In light of International Midwives' Day, New Zealand midwives are set to march on Parliament today to rally for sustainable pay.
Midwives and families have produced a petition for urgent funding to the Minister of Health, David Clark, which they have called 'Dear David.'
Rural New Zealand midwives are currently earning $7.23 an hour and urban midwives $12.80 according to the New Zealand College of Midwives.
Siobhan Connor, Chair of the Wellington Region of the College of Midwives, says New Zealand midwives are aware they're making a difference.
"We love our work and know we make a huge difference to women but our families suffer when our dedication and skill is not financially recognised. Midwives are leaving the profession because of this and then women lose access to maternity care. The solution is ready – so fund it," she says.
Dancing With The Stars host Sharyn Casey took to her Instagram to share a photo of her soon after giving birth in order to bring awareness to the midwife crisis.
"It's hard to think this was 17 weeks ago, being pregnant seems forever ago but one thing I won't EVER forget is the incredible support of my midwife Denise from the moment I spoke to her on the phone for the first time, to all the extra scans she booked for me when I'd call sure something was wrong with the baby," the post read.
"To the day I had to be put under GA for a c section to crying phone calls panicking when we got home & even now months after her paid work is done she stays in touch & answers any questions - Not only for me but to Bryce aswell. I wish I could make it to #MarchWithTheMidwives today because these incredible women deserve to be treated better, they work so hard constantly and we NEED them to be looked after in every aspect, they are so important & have my full support 🙌🏽❤️ #DearDavid."
The hashtag #DearDavid is trending across Instagram and Twitter in light of the rally.
Midwives and families are also set to protest in Auckland, Dunedin, Taupo, Tauranga and Waikato today.
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