Looking after women who are unable to find a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC), this team of 15 midwives has been supporting women pregnant during levels 3 and 4 with a mix of virtual and face to face appointments. Birth plans and baby movements are talked through on the phone while women visit clinics in Strathmore, Wellington and Kenepuru hospitals for physical check ups.
“The general reaction has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Clare Bardsley, community midwife, “Women are happy with the care they are receiving over the phone and not having to travel. Many women have their older children at home at the moment with schools and preschools closed, which can make coming to physical appointments challenging."
While women have welcomed the chance to receive care over the phone, Clare emphasises that it is still important that women continue to meet with their midwives.
“Our physical clinics are very much still up and running for people who need them and we work with women to find the mix of care that works for them.”
“There are some pregnancy conditions that we need to monitor by taking physical measurements, such as blood pressure or measuring how babies are growing - and others that we will only be able to identify if we see women in person,” says Clare.
“Some women also find it reassuring to hear their baby’s heartbeat and that it is something we can’t do over the phone.”
“Some women are coping better having more pregnancy care provided over the phone, they are in their home, are comfortable and able to have their bubble around them,” says Clare, “But face to face consults are also a key way to check how women are doing emotionally”. If needed the team follow up to provide detailed counselling support virtually or connect women to appropriate social services."
While COVID-19 has meant that home visits have reduced, midwives check in after babies are born to see how baby is feeding, how women are feeling, and how their bodies are healing. This might initially be a chat on the phone – but midwives follow up with a visit if women raise concerns.
“COVID-19 has meant that we can’t give you that reassuring touch on the arm, but we want you to feel looked after. – please continue to contact your midwife if you need help or with any concerns about your pregnancy or baby”.
Where to go for support
If you have concerns about your pregnancy or baby – talk to your midwife
Wellchild Tamariki Ora continue to provide support to new mums and babies. Please contact your provider.
Watch a video on how the health care sector is currently providing maternity care
Read information from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Samoan version) (Te reo version)
Ministry of Health information for pregnant women, and those who have recently given birthMinistry of Health information on breastfeeding and advice for women who have recently given birth