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Maternity Services Consumer Council offers resources for pregnant women

Since 1990, the Maternity Services Consumer Council (MSCC) has provided crucial information and resources to pregnant women and maternity providers.

MSCC’s evidence-based information series, The Facts and Your Choices, is a helpful and comprehensive pack of 12 resources. They are free for individuals who just need to pay for postage. The resources demystify pregnancy and childbirth, providing answers to questions and helping women make informed choices. Topics covered include water births, caesareans, pain relief options and postnatal care. And the resource Choices for Childbirth is available in different languages, including te reo Māori, Arabic and traditional Chinese.

MSCC's Coordinator, Adith Stoneman, says birth is a normal life cycle event. She continues, ‘We believe all women should receive unbiased and evidence-based information, enabling them to make informed decisions about all aspects of their maternity care.’ Furthermore, MSCC believes that partners, families and support people should also be informed so they can support the mother’s choices.

The organisation covers the whole of New Zealand, but its headquarters are in Henderson’s Lavelle Road. As well as providing information, MSCC also advocates for women’s rights in maternity care. MSCC representatives sit on several local and national health committees and working groups.

Furthermore, MSCC keeps midwives and maternity providers updated on the latest national and international research. The very popular quarterly newsletter has around 1,000 subscribers, and the website has a wealth of information and data.

MSCC is a registered charity, and its services are provided free by a handful of part-time workers and a small group of volunteers. The organisation relies on the support of funders, including the Your West Support Fund. MSCC received $5,000 in the latest funding round, which has gone towards salary costs. ‘The help of the Your West Support Fund has been vital,’ declares Adith. ‘We are a small organisation, and resources are always tight,’ she says.

Go to MSCC’s website to order your free copy of The Facts and Your Choices.