Wāhi Rua: New Zealand Maternal Fetal Medicine Network (NZMFMN)
Welcome to the Homepage of Wāhi Rua: the New Zealand Maternal Fetal Medicine Network (NZMFMN)
This Network was established with support from the Ministry of Health to promote excellence in Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Services around New Zealand and support maternity healthcare providers. 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.
The NZMFMN is honoured to be gifted the name Wāhi Rua by some of our Te Tai Tokerau Rangatira.
This name speaks of being in 2 spaces (wāhi- space, rua-two) and the two spaces are in haputanga and birth and in te ao mārama and te ao wairua.
The NZMFM Network is dedicated to delivering safe, equitable and sustainable maternal fetal medicine services to the women, pēpi and whānau of Aotearoa New Zealand.
We will provide support for the MFM service to ensure nationally consistent outcomes, accessibility and collaborative care for all that enter into the service.
The NZMFM Network is dedicated to ensuring the ongoing clinical education of staff, promotion of evidence-based care and research, and the collegiality and ongoing wellbeing of practitioners within the Network.
Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM)
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 any issues and most will not need MFM services. However, for the women who do need MFM, these services are provided for women throughout New Zealand.
Common Questions about NZMFM:
- What happens if there is a problem with my baby?
- When will I be seen?
- What will happen at the MFM unit?
- What about my LMC?
- Babies with heart problems
- Useful Links for Patient Support
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. In some cases, if your local hospital Obstetrician feels that referral to an MFM Hub is required, they will refer on to one of the three Hubs in the New Zealand MFM Network (NZMFMN). The Hubs are based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
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.
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 Hub. 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 Hub for the first time if possible.
Your LMC or local obstetrician may have referred you to the MFM Hub. At your first visit the staff will get all the information about your local healthcare providers. 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 contact your local healthcare providers. In some cases your LMC will continue to provide your care supported by the MFM staff. In some cases it might be necessary for you to deliver your baby at the MFM Hub rather than at your local hospital. In this case, care will be provided by the MFM team.
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 Hub 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.
|Useful Links for Patient Support|
Maternal Fetal Medicine Action Plan
NZMFMN National Leadership Group
NZMFMN Network Statements
NZMFMN Recommendations of Practice
Fetal Renal Dilation Consensus Group Guidelines
NZMFMN Information Leaflets
Our leaflets are designed to print double sided, short edge to short edge or flip on the long edge.…
Continuing Professional Education
The Update Day and Fellows Day will be held 8.30 am May 12 and May 13 2023 in Wellington.… More
International referral pathways
Hubs and Services of Wāhi Rua NZMFMN
Referrals to Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) services should be sent to your local MFM Hub -
The three NZ hubs are in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch hospital.
If you have any clinical questions or queries please also direct them to your local MFM Hub.
Each Hub has Obstetricians, Gynaecologists and Sub-specialists with an expertise in MFM. In general the area served is fixed, although with a network there is the flexibility to provide cover between units when needed.
All three Hubs 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.
For general non-urgent network queries (non referrals) contact:
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This page was last updated at 9:38AM on December 6, 2023.