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The Maternal Morbidity Working Group reviews the health care women received when they were very unwell during or after their pregnancy. Our group is made up of health professionals who look after pregnant women during and after their pregnancy and two consumers (women who are not health professionals).

Our purpose is to make maternity care better for New Zealand women.

We were set up by the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee. We report to the Health Quality & Safety Commission on maternal health.

What is maternal morbidity?

‘Maternal morbidity’ is the term used if a woman becomes very unwell when she is pregnant or has recently been pregnant.

What do we do?

During 2017 and 2018 the MMWG conducted regional panels of health specialists and consumers to review specific cases of maternal morbidity. From 2019, DHB maternity services will conduct local reviews. We have developed a suite of resources to guide and inform this process.

Maternity early warning system

Our regional review panels recommended we develop a national maternity early warning system (MEWS). This helps clinicians recognise early on when a pregnant woman’s condition is deteriorating and respond quickly to stop her getting worse.

Please visit the MEWS section of the website for more information.

Unhappy about anything that happened?

If one of our panels reviews your case, this is not the same as making a complaint about your care. If you would like to make a complaint about your care or about how you or your family and whānau have been treated, please visit the Ministry of Health website.

Unexpected outcomes and support

How can I contact you?

Dr Leona Dann is the maternity specialist at the Commission. You can contact Leona on or 04 901 6040.

Related Resources

Last updated: 13th November, 2021