The Mothers Matter campaign was founded by Chloe Wright to change our current pregnancy, birthing and follow up care systems. We want mums to receive great pregnancy care. We want them to know their right to 48 hours minimum postnatal care. Too many mums tell us they are being pressured to leave hospital early, before they are ready. Many tell us that they don’t want to stay in pressured, often under-resourced hospitals. We often hear that mum is unable to have her partner stay with her.
We believe this sets up a difficult start to motherhood, and adversely affects baby and whanau.
We urgently call for better postnatal care in well-resourced birthing facilities that mothers want to stay in. We call for a ring-fenced national fund, managed by the Ministry of Health. This fund must support mothers to receive clinically and psychologically appropriate postnatal care at the facility of her choice.
We strongly believe that mothers should continue receiving funded care – for her. This includes ongoing support, including screening for at risk mums, PND (Post Natal Depression), Pelvic Floor issues and other birth-related health problems.
Find out more about us
Mothers Matter is a collaboration of committed individuals, health professionals and parents who are united in a common goal to have a nationwide discussion around the importance of excellent perinatal care.
Chloe Wright is the founder and architect of Mothers Matter, which seeks to achieve for women what is rightfully theirs: excellent perinatal care, 48 hours postnatal care and the ongoing support they need to thrive after giving birth.
Chloe is also CEO and Co-founder of the Wright Family Foundation. The Foundation assists organisations across the country to enable people to reach their full potential through education and health initiatives.
“The 48 hours after birth are a precious window of opportunity for mothers, their babies and whanau. It is a time of critical bonding and can be determinate of future wellbeing. It is with energy that we need to unite to solve the escalating crisis relating to maternity and postnatal care for mothers and babies across the country.
We must put the mother back into the centre of care. Our current maternal suicide rate is seven times that of the UK per capita and Maori women are over-represented. If we look after mothers, their babies and families also thrive, paying dividends for future generations.
Mothers are currently funded for, need and have a right to at least 48 hours of postnatal care for a non-intervention birth. However, many women feel pressured to leave hospital hours after giving birth. Justice needs to be done before more harm is done. We support Louise Upston MP’s private members bill to take this a step further and bring in legislation for a minimum three-day-stay postnatally.
"To develop great children who can reach their full potential we need to have confident parents. The first 48 hours following the delivery of a baby can be particularly hard, when it should be the most exciting time as the journey into parenthood begins. The specialist care, support and parenting tools that are provided in supportive environments during this postnatal period encourage mothers and fathers to become parents who can confidently nurture their baby."
"The first 48 hours of a child’s life are of supreme importance – this is the time that we as parents set the foundations for their emotional wellbeing. The love we give, the interaction we have, the unique attachment we form and the stability we provide our children in the postnatal period play a critical role in defining later outcomes for our children and for our future."
Regardless of the type of birth, all women have the right to receive the clinically and psychologically appropriate amount of time in postnatal care at the primary maternity facility of their choice.
The postnatal period, especially the first 48 hours, are critical to the health and wellbeing of not only the mother, but also her baby and family.
Monitoring the health of a new mum and her baby and responding to any changes, needs or complications that may arise, is also vitally important.
All New Zealand women are entitled to 48 hours of funded in-patient care.
"Our children are our future, and parents as first teachers are critical in ensuring our children are given the best start in life. The first 48 hours after the birth of the baby, the postnatal period, is a time to inspire, support and offer manaaki whanau to the tamariki and matua who need it most. Those 48 hours are precious and we need to make sure parents understand why they are so valuable and what level of care they are entitled to, regardless of where they live in New Zealand."
I started contracting at midnight on a Friday night and gave birth at 2.27am on Sunday morning. I was in labour for 27 hours, had not slept for 48 hours, so by the time I had my baby I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.
My birth was hard, as they all are of course, but after labouring for around 17 hours, nothing had changed (I remained 4cm dilated). The maternity team realised my son's head was stuck and I had...
Giving birth is a profound physiological, mental and emotional experience.
Giving birth and the first 48 hours can be particularly hard, when it should be the most exciting time as the journey of parenthood begins.
It is the time that deserves the most amount of care and support.
We know every mother is different and we know that some mothers will be comfortable leaving the hospital within the 48-hour postnatal period to which she’s entitled to receive.
But we also believe, to make an informed choice about what is best for themselves, their baby and family, women need information. They need information about the health and well-being benefits that come from receiving up to 48 hours postnatal care in a supportive environment and dedicated maternal facility and they need to know what they’re entitled to.
So, what makes the first 48 hours so important?
Becoming a mum or dad, whether or not it’s your first time, is a big transition.
Giving parents the tools to make the right decisions and the opportunity to form a loving, nurturing attachment with their baby is at the heart of postnatal care.
The first 48 hours after birth often sets a pattern of interaction that will serve the child and parent for a lifetime. Without a good, loving bond or attachment, children are less likely to grow up to become happy, independent and resilient adults.
While birth is a defining moment, it’s also an emotionally tumultuous time. Many women are vulnerable to psychological problems including anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorders. We hear from mums that, postnatally, their pyscho/social, health care needs are not being attended to. This means mums at risk can be missed. It means that Post Natal Depression, other psychological disorders and health issues, can go undiagnosed.
An impaired parent–child relationship can contribute to the development of behavioural, social or learning difficulties in children. It can make it more difficult for them to fulfil their potential and become resilient in the face of life’s challenges.
There is an idealistic and unrealistic expectation that a woman knows what to do when she becomes a mum, and she has an innate knowledge of how to be a parent. Many women experience the ‘baby blues’, a perfectly normal feeling that is triggered by physical changes, emotional and hormonal factors. The transition from mum to be to actual mum requires a special type of care and support. That can come from trained, dedicated professionals.
The vast majority of women who give birth every year in New Zealand experience no medical complications. However, many new mothers can endure dangerous and even life-threatening complications that can have a long-term negative impact on them, their baby and family. Receiving the appropriate postnatal care, support and management in a dedicated maternal facility can alleviate and possibly prevent the many treatable conditions that can arise from giving birth.
For these reasons, and so many more, receiving up to 48 hours postnatal care in the right facility is critically important. Regular follow up care, which checks for psychological and physical health, is surely the basis of a caring society.