primary healthcare professionals who provide comprehensive care to women during pregnancy, labour and birth, and the first six weeks post delivery. Around the world most babies are born into the hands of capable midwives. The term ‘Registered Midwife’ is a protected title and indicates that I have met the standards to register with the NZ College of Midwives, and that I maintain my status through ongoing re certification and training. In NZ, an independent midwife is also referred as LMC's (Lead Maternity Carer)
What other qualifications do I have?
I am a Registered Nurse as well as a Registered Midwife, having over 24 years experience.
What if there is an emergency during the birth?
I am trained to handle a variety of emergencies that might occur during labour and at the time of birth, and am annually re certified in adult and neonatal resuscitation. For an unexpected home birth, I carry resuscitation equipment and drugs to control haemorrhages. I am trained to suture tears and episiotomies.
What if I need a caesarean section ("c- section")?
If you require a caesarean section, your care will be transferred to the hospital doctor for the delivery but I will remain present and be part of your health care team the whole time. Your follow-up care at home remains the same whether you have a vaginal or caesarean birth.
What are the advantages of my care?
In studies where midwifery care was compared to doctor-led care Midwifery clients experienced lower rates of forceps, vacuum extractions, caesarean sections, episiotomies, infections and babies born requiring resuscitation.
I encourage you to make informed choices about your care, and to have access to all routine medical testing during your pregnancy (including blood tests, genetic testing and ultrasounds). In addition, you benefit from knowing and trusting me as your midwife. Paramount to my midwifery practice is that women feel respected and supported so that they are able to experience pregnancy, give birth, and become mothers with power and dignity.
I’ve been told that I’m “high risk.” Can I still have you as my midwife?
Being a nurse as well as a midwife I have a very broad experience, and am used to caring for high risk pregnancies. If you are “high risk” I will also refer you to an appropriate specialist at ChCh Women's’ Hospital who will work with me in order to keep you and baby safe and well.
Do you work with other health care professionals/specialists?
I value the relationship I have developed over the years with many kinds of specialists including physicians, nurses, obstetricians, paediatricians and lactation consultants. I am trained to recognise the indications of when to consult with these colleagues.I also work very happily with private obstetricians
Can I have pain medication during labour with as you as my midwife?
Yes. The appropriate use of a range of natural and pharmaceutical pain relief options (including epidurals) is part of my midwifery scope of care. I will support your choice of pain relief options during labour.
So, when do I make contact with you?
As soon as you have a positive pregnancy test !
I can also formally confirm the pregnancy with a simple blood test if you have not had one. Call me, and I look forward to meeting with you and your loved ones as you begin the transforming journey of pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
How often do I see me during the pregnancy?
Generally, your pregnancy appointments will follow the standard antenatal schedule: every 4 weeks until you are 32 weeks pregnant, every 2 weeks until you are 38 weeks pregnant and weekly thereafter until you have your baby.
I remain on-call for you and am always able to be reached 24hrs a day for urgent situations.
How long are antenatal appointments?
Antenatal care plays an important role in establishing a trusting relationship with me and preventing and detecting any problems that can arise in pregnancy. Appointments are 30 minutes long. This gives you and I lots of time to get to know each other, ask questions and to help you prepare for birth and for caring for your baby. I provide you with education, health promotion and clinical assessment. In addition, I pay close attention to the social, spiritual and emotional aspects of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. When needed I can order the same lab tests and ultrasounds and prescribe many of the same medications as doctors do.
Can my partner or my other children come to my appointments?
Certainly ! You are welcome to bring whichever support people you would like. Antenatal appointments are a great opportunity for your partner to meet me and have questions answered, and for your children to get comfortable with me and to participate in your pregnancy. My appointment rooms are equipped with books and toys for children.
What about my labour?
By the time your labour begins, I am aware of your wishes and plans. We will have already discussed important issues requiring your decision-making, as well as what to expect at the time of birth and during the first weeks post delivery. Commonly, you will be in touch with me by phone during early labour and I will be with you once your labour is active. I will also stay with you for the first few hours following the birth.
How often do I see you after delivery?
After you have had baby I will usually see you in the hospital twice, then (in your home) about two times in the first week. Then over the next month I will come over three or four times until your baby’s care is taken over by your 'Well Child Provider' (such as Plunket). However, I often adapt this schedule to ensure that you get the personalised care that you need.
I remain on-call for you and your baby until baby is 6 weeks old; you can still reach me 24hrs a day for urgent situations.
At the close of my care, I will provide you with a complete copy of your records and refer you both back to your family doctor for ongoing care.
It is not necessary for your baby to see a doctor or paediatrician during this time unless a significant medical concern arises, at which point I would refer you to the appropriate specialist.