17 Feb 2014

Midwives urged to use cultural nouse

7:33 pm on 17 February 2014

The midwifery profession needs to look at how to apply knowledge of cultural competency in real life situations, Maori midwives network Nga Maia says.

A report into maternity services at Counties Manukau District Health Board (DHB) has found Maori and Pacific mothers are dissatisfied with the services, with some feeling they are stereotyped and judged by staff.

Recommendations to the DHB include reviewing the specific delivery of services to Maori and Pacific women to ensure it reflects the cultural needs of these groups.

Nga Maia spokesperson Amber Clarke said midwives were trained about cultural safety and competency but she questioned how that learning was applied.

Being able to talk about the words of the Treaty of Waitangi was different to being able to talk about how it related to working alongside a woman who was Maori, and being able to work with Maori should be a part of a midwife's evaluation, Ms Clarke said.