9 November 2023
The 2022 Survey of Whānau and Families’ Experience and Perceptions of the Maternity System has shown positive experiences amongst women and whānau accessing maternity care in Aotearoa.
The survey, usually carried out every three years, was last published in 2014. The 2022 report contains responses from the Covid-19 pandemic period in 2021 when midwives were classified as ‘essential workers’.
The College is pleased that the majority of women and birthing parents felt they had a good experience in our midwifery-led maternity service. The results reflect the dedication of midwives to deliver high quality services, even at times of unprecedented challenges such as the pandemic and natural disasters.
Whilst the results demonstrate good quality care, we acknowledge there is always room for improvement, in particular for the communities identified in the survey report: Māori, Pasifika, young whānau, bereaved and disabled parents. The College will utilise the 2022 Report findings to advocate for further maternity service improvements for mothers, parents and whānau in Aotearoa. We have recently appointed two Māori Midwifery Advisors and established a co-president model in order to enhance support for whānau Māori.
The report highlights the importance of removing barriers to maternity services. What’s important is that everyone has access to midwifery and maternity care, including fully funded ultrasound scans. Keeping local birthing units open will enhance choice for whānau and provide care closer to home.
Appropriate resourcing and support infrastructure is urgently required to address workforce challenges, so that midwives can continue to provide a high level of maternity care and further improve services where needed.
The College says that the new government has a real opportunity to make a difference quickly and we are ready to help them do that as soon as possible.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the whānau who took the time to contribute to this survey, and of course our outstanding midwifery workforce in hospitals and the community who, during the pandemic period, continued to work incredibly hard in the most challenging of circumstances.
-Ends- For more information please contact Ali Jones 027 247 3112
The comments here can be attributed to College of Midwives Midwifery Advisor, Claire MacDonald. College Chief Executive, Alison Eddy, is unavailable.