It’s a big decision for your birth journey because your midwife will be your key health professional through your pregnancy, labour and birth and during those early weeks of motherhood.
Over 100 Waikato midwives are registered as lead maternity carers (LMCs) on the Find your midwife website. Or you may want to ask friends and relatives.
- For women who live in rural areas there fewer local midwives to choose from, so start looking as early as possible.
- You can contact and talk to a few LMC midwives before you make your decision to select your midwife.
- You can change your LMC midwife at any point during your pregnancy.
- It’s important that you find an LMC midwife that you are comfortable with.
The Ministry of Health also has good information on choosing a lead maternity carer and questions to ask to help you choose your midwife.
Some suggestions from other mums - things to think about
- If you have a particular birth centre in mind or would like to birth at Waikato Hospital – does your midwife have an “access agreement” with that facility? An access agreement means that the midwife can access that facility with her client for labour birth and postnatal care.
- Would you like to explore having a home birth – does the midwife you have selected provide home birth care?
- Midwives also have holidays, family commitments and time away. You may want to ask if your midwife has any planned time away near your due date. You may also want to ask who is your midwife’s partner /back up is? If you can meet them / talk to them? How they can be contacted if your midwife is not available? Because this person may provide care for you at some stage, for example your antenatal appointments, visit you after the birth or possibly be involved in your labour and birth care.
- Talk to the midwife you have chosen about antenatal visits and postnatal care. Particularly home visits in the postnatal period if you live in a rural area.
- If you have an induction of labour or require an epidural, ask your midwife is she will be involved in your care for these processes. Ask your midwife if she will be with you for your labour and birth sharing your care with the hospital team or if she will transfer your care to the hospital team. Some LMC midwives hold certification to monitor and care for you in labour at Waikato Hospital if you need additional pain relief such as epidural or if you need to be induced (labour started in hospital). You may want to ask your midwife if they hold this particular certification if they do it means that they will provide your care during labour and help you deliver your baby.