In New Zealand your maternity care will be provided free of charge (if eligible) through a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) and specialist services provided by the public hospital when required. Most Lead Maternity Carers are midwives, however there are also some GPs and Obstetricians who also are LMC’s. Ultrasound scan’s during pregnancy are also free of charge here is Nelson and Wairau. 

Private obstetric care is available in some areas – please check your local white pages.
You can choose a community based midwife  or a hospital based midwife and you will receive the same free maternity care during your pregnancy, labour and birth and for the first six weeks after your baby is born. You can choose to birth at home or at a hospital.
Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy and childbirth and can provide all of your maternity care when your pregnancy, childbirth and post natal period are normal. If your midwife is concerned about the wellbeing of you or your baby at any time, she will refer you to an obstetrician (free of charge through the hospital) for advice or medical care.
During your pregnancy your midwife will see you regularly to monitor your health and the baby’s well-being. Often this will be done at a midwife’s clinic or rooms, or she may visit you in your home. She will support and advise you throughout your pregnancy, ensuring that you and your baby remain in optimal health.
Attending childbirth education classes are also recommended as you prepare for having a baby.
Your LMC or midwife will care for you during your labour and birth too.  Specialists will also be looking after you or your baby if you need additional care such as caesarean section birth.
Hospital based core midwives will care for you and your baby 24/7 whilst you are in hospital.
Your LMC or midwife will provide care for up to 6 weeks following the birth of your baby. Your midwife will visit you daily whilst you are in hospital and then regularly at home.  If you have had your baby at home, they will provide all of your care following your birth at your home as often as necessary.

Additional hospital services may include:

  • Obstetric and Paediatric Specialists
  • Pukenga Hauora cultural support services
  • Diabetes teams
  • counseling
  • physiotherapy
  • mental health liaison support and other hospital services.
Within the community midwives also work with:
  • Plunket
  • Tamariki Ora services
  • General Practice
  • Social Workers
  • breastfeeding support groups
  • Postnatal Depression Support Network and other community based groups which support and promote the health and wellbeing of women and their families.

Parenting and Pregnancy Education is predominately provided by Wairau and Nelson maternity services and Parents Centre across the region. Additional programmes such as Hypno-birthing are also available in some areas. In Golden Bay the midwives provide the parenting and pregnancy education.