May 5 each year is the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives. This year’s theme is: The world needs midwives today more than ever; and the sub theme is: Midwives: for a better tomorrow.
The midwifery profession has a significant role to play in shaping the future in dynamic ways at multiple levels. Midwifery is ‘being with women’ and has been expanded over the years as midwives have become involved not only with women and families, but also with policy development, funding allocation, strategic planning and collaborating with other key service providers to promote the best outcomes for mothers, babies and families.
Within the MidCentral District three recent examples of midwives working with women and other key services to improve outcomes for mothers and babies are:
• Women have been encouraged to register early with the lead maternity carers through the ‘5 things to do in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy’ programme.
• Development of an early pregnancy collaborative clinical pathway within the Map of Medicine has seen midwives and GPs working together.
• Women with identified vulnerabilities (medical, social, fetal anomalies) will be referred to the newly established wrap-around service called Pāruru Mōwai (calm haven for mothers and babies).
Midwifery leadership is essential to the promotion of collaborative maternity services and succession planning is critical to future workforce development.
Midwives are involved in leadership roles on local and national projects. Such projects include: the Maternity Clinical Information System implementation (MCIS); the Maternity Safe Staffing Advisory Group; and local/regional chairs of the New Zealand College of Midwives.
Midwives provide intimate and at times emotionally draining care to women which can result in compassion fatigue. In an effort to reduce compassion fatigue and to promote wellbeing of the hospital midwives MidCentral Health recently completed a pilot of midwives attending professional support.
The evaluation of this pilot is pending with the anticipation being that midwives will be offered the opportunity for professional midwifery support on a regular basis.
The valuable work and commitment of the midwives in this District, both hospital and community, in providing the best care for mothers and babies is acknowledged and appreciated.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945