Information for Māmā

We are committed to ensuring that all pregnant women receive the best possible maternity care for themselves and their baby, from the moment they find out they are pregnant, through to those first few weeks of their baby’s life.

What are the Best Start Kōwae?

Best Start Kōwae (modules) are a suite of new assessment tools that your GP and mid-wife can use during important pregnancy consultations and visits you have with them over the duration of your pregnancy. The tools make it easier for your health providers to deliver the best standard of care for you and your baby. The Best Start Kōwae are being rolled out all over Aotearoa as part of a pro-equity project called ‘Generation 2040’. The Generation 2040 project aims to reduce inequities in access to quality care and health outcomes for Māori hapū māmā and pēpī Māori.

What does the Best Start Kōwae mean for hapū māmā?

It means exactly that, ensuring that we give all mums and babies the best possible start in their journey. In particular, we are committed to ensuring Māori hapū māmā and pēpī Māori do not miss out. When health providers use the Best Start tools, it allows them to:

  • Pick up on any health risks or issues early, meaning they can provide better treatment early.

  • Connecting māmā in with any other support they might need early on in pregnancy (things like help to quit smoking, housing assistance or counselling and much more!)

  • Connecting information early on in pregnancy to the midwife for māmā, so māmā does not need to keep repeating herself or start again when she connects with a midwife.

  • Better connection and communication between the doctor and mid-wife over the course of the pregnancy.

What care are hapū māmā entitled to?

Most maternity care in Aotearoa is free for eligible hapū māmā. The Best Start Kōwae help ensure māmā receive the quality of care they are entitled to. 

To find out more about eligibility for free maternity care, and what this care includes, read the Ministry of Health's official information by clicking here. 

Frequently asked questions

What if I don’t want to have the assessments done?

If you do not wish to have the Best Start tools completed with you, simply advise your doctor or midwife. There will be no consequences should you decline to have an Best Start Kōwae assessment completed.

Who will see the answers I give?

Your doctor and/or lead maternity carer (if your midwife uses the Best Start tools) will be able to see the answers you give. We have designed the tools this way to better connect your doctor and lead maternity carer. If you are referred to a support service, the support service provider may see your answers needed to complete the referral to a service.

How does Gen2040 handle privacy?

We take patient privacy very seriously. We have implemented comprehensive security measures to ensure that we protect patients according to best practice. Secure measures includes:

  • Vetting process for any health providers who apply to use the Best Start Online Tool
  • Secure online login process (2-factor authentication)
  • Gen2040 will not hold or obtain any identifiable patient information.

We have published a Privacy Impact Assessment, which has been reviewed by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. To request a copy of our PIA, please contact us.

We also have an Information Sheet and Privacy Statement available.

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