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About Us

The Maternity Services Consumer Council is a consumer-based organisation made up of almost 100 community groups with an interest in the provision of maternity services. Our organisation acknowledges and respects the unique and independent nature of all its member groups.

Membership of the MSCC is free and is open to community groups and individuals with an interest in maternity services. The Council works with women of all cultures to promote the rights of women throughout the birthing cycle. The Council endorses the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendations on Appropriate Technology for Birth (1985) and Appropriate Technology Following Birth (1986).

The objective of the Maternity Services Consumer Council is to highlight the need for and availability of pregnancy, birth and postnatal care options. We encourage women and their families/whanau to participate fully in their pregnancy and birth care and parenting.

We emphasise the concept of partnership between consumers, health funders, planners and providers of maternity care. We oppose the unnecessary medicalisation of childbirth and so we aim to share information and ideas to explore alternative patterns of maternity care and provide a powerful voice for women using maternity services and to advocate for them when needed. The Maternity Services Consumer Council monitors the provision of maternity care to ensure funders, planners and providers are responsive to consumer needs.

The Maternity Services Consumer Council believes that birth is a normal life cycle event. We believe that birth is a family affair, an experience to be shared as the woman and her family/whanau choose. We believe that women have the right to any information that could affect their care or that of their baby.

We know that continuity of care is of the utmost importance to women and their families/whanau. We believe that midwives are the guardians of normal childbirth and in this role they must act as the advocate of the birthing woman. We believe that maternity care and related support services must be of a high standard and be accessible and acceptable to women and that all decisions relating to maternity care must involve the active participation of women health consumer representatives so that maternity services meet the needs of those who use them.