The College has developed guidelines to support best practice in whatever context midwifery care occurs. For every clinical situation a midwife experiences, her decision making will be influenced by the context and the choices and needs of the woman for whom she is providing midwifery care. Therefore these guidelines are intended as guidelines only rather than prescribed inflexible protocols which may not allow for the individual woman’s context. In every given situation there must be opportunity for midwives to use sound judgement, to act with sound rationale and acknowledge the context when making decisions.
The following Guidelines are currently available:
- Booking Guidelines
- Transfer Guidelines
- Choosing Wisely. Choosing Wisely is a global initiative led by health professionals to reduce unnecessary intervention in health care. The New Zealand College of Midwives list was launched in August 2018, following member consultation. The list can be used by midwives in their practice and in discussions with women to support informed decision making. Further information about the Choosing Wisely campaign in New Zealand can be found at https://choosingwisely.org.nz/
MERAS and the New Zealand College of Midwives have together created a document regarding conflict resolution. Click here to download.
Medications in pregnancy
Child Protection policy
The Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014 requires all state funded children’s workers to have a Child Protection Policy. This includes midwives working as Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs) who are funded under the Section 88 Primary Maternity Services Notice (the Notice). The New Zealand College of Midwives has developed a Child Protection Policy on behalf of its LMC members.
Midwives using this policy are advised that they will need to familiarise themselves with the relevant local agencies, referral pathways and points of contact in their regions in order to refer children and families, enable safety planning when required and to seek the necessary advice to ensure the safety of children. The appendices to the policy contain a space to record local agency contact details.
Individual LMC midwives or practices are welcome to develop their own policy if they wish (in preference to using this one). Any policies that midwives develop need to comply with the requirements of the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014.
Changes to legislation come into effect on 1st July 2019 which are designed to support agencies working with whanau/families and tamariki to share information so that the woman and baby can be supported to be safe from harm. Both acts will apply to midwives as health professionals working with families. The College has reviewed the acts and identified how they may affect midwives. The Ministry of Health is developing guidance documents to support health practitioners. The College is also developing e-learning education to help midwives update their understanding of these changes.
You can find more detailed information at:
- Information sharing to support tamariki wellbeing and safety: Guidance for sharing information across the child welfare and protection sectors – https://www.orangatamariki.govt.nz/working-with-children/information-sharing
- Sharing information safely, Guidance on sharing personal information under the Family Violence Act 2018 – https://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector-policy/key-initiatives/reducing-family-and-sexual-violence/a-new-family-violence-act/information-sharing-guidance/
Health sector specific resources
The Ministry of Health is developing health specific resources which are also available on the Ministry of Health website https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/new-information-sharing-schemes
We recommend that you contact the Legal Section or a Midwifery Advisor if you require any advice on a specific case.