What is an LMC?
A lead maternity carer (LMC) is responsible for your care throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth. They also care for you and your baby until your baby is six weeks old.
They have the legal, professional and practical responsibility for making sure you and your baby receive appropriate maternity care.
An LMC can be any of the following:
- A self-employed midwife cares for you during your pregnancy, labour and birth, and when you are at home with your baby.
- Hospital employed midwives work within a team. Together they will care for you during your pregnancy, birth, and when you are at home with your baby.
- A private obstetrician cares for you during your pregnancy, labour and birth and works with self-employed midwives when you are at home with your baby. A private obstetrician charges a fee. Having a private obstetrician does not mean you will get private care if you birth at Auckland Hospital.
Your chosen LMC may provide all maternity care, or may share care with one or more practitioners.
How do I find an LMC?
For help with finding a midwife, visit the Find Your Midwife page on Healthpoint(external link).
If you live in the Auckland DHB area(external link), you can select to have one of our National Women's Health community midwives as your LMC.
You can also visit our Walk-in Centre for help finding an LMC.
What things will my LMC help with?
Your LMC will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with things including:
- Developing a plan for your care, including labour and birth.
- Reviewing your general health, including any medical or mental health conditions.
- Regular antenatal visits.
- Visiting you or arranging for you to be visited at the hospital and in your home at least seven times after your baby is born.
- Referring you to your chosen Well Child/Tamariki Ora provider(external link) after the birth of your baby. The midwife will typically hand you over to these services after five weeks.
- Helping you to enrol your baby at a general practice for doctor and practice nurse services.
Questions to ask your LMC
- How many women do you care for who are due to give birth each month?
- How long can I expect my antenatal appointments to be?
- How does your backup system work when you are not available?
- What choices do you offer regarding place of birth?
- What is your philosophy regarding keeping birth normal wherever possible, and how would you support me to do this?
- Do you usually visit women at home during early labour?
- Are you happy to support me to use water during labour and birth if this is appropriate?
- What is your philosophy on the use of episiotomy during birth?
- How long do you provide care for following the birth?