Results show New Zealand women and their babies in good hands

Interested in home birth, hospital birth or private midwifery care? Questions or comments? Email Melissa Maimann or call 0400 418 448. Link

New data has confirmed that newly qualified midwives are providing care that compares very well with the care provided by more experienced midwives.

The Midwifery and Maternity Providers Organisation (MMPO) figures show that women who gave birth under the care of a newly qualified midwife in 2008, had vaginal birth, breastfeeding, caesarean and postpartum haemorrhage rates comparable with those under the care of more experienced midwives.

These data cannot be used to support the safety of care by newly qualified midwives; rather, outcomes such as need for resuscitation, admission to special care / intensive care nurseries, mortality, morbidity etc need to be analysed.

... "New Zealand midwives receive intensive and extensive training and education ... the equivalent of a four year degree ... Student midwives are involved with more than 100 births as a minimum training requirement and are required to undertake (manage) 40 births of which 10 can be for women having forceps, ventouse or caesarean births and are also required to provide care for 40 women who are experiencing complications during pregnancy, birth or during the postnatal period.

... before they can be registered, midwifery students in NZ have to:

1. Successfully complete a Bachelor of Midwifery programme at one of the four accredited Midwifery Schools (attached to tertiary institutions/universities); 2. Have the required amount of practical experience by observing 25 births, undertaking 40 normal births on their own responsibility & being involved in a further 40 complicated pregnancies or births. This compares to the current obstetrician training requirement to attend 20 normal births. 3. Attain a pass mark of at least 70% for each theory and 100% for each clinical paper as part of the undergraduate degree 4. Pass the National Midwifery Examination set by the Midwifery Council; and 5. Satisfy the Midwifery Council that they are fit for registration as defined by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448