4 May 2011
Access to good midwifery care essential for infant well-being
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) celebrates International Day of the Midwife tomorrow (5 May).
Over 340,000 women worldwide die each year, with millions more suffering infection and disability, as a result of
preventable maternal causes, with 90 percent of those deaths occurring in developing countries. NZNO is working to
reduce maternal and infant mortality in New Zealand by advocating for equitable access to a midwife for all pregnant
NZNO professional nursing advisor, Kate Weston says that access to midwifery services is essential. The education and
skilled support provided by midwives to pregnant women, through antenatal care, labour and into the early postnatal
period is critical for healthy mothers and babies.
“Timely access to midwifery care is so important,” says Kate Weston, “Early engagement with a midwife with ongoing care
through pregnancy protects and promotes positive outcomes.”
“The 2011 NZNO Manifesto for health includes a focus on equity and access to healthcare. We are committed to supporting
midwives by campaigning for safe staffing and healthy workplaces, so that midwives can provide care, supported by a team
that has the numbers of the right skilled professionals to be able to do their jobs well.”
“The world needs midwives now more than ever. We want to see mothers and babies getting the support they need through
increased global and local commitment to midwifery and maternity services.’ Kate Weston says.