New pregnancy assessment tool to support Māori pēpi and māmā

By Jessica Tyson

Māori pēpi, māmā and whānau will have improved access to healthcare services with a new suite of pregnancy assessment tools called Best Start Kōwae.

The tool launched today is available for all pregnant mothers to use but has a special focus on uptake and equity of māma and pēpi Māori.

It also provides guidance on maternal immunisation, linking māma early in pregnancy with a lead maternity caregiver, smoking cessation support, social services for damp housing, and support with mental health or addictions or family violence.

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says, “As a country, we can do better for Māori māmā, whānau and pēpi so I’m glad we are supporting them with practical tools to help children have the best start to life.”

The tool also aims to address Māori health disparities by ensuring all whānau receive the help they are entitled, to improve health outcomes for all babies.

"Having a healthy start to life should be every child's right - but for far too many tamariki Māori that's not the case.”

Best Start Kōwae also works with the information systems of those delivering primary care use - such as midwives, general practitioners and nurses – and means more information sharing, transparency, and visiblity of the care māmā and pēpi receive.

Māmā can access Best Start Kōwae with their midwife or general practitioner.