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choosing your LMC

Choosing your Lead Maternity Carer

Some questions you might like to ask before registering with a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) are:
• Will you provide all my care or will others be involved?
• How can I contact you if I need help or advice?
• Is this information different if I need help or advice out of normal working hours?
• Who will provide backup care for me if you can’t be there?
• What birthing options do you offer?
• Do you offer home birth and what happens if I need hospital care?
• Where will my antenatal visits be? In my home? At a clinic?
• How many antenatal visits can I expect to have?
• What hospitals do you have access to?
• What is your philosophy about childbirth?
• Will you visit me at home in early labour?
• What happens if you are away or with someone else when I go into labour?
• Will I be able to meet your backup person?
• What happens if I need specialist care during my pregnancy or my labour?
• If this happens, will you continue to provide care for me?
• If I have a caesarean section will you go to the theatre with me? What will your role be?
• Will you visit me in hospital? What will your role be?
• How many postnatal visits can I expect, both in hospital and at home?
• How many weeks do you visit after the birth?
• Between visits are you available for me to phone you for advice?

You may also like to ask questions about your LMC’s experience and practice of delivering babies, such as:
• How long have you been attending births?
• About how many births a year do you attend?
• Are you likely to be away when I’m due?
• How many other women have you got booked who are due about the same time as me?
• Have you had an annual standards review or an audit by your professional body? (You can also ask to see a copy of the certificate if you wish.)

If your LMC is a GP or a private obstetrician, other questions to ask are:
• Who will provide my midwifery care during labour?
• Can I meet the midwife who will provide me with care during labour?
• Who will provide my home visits when I go home from hospital?

Things your Lead Maternity Carer will do:

• take responsibility for your care throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth of your baby, and until four to six weeks after your baby is born
• provide you with information to allow you to make informed decisions
• provide you with free maternity care (unless your LMC is a private obstetrician)
• develop a care plan with you and give you a copy of this care plan
• refer you to a specialist, if clinically necessary
• attend as necessary during your labour and be present at the birth
• visit you in your home between 5 and 10 times after your baby is born (more if clinically needed) ….. or arrange for a midwife to provide these visits if your LMC is a doctor
• provide a written referral to your chosen Well Child provider at a time agreed by you. This will usually be between 4 to 6 weeks after the birth of your baby
• provide a written note to your GP before discharge from her/his care.

Contact your LMC if you have concerns about your pregnancy.

Article provided courtesy of The Ministry of Health

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