Published Tuesday 2 Feb 2021

A team of midwives that provides care to women with complex needs has been recognised at Capital & Coast DHB’s annual awards ceremony.

The 15-strong Community Midwifery Team (CMT) cares for women who are socially disadvantaged, refugees, or in prison. The team received the ‘Midwife of the Year’ category at CCDHB’s recent Celebrating Our Success Awards.

“Some women have more complex needs, and the team will go the extra mile to wrap support around them,” said former team lead Shelley James (pictured right).

“Everyone on the team was emotional and shocked to receive the award.”

Women are offered tailored support to suit their individual needs.

“For example, we worked with an expectant mother with long-term mental health issues who was avoiding hospital appointments. A midwife visited her home – a setting the woman was comfortable in – to connect, talk through some of her fears, and take blood to accurately assess her health. Tailoring support in this way meant she did not miss out on crucial care.”

In addition to home visits, the team also runs daily antenatal clinics run at Wellington Regional and Kenepuru Community Hospitals. Weekly outreach clinics have also been established for women living in Cannons Creek and Strathmore Park, offering more women clinics closer to home. This cuts down on travel costs, and can help overcome inequities.

The team stays with women throughout their pregnancy journey, helping them give birth in Wellington Regional Hospital's birthing suite, and visiting at home for several weeks after the birth. New mums are offered round-the-clock support, with an overnight on-call phone service available from 4.30pm to 8am.

“The team loves making a difference, building relationships, and engaging with women to achieve the best outcomes.”

Image: Members of the Community Midwifery Team. L-R: Julie Ryan, Fiona Johnston, Shelley James.