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College of Midwives Reassures Pregnant Women

New Zealand College Of Midwives (Inc)

Media Release 25 January 2002

New Zealand College of Midwives Reassures Pregnant Women

The Canterbury/West Coast Region of the New Zealand College of Midwives (NZCOM) wants to reassure the women and families whose babies are due to be born during the nurses strike action planned for February, says Rose Martin, chairperson of the Canterbury/West Coast region of NZCOM.

The majority of women in Christchurch have a self-employed midwife as their Lead Maternity Carer (LMC). These midwives are not involved in the industrial action and will continue to be available 24 hours a day.

Women who are planning to birth at home are not affected.

Those planning to birth in hospital will need to contact their LMC when they go into labour, and then go to Christchurch Women’s hospital. St George’s Maternity Unit will also remain open for women booked there.

Women booked at other maternity units will need to contact their LMC.

The NZCOM is currently negotiating with these units to see if they can remain open for women booked with self-employed midwives.

The NZCOM is concerned for the safety of those mothers and babies who will require additional care due to complications surrounding their pregnancy, birth or after the birth. The NZCOM is involved in discussions with New Zealand Nurses Organisation and the Canterbury District Health Board to reinforce the need for midwifery exemptions from industrial action for midwives working in these areas.

The NZCOM is hopeful these exemptions will be granted.

Contact: Rose Martin, Telephone 338 7391, Pager 0868 14232

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