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Waitemata DHB 'leading the way in maternal and newborn care'

Waitemata DHB Friday 11 August 2017, 03:36PM

Media release from Waitemata DHB

Waitemata DHB has the joint lowest perinatal mortality rate in New Zealand according to a national health quality report.

Earlier this year, the Health Quality Safety Commission published their 11th Annual Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC) report. The PMMRC is an independent committee that reviews the deaths of babies and mothers in New Zealand.

Waitemata DHB General Manager of Child, Women & Family, Stephanie Doe says “the hard work and commitment of our lead maternity carers, maternity and neonatal staff have helped to give Waitemata babies the best possible start in life.”

The committee found that the national rate of babies dying shortly before or after birth (perinatal mortality) is now the lowest since reporting began, with perinatal mortality rates for babies in Waitemata DHB statistically significantly lower than the national rate.

Waitemata DHB has in the past few years been promoting information about the importance of normal baby movements, including urging mothers to get to know their baby’s movement patterns and phone their Lead Maternity Carer if they have any concerns.

Doe says “A change in a baby’s normal movement pattern with weaker or fewer movements or no movements at all can sometimes be the only sign that a baby is unwell and at risk of stillbirth.”

This years report also bought to light the importance of maternal sleep position during pregnancy with side lying positions having better outcomes than women who sleep on their backs.

“This is new and important information for us and we will be developing resources to ensure pregnant women get this important message,” says Doe.

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