It’s been almost two years since I left Aussie shores to move to New Zealand and yes, the scenery is beautiful, the PM is an unrivalled political success and the country has the best mince and cheese pies you’ll ever try in your life.
But Australia left a big gaping hole in my heart. That was until I gave birth on Kiwi shores.
New Zealand has got it going on when it comes to looking after the country’s mums and mums-to-be.
From the very moment I got pregnant, I felt something I never felt in Australia as as mum – valued by a system that acknowledges I’m doing the toughest job there is.
And when I gave birth this April to a little girl, it was a completely different experience than my first birth in Sydney. Here are the reasons why:
Mums and non-mums answer questions about childbirth. Their responses are very different.
1. You choose your own midwife.
I experienced shared care in Australia when pregnant with my son, Max. I would see a different midwife every couple of weeks, rotating it with my doctor and my care was patchy, at best.
Without one person keeping tabs on my pregnancy, my caregivers often missed tests and I even had two due dates, with my doctor going on my last period and the hospital going by a dating scan. Both were adamant they were right. Stressful!
When I found out I was pregnant in New Zealand, my doctor advised me to hop onto an online database that kind of looks like an online dating site. But instead of finding love I was there to choose a midwife who would be my side for the whole pregnancy, birth and after care.
And my chosen midwife immediately gave me her mobile number and stressed that she was “available 24/7”.
2. Less people in the room.
By the time it came to giving birth, I had midwife I not only trusted but someone I’d built a rapport with thanks to the system above. But also, I noticed there was only my birthing partner and midwife in the room until I needed a doctor to help with the final bit of pushing.