The last remaining mandatory COVID-19 requirements have been removed. You can find the media release here: All COVID-19 requirements removed |

We are working on updating the documents on this web page.  Please check back soon for updated guidance.

Information for community-based midwives

Assess for COVID-19

Undertake an assessment for COVID-19 risk prior to any visit – see COVID-19: Providing community midwifery care.

Where COVID-19 is indicated

If the assessment indicates a COVID-19 risk, ask the person to take a COVID-19 test (if they haven't already done so). Defer in-person care if it is clinically safe to do so.

Wear the appropriate PPE for the situation. View the IPC guidance: COVID-19: Infection prevention and control recommendations for health and disability care workers

Where COVID-19 is not indicated

When the assessment does not indicate an increased risk for COVID-19, maternity services providers can operate at full-service levels. This includes in-person care provision at ‘pre-COVID-19’ or ‘usual’ timings for routine assessments as the expected means of providing services and care.

Clinical Guidance for managing COVID-19 positive pregnant women / people in the community

There are a range of documents that have been reviewed and updated accordingly to support the provision of safe and integrated maternity care.

The pathway and the care framework are intended to be used together.

Information for radiologists on community-based maternity ultrasound scans

This document provides guidance on the prioritisation of clinically indicated maternity ultrasound scans undertaken in the community.

This advice has been prepared by clinicians as a guide to assist in the prioritisation of maternity ultrasound scans during Omicron.

This guidance may be adapted to suit regional or local circumstances.

Advice for the use of Entonox in labour

Guidance to provide advice on the use of Nitrous oxide/Entonox for labour analgesia during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of reducing the spread of COVID-19 from person to person in New Zealand. 

Recommendations for health professionals and whānau on handling of the whenua/placenta for COVID confirmed or probable people

‘Hara mai e tama, puritia te aka matua o te whenua’ – Come forth our child, we are bound by deep roots in this land/placenta.

The Ministry of Health acknowledges the rights of tangata whenua and encourages all health professionals to adhere to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Ministry of Health encourages health professionals to provide culturally safe care of the whenua/placenta along with evidence based best practice.

The cultural guidelines for Māori birthing customs can be found in the Turanga Kaupapa developed by Nga Maia o Aotearoa. The professional body of midwifery has adopted the Turanga Kaupapa in recognition of their obligations to Māori as tangata whenua and should be embedded throughout maternity care. (See New Zealand College of Midwives - Standards of Practice.)

This guidance is based on what is known about COVID-19 and the transmission of other viral respiratory infections.

The purpose of this guidance is to provide advice on the handling of the whenua/placenta for COVID-19 confirmed or probable women. Clinical judgement and discussions with whānau should take place to support decision making. 

The likelihood of COVID-19 being transmitted from a whenua/placenta to whānau is remote but cannot be ruled out completely. 

If whānau are planning on keeping their whenua/placenta, the following is recommended: 

  • Thorough hand hygiene should be practiced at any time the whenua/placenta is being handled. 
  • Whenua/placenta to be placed into an ipu/container/leakproof bag. Consider biodegradable non-permeable bags to alleviate double handling of the whenua. 
  • After the whenua/placenta is placed in the first ipu/container/bag it should then be placed in a clean non-permeable bag while wearing clean gloves.  
  • Wash hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds and thoroughly dry them. Take special care not to touch your face throughout the handling of the container and/or whenua/placenta. 
  • Whenua to be taken from the place of birth as soon as possible following the birth by someone in the same household as the birthing woman. 
  • If your whenua/placenta is in a biodegradable ipu or bag it can be buried in that. If it is in a non-biodegradable container it is recommended to remove it from the container prior to burial. Ensure you practice hand hygiene after any handling of the whenua/placenta or ipu/container/bag. See link above for guidance. 
  • If the whenua/placenta is not buried in the container/bag then these must be disposed of immediately in a double plastic/bio-degradable bag. Wash your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds and thoroughly dry them. Take special care not to touch your face throughout the handling of the container and/or whenua/placenta.