How to find a Lead Maternity Carer:
Note: GPs in the Hutt Valley do not currently offer maternity care.
Once you have confirmed you are pregnant the first thing you need to do is find a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC). Ideally, see them before you are 10 weeks pregnant so you can arrange the tests you will need during your pregnancy.
Every woman in pregnancy should have an LMC, who will monitor your wellbeing and how your baby is doing. See the links above. This may be a midwife or obstetrician. There are two choices for an LMC in the Hutt Valley:
A Community midwife
The DHB fluctuates between 35 and 45 LMC midwives; currently there are 36 community-based case-loading midwives with primary access agreements providing lead maternity care.They care for women and their families from the beginning of pregnancy up to six weeks after the birth. This is a free service paid for by the Ministry of Health if you are eligible.
Midwives usually work in group practices, so they have ‘back up’ if needed (to cover sickness, days off, etc.). You may be seen in a clinic or some midwives provide some home visits. They also work closely with the hospital’s midwives and maternity unit.
What to look for in a midwife click here for more information https://www.midwife.org.nz/women-in-new-zealand/what-to-look-for-in-a-midwife
Not all LMCs offer home birth. If you are interested in having your baby at home ask the LMC if they provide this service.
A private obstetrician
You may decide that you want a private obstetrician to be your LMC. They will charge for their services.
Obstetricians are doctors who specialise in pregnancy and childbirth. They provide antenatal care at private clinic rooms and manage your labour and the birth. For your labour and birth care they use the services of the midwives from the hospital.
Hospital obstetricians are not available as LMCs. You may be referred to this service for health reasons. This is called the "Secondary Care Obstetric Clinic” and the service is free of charge if you are eligible.
There are no GPs in the Hutt Valley that offer maternity care but it is important that both you and your baby are enrolled with a GP practice in your area. You will need to access a GP for any non pregnancy related medical needs.
Hutt Maternity have a staff of core midwives and nurses employed by the DHB. They work rotating 8 hour shifts. They offer hospital-base support for LMCs, and provide post-natal care to all women when in hospital.
You may have hospital midwifery care if:
- Your pregnancy care is with the DHB Primary Midwives Team
- Your pregnancy care is with the DHB Secondary Care Team
- You don’t have an LMC
- You arrive at hospital before your LMC arrives (a hospital midwife will offer support and care until they do)
- You stay in the postnatal ward for a period of time after your baby is born
If you are unable to find an LMC contact Maternity Enquiries administration staff: Ph. 566 6999 ext. 8163 for assistance
Te Awakirangi - Melling birthing centre
Melling Birthing Centre now offer a LMC Midwifery Service to women that are unable to find a midwife to provide their primary care. The Birthing Centre offers a 24/7 midwifery care and telephone service. This is a free midwifery service the same as any other LMC midwifery service.
All the midwives employed by the Birthing Centre are experienced primary care midwives that support women who wish to have a primary birth experience in the Birthing Centre.