19 Nov 2013

Maori waiting too long to seek maternity care

7:57 pm on 19 November 2013

Parliament's health select committee has found pregnant Maori and Pasifika women are waiting too long before they seek maternity care.

It has released a range of recommendations to the Government to improve the well-being of Maori children.

The report says more Maori and Pasifika women register with a Lead Maternity Carer in the second trimester of pregnancy, or after at least 12 weeks' gestation.

The health committee is pushing for the Government to take measures to ensure most pregnant women receive a maternal assessment by 10 weeks.

It order to target Maori, it supports boosting the number of lead maternity carers in vulnerable populations and making them more accessible.

It also suggests making maternity services more culturally relevant, and developing multimedia education material for Maori stressing the importance of early access to maternity care.