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New Zealand Maternal Fetal Medicine Network (NZMFMN)



Welcome to the Homepage of the New Zealand Maternal Fetal Medicine Network (NZMFMN)

Please DO NOT send referrals for MFM services through the NZMFMN email, they should all be sent to your local unit which is Auckland DHB, Wellington DHB or Christchurch DHB. Contact details are on this website.

For any clinical questions or queries please also direct them to your local unit.


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This New Zealand Network was established in 2009 with support from the Ministry of Health to promote excellent Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Services around New Zealand and support maternity healthcare providers in District Health Boards. It also hopes to encourage recruitment and retention within the sub-specialty field of Maternal Fetal Medicine.

MFM includes the care of women with a high risk pregnancy. This may include women with a very complex medical condition themselves or a pregnancy complicated by fetal anomaly, complex multiple gestation and other fetal conditions which may require access to advanced procedures.

The subspecialties were developed by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to:

  • improve knowledge, practice, teaching and research
  • promote the concentration of specialised expertise, special facilities and clinical material that will be of considerable benefit to some patients
  • improve the recruitment of talented graduates into areas of recognised subspecialisation
  • establish a close understanding and working relationship with other disciplines
  • encourage co-ordinated management of relevant clinical services throughout a region
  • accept a major regional responsibility for higher training, research and audit in areas of recognised subspecialisation
  • establish, as far as possible, consistency in recruitment, training and assessment across areas of recognised subspecialisation.

NZMFM Network Terms of Reference

NZMFM Network Statements

NZMFM Network Recommendation of Practice

Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM)

is a branch of Women’s Health which includes high-risk pregnancy where the mother or baby or both has a problem. For most women the expectation is that pregnancy will be a happy time without problems and most will not need MFM services. However for the women who do these services are provided throughout New Zealand.

Common Questions about NZMFMN:


What Happens if There is a Problem With my Baby?

Your Lead maternity Carer (LMC) will contact the Obstetrician at your local hospital. Some problems can be managed at your local hospital and will not need you to travel further e.g. a baby which is growing slowly towards the end of pregnancy. In some cases if your local hospital Obstetrician feels that referral to an MFM unit is required, they will refer on to one of the three units in the New Zealand MFM Network (NZMFMN). The units are based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.


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When will I be Seen?

If you have been referred as your baby has a problem on scanning, you will usually be seen within a week. This will vary as some conditions are more severe than others. Your case will be discussed with a doctor at the MFM unit who will decide when you are seen.


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What will Happen at the MFM Unit?

You will be seen by a Doctor who is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with expertise in MFM. Usually they will talk to you briefly before a scan is performed. After the scan the doctor will explain the findings and any further tests they suggest. This may include testing such as amniocentesis and it is recommended that you are prepared to spend the rest of the day quietly.  We recommend that you bring a support person with you to your initial visit to the MFM Unit.  At this visit you will learn more about your baby's condition.  Please be aware that your Specialist may have to give distressing news about your baby - but this is not always the case.  You will be provided with information about your baby's condition.  This is so you and your family can understand the condition and your situation.  We recommend you make alternative arrangements for childcare when visiting the MFM unit for the first time if possible.

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What About my LMC?

Your LMC or local obstetrician may have referred you to the MFM unit. At your first visit the staff will get all the information about your local caregivers. It is useful to have all their details, including your GP, with you in case they are not on the referral. Depending on the circumstances the staff may phone, fax or write to your local caregivers. In some cases your LMC will continue to provide your care supported by the MFM unit staff. In some cases it might be necessary for you to deliver your baby at the MFM unit rather than at your local hospital. In this case, care will be provided by the MFM team.


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Babies with Heart Problems

Some babies will be diagnosed with a heart problem. Some of these babies will need surgery after birth. If this needs to be soon after birth the MFM unit will recommend delivery at Auckland City Hospital. If this is the case you will be provided with support for this through the Auckland MFM unit and the Paediatric Cardiology Service.


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Useful Links for Patient Support



NZMFMN Terms of Reference

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Network Project Dashboard

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Network Project Steering Group

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Steering Group Terms of Reference

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NZMFM Network Statements

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NZMFMN Recommendation of Practice

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Fetal Renal Dilation Consensus Group Guidelines

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NZMFMN Information Leaflets

<p>Our&nbsp;leaflets are designed to print double sided, short edge to short edge or flip on the&nbsp;long edge.…</p> More PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

<p>This area is currently under review.</p>

Useful Websites

<p><a href="">Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists</a></p>

Continuing Professional Education

Contact Details

Units and Services at NZMFMN

Referrals to MFM services should NOT be sent through the New Zealand Maternal Fetal Medicine Network (NZMFMN), they should be sent to your local unit, which is Auckland DHB, Wellington DHB or Christchurch DHB.

If you have any clinical questions or queries please also direct them to your local MFM unit.

There are three MFM units in the NZMFMN. The units are based in:

Each unit has Obstetrician and Gynaecologists with an expertise in MFM and in Auckland and Wellington Sub-specialists in MFM. In general the area served is fixed, although with a network there is the flexibility to provide cover between units when leave is taken. 

All three units provide MFM assessment and standard management. Some procedures are performed in one or two centres and where appropriate women will be referred on from one MFM unit to another by the MFM staff.

The staff of the NZMFMN are involved with teaching and research. In new Zealand a fetal medicine update day is run twice a year. Further details on the study days will be available here when finalised.

This page was last updated at 1:03PM on October 9, 2018.