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 midwife can use during important pregnancy consultations and visits you have with them over the duration of your pregnancy. The tools support your health care providers to provide 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 on.

  • 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 that information is available for other health care professionals to access.

  • Better connection and communication between the doctor and midwife 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.