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About Maternity Associates

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Mission Statement

Philosophy of Midwifery Care

Midwifery care takes place in partnership with women. Continuity of midwifery care enhances and protects the normal process of childbirth.

Midwifery is holistic by nature: combining an understanding of the social, emotional, cultural, spiritual psychological and physical ramifications of women’s reproductive health experience; actively promoting and protecting women’s wellness; promoting health awareness in woman’s significant others; enhancing the health status of the baby when the pregnancy is ongoing.

Midwifery is: dynamic in its approach; based on an integration of knowledge that is derived from the arts and the sciences; tempered by experience and research; collaborative with other health professionals.

Midwifery is a profession concerned with the promotion of women’s health. It is centred upon sexuality and reproduction and an understanding of women as healthy individuals progressing through the life cycle.

Midwifery care is delivered in a manner that is flexible, creative, empowering and supportive.

From: Midwives Handbook for practice: NZ College of Midwives Inc. 2002 Christchurch, New Zealand.

Definition and Scope of Practice

The New Zealand Midwife accepts the World Health Organisation definition of a midwife as adopted by the International Confederation of Midwives 1972 and International Federation of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians 1973, which reads:

A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational programme, duly recognised in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practise midwifery

To practise as a midwife in New Zealand, the midwife must have an annual practising certificate issued by midwifery’s regulatory body.

The Scope of Practice of the Midwife

The midwife works in partnership with women, on her own professional responsibility and accountability to give women the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to facilitate births and to provide care for the new born.

The midwife promotes and supports the normal childbirth process, identifies complications in mother and baby, accesses appropriate medical assistance and implements emergency measures as necessary.

Midwives have an important role in health and wellness promotion and education for the woman, her family and the community.

Midwifery practice involves informing and preparing the women and her family for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenthood and extends to certain areas of women’s health, family planning and infant wellbeing.

The midwife may practice in any setting including in the home, the community, hospitals, clinics, health units, or in any other maternity service.

The Standards for Midwifery Practice

The New Zealand College of Midwives’ Philosophy and Code of Ethics are the foundation for midwifery practice.

The Standards of Practice provide the benchmark for measuring actual practice and appropriate usage of midwifery’s body of knowledge.

They identify a series of actions that are essential to the development and maintenance of the midwifery partnership with women.

Partnership refers to the purposeful relationship between the midwife and the woman. It may be long or short term depending on the context in which the midwife works.

Continuity refers to the ongoing relationship between the woman and her primary midwife, including the midwife’s backup, throughout the woman’s total maternity experience.

The Treaty of Waitangi is the constitutional foundation agreement between Maori and the Crown, which incorporates the principles of partnership, protection and participation.

Code of Ethics
Responsibilities to the Wider Community