Home Midwives Professional Standards Consensus Statements

Consensus Statements

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The purpose of the College Consensus Statements is to provide women, midwives and maternity services with the profession’s position on any given situation.

The following Consensus Statements are currently available to download or a full set can be purchased through the shop. The College works closely with health professionals from various disciplines and also has a number of multi-disciplinary guidelines available to ensure best practice.

Alcohol and Pregnancy The New Zealand College of Midwives recognises that there is no known safe level of alcohol consumption at any stage of pregnancy. Therefore parents planning a pregnancy and women who are pregnant should be advised not to drink alcohol.
Antimicrobial Resistance The New Zealand College of Midwives recognises that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious and growing threat to public health including the health of childbearing women and their babies. Midwives have a role in antimicrobial stewardship to reduce antimicrobial resistance.
Artificial Rupture of Membranes The New Zealand College of Midwives does not support the artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) in an uncomplicated physiological labour and birth.
Breastfeeding The New Zealand College of Midwives is committed to the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.
Cervical Smear Taking The New Zealand College of Midwives supports the National Cervical Screening Programme and its guidelines for smear taking.
Complementary Therapies The New Zealand College of Midwives recognises that complementary therapies such as homoeopathy, rongoa, herbal therapy, aromatherapy, naturopathy and acupuncture may have important effects on the progress of pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postnatal period for both the woman and her baby.
Cord Blood Banking The New Zealand College of Midwives believes that evidence of probability of any benefit for routine private cord blood collection needs to be explained to prospective parents in an unbiased manner.
Facilitating the Birth of the Placenta The New Zealand College of Midwives recognises that women can expect physiological placental birth when they have had a physiological labour and birth.
Family Violence The New Zealand College of Midwives considers abuse against women and children is unacceptable and should be eliminated within all societies. During pregnancy family violence should be considered a risk factor that leads to adverse health outcomes.
Fetal Wellbeing Assessment During Pregnancy The New Zealand College of Midwives considers that assessment of fetal wellbeing during pregnancy, to identify those babies at risk, is a routine part of midwifery care.
Gestational Diabetes The New Zealand College of Midwives considers that midwives have an essential role in alerting women to the factors in their history or health status that would advocate screening for gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
HIV Screening in Pregnancy The New Zealand College of Midwives supports discussion between midwives and women on HIV screening in pregnancy.  The pregnant woman determines her risk factors following this discussion and decides whether to undertake HIV screening based on full and culturally appropriate information.
Immunisation The New Zealand College of Midwives recognises the National Immunisation Programme as a public health strategy.
Infant Feeding in Emergencies and Disasters The New Zealand College of Midwives is committed to supporting women and safeguarding the health, well-being and development of infants during emergency and disaster situations.
Informed Consent and Decision Making The New Zealand College of Midwives believes midwifery care takes place in partnership with women. It is the midwife’s professional responsibility to uphold each woman’s right to informed decision making throughout the childbirth experience.
Laboratory Testing and Screening The New Zealand College of Midwives recognises that a registered midwife has the educational background and knowledge to appropriately order and correctly interpret laboratory tests in relation to pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period for women and their newborn.
Long Acting Reversible Contraception The New Zealand College of Midwives recognises that it is within a midwife’s scope of practice to provide advice, access to, and prescription of contraception up to 6 weeks following birth.

Long acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) include sub-cutaneous hormonal implants and intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs) including hormone and non-hormone containing devices.

Mentoring The mentoring relationship is one of negotiated partnership between two registered midwives. Its purpose is to enable and develop professional confidence.
Midwife Prescribing The New Zealand College of Midwives expects that midwives prescribe within their scope of practice and are competent to prescribe for conditions commonly associated with uncomplicated pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal period.
Midwives Using Ultrasound The New Zealand College of Midwives’ position on midwives performing ultrasound for diagnostic purposes is that it is not a core competency required of a registered midwife in New Zealand.
Normal Birth The New Zealand College of Midwives is committed to protecting, promoting and supporting normal birth.
Oral Health The New Zealand College of Midwives supports the primary health strategy in relation to oral health for women and their families.
Prescribing and Administering Opioid Analgesia in Labour The New Zealand College of Midwives does not advocate the use of the routine opioid analgesia for intrapartum pain relief.
Prescribing Drugs Unapproved for use in Maternity Care or for the Newborn The New Zealand College of Midwives’ position is that drugs that are unapproved for use in maternity care or for the newborn should not be promoted or prescribed by a midwife on her own responsibility.
Reducing the Risk of Developing Pre-eclampsia The New Zealand College of Midwives considers that midwives have an essential role in alerting women to the factors in their obstetric or health history that make them at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
Roles and Responsibilities in the Hospital Setting The New Zealand College of Midwives expects that self employed and employed midwives will respect each other’s right to autonomous practice and their accountability for that practice.
Safe Sleeping for Baby The New Zealand College of Midwives supports current public health messages about safe sleeping recommendations to ensure every New Zealand baby has a safe sleep, in every place, at every sleep.
Sexually Transmitted Infections The New Zealand College of Midwives promotes discussion between midwives and women on the risks associated with Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) during pregnancy and the options available for screening.
Social Media The New Zealand College of Midwives considers all midwives and midwifery students should ensure professionalism in all on-line postings, sharing and other on-line activity.
The Role of Non-regulated Support People The New Zealand College of Midwives believes midwives are the appropriately qualified and responsible health professionals to provide safe, effective and quality care to mothers and babies. The College believes that doulas, health care assistants and maternity assistants are not a substitute for midwives.
The Use of Water for Labour and Birth The New Zealand College of Midwives supports warm water immersion for women during labour as a method of pain management.
Tongue-tie (Ankyloglossia) The New Zealand College of Midwives believes that all District Health Boards should have a free, equitable, accessible and timely service along with consistent assessment and referral pathways for the release of tongue tie when it is having an impact on breastfeeding.
Vaginal Birth after Caesarean Section The New Zealand College of Midwives supports vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC) as a safe option for the majority of women, and does not support routine elective repeat caesarean section.
Vitamin K Prophylaxis for the
Newborn
The New Zealand College of Midwives recognises the administration of Vitamin K as a prophylactic intervention in the prevention of Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB) in the newborn.