General information is below.
Other information is split up into two sections - Pre-Birth and Labour and Birth. Click on the buttons below to take you to that section.
Important Pregnancy Information
Your midwife’s working hours:
LMC midwives are available 24/7 for births and pregnancy emergencies. Outside of these hours my antenatal clinics are held on Thursdays 9am til 5pm and Friday mornings. The rest of the week I spend visiting and checking new mothers and babies. Please be aware that I am not sitting at clinic every day so cannot fax or print forms/letters/prescriptions any day. These need to be done Thursdays or Fridays.
Please know you can PHONE your midwife for labour or urgent Issues 24/7.
For all NON URGENT issues please text during normal working hours 9am til 5pm Monday to Friday.
Things that may be considered urgent:
- Being in strong active labour
- Severe period cramps prior to 37 weeks that are getting stronger and closer. This may be premature labour
- Vaginal bleeding prior to 37 weeks
- Leaking of water from the vagina before 37 weeks
- Severe or sudden swelling in hands, face and feet
- Pain passing urine, often accompanied by backache and feeling feverish
- Heat, lumps and pain in the breasts after birth
- Headache that doesn’t go away with drinking 3 glasses of water, resting in a dark room and two paracetamol
- Any symptom of infection
- Decreased baby movements after 28 weeks
Information about GentleBirth Midwives
Antenatal visit schedule:
My clinic days are Thursdays and Friday mornings. Unfortunately, other midwives use the clinic on other days so I am unable to see you on any days but these. If you really cannot make Thursdays or Fridays, talk to me so I can try to arrange another midwife who works other days to take over your care.
Your antenatal check-ups will happen every 4-5 weeks from early pregnancy until 28-30 weeks. From then you will be seen by me every 2-3 weeks until 37 weeks. At that point I will see you every week until you go into labour.
On the front of this book are the names and contact numbers of the back-up midwives. They also work by the Gentlebirth philosophy of valuing normal birth and being hands off and respectful. On the few occasions I have a weekend off or a holiday, you will be assigned a particular back-up midwife who will have your notes and be responsible for you while I am away.
If you phone and my message states I am unavailable, please either call back in ten minutes, or leave a message so I can return your call as soon as possible. If you cannot wait that long, then please phone the midwife who is listed on the message. Please ALWAYS listen to the full message on my phone before hanging up.
Midwives adore their job!
But we are on call 24/7 and this becomes exhausting. It is also very hard on our families, particularly our children. We often walk away from their birthday parties, school events, prize givings etc to be with our clients in urgent situations. So that means that on the few times we are on holiday we value our relaxation time and do not reply to texts or phone calls. No matter what there will always be at least 2 back up midwives who are available for you though. You will never be abandoned.
We do not take holidays around the time our ladies are due to birth, so it’s very unlikely that we won’t be there for your birth. However sometimes babies come early so occasionally (rarely) the back-up midwife will be there instead. Rest assured that the back-up midwives are wonderful, caring, empathetic and FABULOUS midwives. I would not trust your care with anyone less than this!
I like to book about 6 pregnant mamas a month. This means at any one time I have up to 70 clients I am available for. This means that I receive many phone calls, emails and texts every day. I am also busy seeing mothers, babies and women in labour. So if I don’t return your text or email quickly please be patient and understanding.
If you wish to change your appointment you MUST text this to me rather than phone. I cannot access my diary while driving or weighing a baby so a phone call is not helpful. Save phone calls for urgent issues.
Referrals and specialist doctors:
Midwives provide primary care to healthy women. Occasionally a woman requires extra care from doctors, physios or other team members. I will refer you appropriately and quickly if complications arise. You will be seen by the appropriate specialist as soon as possible and this will also be free. I will continue to be involved in your care and the doctor and I will work together with you to make sure you and your baby are safe and healthy. We have a fantastic team of doctors at Waitakere Hospital.
Every year I have 2-3 student midwives work alongside me. I only have one at a time. Student midwives work UNDER my guidance at all times. I remain 100% responsible for your care. It is important that they come out with experienced midwives to learn that birth is normal, beautiful and powerful. Unless they see for themselves that women don’t need intervention and medicalization unless truly necessary, then our daughters and grand-daughters will not have access to birth choices.
Please meet the student midwife and get to know them a bit. If you prefer them not to be involved in your care or birth please feel free to text me and let me know.