Published Friday 5 May 2023

Some people think midwives simply ‘catch babies’ when they’re born, but they deal with more complexity than you can imagine!

Today (Friday, 5 May) we are celebrating International Day of the Midwife with our 151 amazing midwives stationed across the Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley District (CCHV).

This year's theme is, 'Together again: from evidence to reality'.

A midwife is a registered health professional who makes a commitment to expectant mothers to assist them through their pregnancy journey to motherhood. Unfortunately there is a perception midwives “just” deliver babies at birth. But Wellington Regional Hospital Midwife Emma Adams says the ‘evidence and reality’ is, there is more complexity in providing midwifery services.

“We are definitely not here to just deliver babies. Some people think our job is all ‘fluff’, where we are around to cuddle babies. But helping woman and their whānau get through stressful times is what midwives are all about. Sometimes pregnancy and child birth doesn’t always go according to plan. From pre-term births to complex medical histories, our midwives are highly-skilled practitioners ready to help women and whānau through what can sometimes be not a straight forward experience. Midwives are there ready to deal with whatever comes up and to do what we can to make it a positive experience.”

“What I love about my role is giving women the confidence to become mothers and take their babies home.”

Fellow Wellington Regional Hospital Midwife Daisy Fisher agreed with Emma saying not every day was the same in the life of a midwife.

“Every day is no doubt different for us. Sometimes best laid plans don’t always work out when dealing with pressure and birth. There’s sometimes women with complex medical histories and there can be a lot of emergencies that come with pregnancy. But that’s what makes our role unique. A midwife is always there ready to go and help. And the best part about it is we are passionate about it. Being a midwife is not just a job for us. I personally love helping women who have the complex medical history have a positive experience with their birth even though it could be outside of the normal experience some people have.”

Hospital-based midwives also work collaboratively with other health professionals such as obstetricians to meet any additional medical or health needs. They work closely with their midwifery Lead Maternity Carers colleagues to care for and support women, pregnant people and their whānau. This includes providing care to mothers and babies in their home for up to six weeks after the birth, which is when their ongoing care is referred to a Well Child service provider and GP.

Midwives work in a variety of roles and settings and adapt their practice to meet the different cultural and clinical needs of whānau across our communities. There are also midwives who have developed expertise in providing midwifery care for specific groups of people, for example, those with diabetes. There are also midwives who are trained to undertake transfers or flight retrievals when people with pregnancy related complications need urgent transfer to a facility with the specialist care that they need.

Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley Director of Midwifery Carolyn Coles had nothing but praise for CCHV midwives, particularly for their resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Midwives working within the Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley District are truly incredible individuals. Over the past three years they have worked relentlessly to provide essential care in the face of significant midwifery shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic. They have pulled together, developed creative solutions and worked across the Wellington and Hutt Valley region to maintain the provision of midwifery care to their communities. Our midwives have and continue to go above and beyond.”

If a career in supporting expectant mothers through their pregnancy journey to motherhood, with no two days being the same is what you’re looking for, then Midwifery may be for you!

For more information visit Te Pūkenga’s website.