- Longer stays for new mothers in birthing facilities
- An optional meeting each trimester for at risk mothers, attended by the pregnant woman, their GP, and their lead maternity carer (usually a midwife)
- Obstetric training or refreshers for GPs wishing to return to maternity care
- Fully funding the Plunketline 24 hour telephone advice service
I think the second point may be the most important. The changes made in the late 1980s by then Health Minister Helen Clark have been a disaster for many parents. GPs have abandoned maternity services, and doctors and midwives have often been silos – not talking to each other.
And far far too many babies have died needlessly, because of a lack of competence amongst some (not all) midwives. A refusal to call in a specialist has proven fatal too often.
So the three monthly meetings between mother, GP and leader carer is a commendable initiative.