A midwife is someone who provides advice and supports your care throughout your pregnancy.
Who is a midwife?
A midwife provides advice, support and care throughout your pregnancy and for 6 weeks after delivery of your baby. A midwife can also provide education and parenting information for you and your family/whānau.
What can a midwife help with?
A midwife can be your lead maternity carer (LMC) when you are pregnant. The maternity care provided by your midwife is free. You can find a midwife here or ask your GP or nurse about finding a midwife in your area. If you choose a specialist doctor to be your LMC, you will need to pay for the service.
Your midwife will be your go-to person if you have any questions or concerns related to your pregnancy, labour and your baby's care until your baby is 6 weeks old. Some of the specific things they will do include to:
- discuss and develop a plan with you for your care during pregnancy, labour and after delivery
- provide advice about healthy lifestyle during pregnancy
- stay with you during labour and birth
- refer you or your baby to a specialist or other healthcare providers if needed
- organise screening tests and checks for you and your baby
- provide education on breastfeeding
- after delivery, visit you and your baby in hospital or in your home
- refer your baby to a Well Child Tamariki Ora provider
- help you to enrol your baby at a general practice.
Read more about maternity care in New Zealand.
Where does a midwife work?
A midwife can work in different locations such as:
- birth centres
- people's homes
- the community.
What training does a midwife have?
A midwife has to do at least 3–4 years of training at university and be registered with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand to work in New Zealand. Find out about different training options to become a midwife on the Careers NZ website.