Pregnancy – what next?
If you’re pregnant or planning to have a baby, MAMA Maternity Information Services can explain how maternity services are provided and help you to find a lead maternity carer (LMC).
Nowadays women can be cared for by a midwife, doctor, private obstetrician or a hospital team during pregnancy, labour, birth and after the baby is born.
The majority of women choose a midwife to be their LMC, although women with pre-existing medical conditions or who develop complications, may need their care supervised by an obstetrician.
MAMA staff can describe the services offered by different providers and help women decide which LMCs qualities will best suit their needs.
They can also provide a list of local maternity providers for women to choose from.
This is a special time in the life of the woman and her family, so it’s important they like and are easily able to communicate with their chosen LMC.
MAMA provides information pamphlets that assist women and their families to find the right LMC for them, and recommends that women contact two or three potential LMCs and choose the one they think will best suit their needs.
MAMA recommends that women find out about their choices for care and care providers early in their pregnancy.
This way they can register with an LMC by the time they are 14 weeks pregnant and receive continuity of care from this LMC throughout the maternity cycle.
However, many women do not realise what options they have and the decisions they need to make until they are part way through their pregnancies and have already registered with a lead maternity carer.
The Ministry of Health recognises the special nature of the relationship between a woman and her LMC.
So they have made it possible for women to change to another care provider, at any time during the maternity cycle, if it becomes clear that the LMC she originally registered with is not able to support the choices the woman makes.
For more information about MAMA Maternity Information, phone 629 5163.
Reassurance: Dramtic vehicle signage reminds women that they can have the ultimate say when it comes to maternity carers.