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What’s the current situation?
We’re told that many women are encouraged to leave just hours after their birth despite our government’s commitment to a full 48-hour minimum funding per birth - or more for intervention births.
A woman’s choice about her postnatal care is controlled by her DHB’s decision to fund a range of community-based options or only their hospital-based services.
The level of postnatal care a woman receives varies depending on where she lives, how busy the hospital is and what contract for maternity services her DHB funds.
Mothers often leave early with unresolved medical issues or before she has had time to recover psychologically, physically and hormonally.
Mothers sometimes don’t receive the post-birth support needed to screen for mums at risk, PND (Post Natal Depression) and other health/contributing issues. These factors can negatively impact her ability to care for herself, baby and whanau, setting an impaired, life-long pattern.
We are requesting the New Zealand Government establish a ring-fenced national fund, managed by the Ministry of Health, via an unbiased NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation).
This will support a mother’s right to receive the clinically and psychologically appropriate amount of time, up to 48 hours or longer, of postnatal care at the maternity facility of her choice, regardless of the type of birth she has had. This fund will also provide for care at regular intervals to screen for psychological and health issues that could adversely affect a mother’s life, that of her baby, and that of her whanau.
Our mission is for better health and well-being outcomes for new mums, her baby and her family. We want all women to receive best care during pregnancy.
We want them to know they are entitled to receive up to 48 hours of funded, inpatient postnatal care in the place of their choice. This is regardless of the type of birth they have.
We want well-resourced birth care so that mum and baby are in the best possible position to go back home. Once home, she receives the best aftercare possible to nurture her physical and mental wellbeing. This sets her, baby and whanau up for a positive life pattern.
THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE
All women and their families have the right to choose what is best for them and their baby.
Mothers Matter recognises that every mother is different, and some mothers will be comfortable leaving the hospital within the period of 48 hours postnatal care which they are entitled to receive.
But we also believe, for mothers and their families to make an informed choice about postnatal care, they need to know what they are entitlement to and what the health and well-being benefits are that come from receiving postnatal care in a supportive environment and dedicated maternal facility.
All women have the right to birth at the place of their choice. They also need to have the right to receive their in-patient postnatal care at the birthing and maternal facility of their choice, whether this is in a hospital, primary maternity centre or community birthing facility.
But right now a woman’s choice is controlled by her DHB’s decision to fund a range of community-based options or only their hospital-based services. This ‘right to choose’ is comparable to the right every person has to visit the Government funded GP of their choice.