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Extra Maternity Funding Welcomed By Commission

Extra Maternity Funding Welcomed By Families Commission

The Families Commission welcomes the Government’s announcement of extra funding for maternity services in New Zealand.

Extending the time women can stay in hospital after birth will assist mothers establish routines and should lead to improved rates of breastfeeding.

The Commission believes the additional funding shows the government’s commitment to improving maternity services.

Other gaps that need to be addressed were shown in the recent report from the Families Commission Childbirth Education - antenatal education and transitions of maternity care in New Zealand. This study showed many women were only vaguely aware of their entitlements - such as how long they could stay in hospital after the birth, the number of home visits available from their lead maternity carer (LMC) and Well Child, or that there is free care for urgent pregnancy problems.

The report also showed that fewer than half (41 percent) of all pregnant women attend a childbirth education course. Of those, four out of five were first time mothers but only one in 10 of those are Maori and less than one in a hundred are Pacific.

New parents who miss out on valuable information at this early stage are more at risk of their not being able to cope with situations as they arise.

The report also revealed:

 significant differences in the availability and delivery of childbirth education across District Health Boards
 inequities in the availability of midwives nationally (the report highlighted that in some regions women experienced problems finding a midwife)


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