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National Women's Health as your Lead Maternity Carer (LMC)

If you live in the ADHB area, you can choose a National Women’s Health community midwife as your lead maternity carer (LMC). Our community midwives are supported by core midwives, who work in our Labour and Birthing Suite and look after women on our wards.

You can be referred to National Women’s Health by your GP or you can self-refer through our Walk-in Centre, which is on the 6th floor of the Greenlane Clinical Centre. Once your information is received by us, you can expect to be contacted by your LMC midwife within two weeks for an appointment.

Cultural considerations
Cost
Antenatal care (community midwife)
Hospital care (core midwives)
Postnatal care (community midwifes)
High-risk care (medical midwives and specialists)
High-risk midwife as your LMC
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Network

Cultural considerations

Our services aim to sensitively and effectively meet the needs of Maori women. We also have a commitment to providing a quality service for the many different cultural groups living in Auckland. An interpreting service is available.

Cost

Maternity care is provided free of charge if:

  • You are a New Zealand resident or citizen
  • You are an Australian resident or citizen who has lived, or is intending to live, in New Zealand for a minimum of two years
  • Your baby’s father is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident (or an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is living in New Zealand and intends to stay for two years or longer)
If you’re not sure whether you qualify for free healthcare, contact the Finance Department on (09) 638 0420 or visit the Ministry of Health website.

Antenatal care (community midwife)

If you choose to have a National Women’s midwife as your LMC, we will provide you with a community midwife. Her role is to care for you before your baby is born (antenatal period), which means:
  • monitoring the health of you and your baby
  • providing information on recommended tests and options, so that you can make informed decisions
  • identifying complications if they arise
  • organising input from our specialist doctors when it’s required
  • organising help from other health professionals – such as physiotherapists and health social workers – when it’s required
Your first appointment with your community midwife will last about 1 ½ hours - enough time for you to get to know her and share information. After that, your antenatal appointments will take about 30 minutes. During that time your midwife will check your blood pressure, test your urine, listen to your baby’s heartbeat and answer any questions you may have. Your appointments will take place at the Greenlane Clinical Centre or at one of our community clinics held in various GP surgeries around Auckland.

Usually antenatal appointments are monthly up to 32 weeks, fortnightly to 36 weeks, then weekly until the birth of your baby. This pattern can be altered if you have special needs.

Your community midwife will only be available during the day. You will be given the Labour and Birthing Suite phone number to contact if you think you are in labour or if you have an urgent after hours concern. For non-urgent issues after hours and during the weekend, you can phone the community midwife message line (your midwife will give you the number).

Hospital care (core midwives)

Labour and birth

For your labour and birth you will be cared for by the midwives in the Labour and Birthing Suite, which is located on Level 9 of Auckland City Hospital. The suite has 14 birthing rooms with bathrooms; six of the rooms also have a pool for pain relief during labour and for giving birth. If you’d like a room with a pool, we’ll do our best to accommodate you at the time. The Labour and Birthing Suite is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Postnatal stay (Birthcare, Ward 96, Ward 98 and Tamaki)

Birthcare and National Women’s Health work in partnership to provide postnatal care. Birthcare is a standalone maternity unit adjacent to the Auckland Domain.
If you and your baby are well, three to four hours after the birth you will need to transfer to Birthcare. Alternatively, you may decide to go straight home.

If you or your baby require medical supervision (such as after a caesearean birth), you will both be transferred to a ward. Once you and your baby are well, you may be transferred to Birthcare.

If you stay at National Women’s Health for your postnatal recovery, the length of your stay will vary according to your individual needs. On average, women who have had a vaginal birth will stay up to 48 hours and women who have had a caesarean section will stay up to 5 days.

Whether you stay in a ward or at Birthcare, midwives will provide around-the-clock support for you and breastfeeding and baby care.

Postnatal care (community midwife)

Once you have been discharged from hospital or Birthcare, a community midwife will visit you at home within 24 hours. It’s important to make sure that we have your correct contact details (living address, phone numbers) before you leave the hospital.

The community midwife will arrange regular visits to check your health, your baby’s health and provide help for breastfeeding problems.

During the first week, you can expect at least two visits – more if you went straight home after the birth.

  • After the first week, the midwife will visit you every week until your baby is four to six weeks old.
  • Then you will be referred to the Well Child provider you have chosen for your baby, as well as community support groups that you might find helpful.

If you gave birth at National Women’s Health but live outside the ADHB area, your at-home postnatal care will be provided by community midwives attached to your nearest hospital.

High-risk care (medical midwives and specialists)

If you have complex medical problems, such as diabetes or heart disease, National Women’s Health has a team of specialised midwives and doctors to help you during your pregnancy.

  • Your self employed midwife will be able to continue to provide LMC care if you are well enough, or you may need to transfer your LMC care to our medical or diabetic service.
  • If you have one of our medical or diabetes midwives as your LMC, she will coordinate all the care and treatment you need.

High-risk midwife as your LMC

If you have one of the high-risk midwives as your LMC, it is likely that you will need more than the usual number of antenatal appointments. You may also need to see a range of health professionals.

When you go into labour, your care will be provided by the midwives in Labour and Birthing Suite. After you have had your baby, your postnatal stay will be provided at Birthcare or National Women’s Health, depending on whether you and your baby are well.

At home, postnatal care will be provided by a National Women’s Health community midwife if you live in the ADHB area. If you live outside this area, your postnatal care will be transferred to the nearest hospital.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine Network

For more information about high-risk pregnancy care, you can visit the New Zealand Maternal Fetal Medicine Network (NZMFMN) page on the Health Point website. Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) is the branch of healthcare that is concerned with care for women whose unborn babies are at high risk.
National Women's Health
Phone: 09 307 4949
Email:
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