Frequently Asked Questions

I’m pregnant. What do I do now?

A. Book with a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) like us!

We recommend that you see your general practitioner and book with an LMC midwife (or a general practitioner) as soon as you know you are pregnant. You may also choose to have a private obstetrician involved in your care, in which case you may also choose to have an LMC as well.

To find out more please call or send us an email if you would like to meet one of our midwives for an options or booking visit.

How can I find out my due date?

To find out your due date you can use a preganancy ovulation calculator such as

How much does maternity care cost?

Pregnancy care is free to all New Zealand Citizens and Residents. It is also available to people with long term work permits and their spouses – check with a midwife to see if you are eligible.

What does a midwife (or LMC) do?

Midwifery care is the provision of knowledge, advice, care and support to women and their families during pregnancy, labour and birth and the early weeks following birth; an LMC coordinates all of your pregnancy, birth, and postnatal care.

We meet you regularly during your pregnancy, attend your labour and birth, and see you at home until your baby is up to 6 weeks old. We organise tests and coordinate any referrals you may want or need.

Examples of tests are:

Examples of referrals are:

Your midwife or Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) is your first person to contact with questions or issues regarding your pregnancy. They (or their backup team) are available 24hrs a day for emergencies or urgent issues, or during normal working hours for normal enquiries.

How do I choose a midwife?

Often our midwives will be recommended by former clients, but it is important that you choose a midwife that you feel comfortable with. Any of the midwives at Garden City Midwives are happy to meet with you to explain your options and to answer any questions and see which midwife is right for you, this is called an initial options visit and its to help you decide on your choice of midwife and care.

We are all a bit different – check out our About Us section for hints as to who might fit best for you. If you later feel it’s not quite right for you, you can choose to change your midwife at any time by booking with another midwife.


About Garden City Midwives

Where do you attend births?

Wherever is most appropriate for you.

Our midwives have experience in both home and hospital births, including waterbirth. We have access agreements with all maternity facilities in Christchurch including Burwood and Lincoln maternity units and Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

Postnatally you can also choose to stay at St Georges Hospital in Christchurch.

There are smaller maternity units at Rangiora, Darfield, and Ashburton which are options for rural clients.

Details about maternity facilities can be founds on the following websites:

Christchurch Womens Hospital

Lincoln Maternity Hospital, Lincoln, nr Christchurch

Burwood Birthing Unit, Burwood, Christchurch

St Georges Maternity Unit, Merivale, Christchurch

Canterbury Homebirth Association

Where are your maternity clinics?

Our midwives work from several locations in Christchurch, see each midwife’s profile page for more information about where they are based.

Molly Jakovickas | Ganka Ianev | Tamara Ribble | Sylvia Stewart

How long and how many visits do you offer?

Visits are usually 30-60 minutes with the exception of booking appointments.

We are also happy to provide an initial options visit before you choose a midwife, simply give any of our midwives a call to arrange one.

This is followed by:

The number of visits can be increased if necessary (or decreased if you wish).

Do you visit at home when I am in labour?

Yes! Unless your labour is progressing very quickly and you are planning a hospital birth, we will usually come and see you at home in early labour.

What happens during appointments?

Appointments serve several purposes. They are a time for you and your midwife to get to know each other, for discussion about birth plans, to answer questions, and to check on the health of your baby during pregnancy.

Appointments can include:

(Physiotherapists, Obstetricians, General Practitioners etc)

How busy are you?

We follow the College of Midwives recommendations of a case load of 4-6 women a month and believe that the best maternity care is delivered by having lower case loads so that we can then be more flexible for clients and provide higher quality care.

We also have a policy not to book women who are due during or close to long periods of off-call time.

What is your backup support system?

Garden City Midwives work in two teams – Molly, Sylvia and Ganka, Tamara.

Half of each pair usually takes alternating weekends off call (when we are unavailable, see below for information), from about midday Friday until midday Monday. You are welcome to meet your main back up midwife during your pregnancy, and may meet other midwives if you would like to.

If your own midwife is not available (off-call or out of range) you can contact your backup midwife in the first instance or another midwife. We provide close collegial support and for safety we also provide backup care at births if your main midwife is fatigued.

We have weekly meetings to keep in contact and up to date with each other’s case loads, so that we can provide optimal continuity of care for you.

Off call: What does it mean for us and for you?

In midwifery it’s usual for your midwife to have a break just like other employees so that we can rest and spend time with our families. We call this situation being “off call” and for most midwives we have a break every other week from about midday Friday to midday Monday.

Midwives can often work long hours so “off call” time is essential for us to recuperate and be able to provide you with high quality care. Imagine if you were unable to rest and worked without a break, you wouldn’t be on top form!

On a few occasions a birth will coincide with a midwifes “off call” time and in these circumstances usually her backup midwife or another practice midwife will attend. This means that it is sometimes inevitable that a few people will not birth with their chosen midwife. We realise this is not what you envisage or plan for, but we ask that you consider this scenario and also for your understanding if this does happen. If you would like to meet with your backup midwife, just ask your own midwife about this.

We deeply care about our clients level of care, and we ask that clients respect our own self-care and that we have lives and families outside of our work, just like you do. “Off call” time means that we can do our best for you and your baby when we are on call.

Are you epidural certified?

All of our midwives are epidural certified.

This means that we do not need to hand over care to other staff if you have an epidural, and can therefore attend you throughout your labour and birth.

How are you qualified?

Midwives are specialists in pregnancy and birth, we have all completed a three-year degree known as a ‘Bachelor of Midwifery’ in order to gain the knowledge, skills and experience to provide safe and professional midwifery care. This is then followed by a year of one on one mentored practice and professional development support.

Garden City Midwives are all members of the New Zealand College of Midwives (the professional organisation for midwives, representing almost 90% of practising midwives in New Zealand.) and our standards of practice are reviewed regularly by the Midwifery Council.

What about water birth?

All of our midwives have experience with water birth in Christchurch.

To find out more about water births in Christchurch, either ask one of our midwives or visit the Canterbury Homebirth Association at