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Maternity Intervention Rates Too High

New Zealand College Of Midwives (Inc)

Maternity Intervention Rates Too High Says New Zealand College of Midwives

Christchurch based New Zealand College of Midwives is welcoming the government’s report on Maternity, released yesterday.

The College says that it has been waiting for a number of years for this information, which now gives women the opportunity to look at how their local maternity hospital compares with others around the country. It also gives all maternity hospitals the chance to benchmark their figures against others around the country.

However, NZCOM is concerned that the intervention rate is so high, and says it is committed to continue working closely with all other maternity health professionals to look at why the rates are high and how they can be reduced.

“What’s important to remember is that the risk of complications following a Caesarian Section is far greater than following a vaginal birth,” says Norma Campbell. “It is for the health and safety of the women and babies that we must try to bring this rate down.”

The College says that although a large number of women are receiving information relating to complications and the birthing options available to them, Norma Campbell says with rates this high, more needs to be done.

The World Health Organisation, (WHO), recommends that societies like New Zealand should not have a Caesarian Section rate higher than 10-15%; with the overall figure of 34.5% for Christchurch’s hospitals NZCOM says, for the sake of the health of our women and babies, we need to look at why.

The College acknowledges that there may be a need for intervention at any stage of pregnancy or labour but the current intervention figures are too high. Mrs. Campbell says this report is not only about Caesarians and the issues relating to breastfeeding, the number of inductions, epidurals, episiotomies and forceps deliveries will also be discussed.

The next step is to continue working closely with women, DHBs and maternity health professionals, (including Midwives, General Practitioners and Obstetricians), to establish forums and further discuss issues related to these figures. Norma Campbell says all the groups involved have never had the opportunity to work from reliable benchmark figures.

“In the past we have only been able to use anecdotal evidence in our discussions. This report allows us to work with real figures and move forward in further improving our maternity services for women and babies.”


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