We’re inviting you and your clients to participate in an exciting adventure!

During this training, we’ll collaboratively explore the benefits of birth skills for both families and for you.

The sign-up form to participate is at the bottom of each page, so you can enroll whenever you’re ready. Our Trust will only take 100-150 midwives into this 2-year training.

Enrollment open from September 2018-January 10 2019

If you do choose to enroll, you will receive a welcome email. Follow this link to learn how we’ll support you throughout your training.

Read on now to get a broader understanding of why and how The Concept for this training evolved. And follow the hyperlinks for more detail if you wish.

Why This Training Is Needed Now

You know the stresses of working in your profession. What you might not realise is that some of the issues in today’s childbirth experience originated during the 1950s-70s and have had unintended negative results, which have been compounded from the 1980s to today.

Common Knowledge Trust is taking this initiative now because the time is right.

We hope our clarity of purpose will ring a bell deep inside you. As a participant, you will lead the way to a new health promotion that brings positive change to the public health message, delivery of service and consumer participation in our wonderful Midwifery Partnership.

Working with more skilled birthing families will give you a sense of being supported by your clients as you support them – resulting in a more balanced and stronger partnership, with greater satisfaction and more positive birthing experiences. You will also receive more support in your personal midwifery practice.

You know New Zealand has the most amazing midwifery-led maternity system … you’re part of it!

Midwifery is at a crossroads

All of us want our midwifery partnership to exist for many generations into the future. To do this, we need to take action now.

Maureen Thompson 1979 said: The dying out of midwifery in New Zealand could change the face of obstetrics irrevocably. The rate of interventions in birth would soar. We, too, could have a 20% c/s. We too could have routine scans, episiotomies, fetal monitors and inductions.’

The Trouble With Women p. 126

Yet, we are faced with our reality.

report_maternity_2000-2001 (PDF, 148 pages)
report-on-maternity-2015-updated (PDF, 90 pages)

These reports confirm increasing rates of intervention, especially caesarean sections. Why is this happening, given the dedicated time and energy, you and your colleagues have put into your 24/7 continuity of care clients for the past generation?

Perhaps the midwifery profession:

    • Is in crisis and will be so transformed that future generations won’t recognize what we have now … we hope not
    • Is just maturing with the new Co-Design Funding Model—we hope this works
    • Needs to balance and strengthen the Partnership between Midwives and Women—this is the premise for this training project.

Possible solutions

The Co-funding Design Model is presently being negotiated between NZCOM and Government. The Co-funding Design Model focuses on solutions highlighted on the 3 May 2018 Dear David country-wide march supporting midwives.

The Co-funding Design Model starts from the top and trickles down through the profession to consumers.

  • Consumers and midwives seek solutions from Government, MOH, and DHBs

Our Trust is inviting midwives to help women help themselves and thereby, help you. In other words, this is a bottom-up model that instills in our society a new way that expectant families can approach their baby’s birth. As a result of using this model:

  • Midwives turn to their defined Partner and ask them to treat their coming birth as an activity to which skills should be applied.
  • Expectant parents can intentionally strengthen a maternity system that provides choice and continuity of care by becoming skilled to birth their babies.
  • The Societal message that gets passed one to another is: ‘It’s natural and normal to learn birth and birth-coaching skills in pregnancy for use while birthing your baby’.

Goals of the training?

Through collaboration, we seek to achieve these broadest goals:

  • Grow a new societal expectation based on healing the unexpected negative consequences that have existed within the childbirth conversation for the past 3 generations.
  • Encourage a normal and natural expectation that expectant families choose one or more skills-focused methods to learn, practice then use their birth and birth-coaching skills throughout the birth of their baby – without exception. This grows a skilled birthing population.
  • Train midwives to give this new societal childbirth message as well as keep simple, effective notes of what skills families learned so they can be praised when used or encouraged when skills could be used to reduce anxieties and discomforts.
  • To collect data for future research about the benefits of the diverse skills-based methods and how skills were/were not used in every type of birth.

New Zealand midwives give maternity care for up to 90% of all New Zealand expectant parents. Midwives are the first port of call for women and men to understand New Zealand’s beliefs and attitudes about childbirth. Society’s messages are ultimately passed on between women and men.

We already know the outcome

When you participate in this 2-year NZ midwife training, you become the trailblazer to a new sensible approach to childbirth. The benefits of this training will accrue to families, to you and our NZ society. This means you and your clients are changing the societal beliefs and attitudes about childbirth that will become the new message passed between Kiwi families.

How do we know there will be benefits? Look at the Brant study to see a blast from our New Zealand Past and Look at Andrea Vincent’s statistics to see contemporary New Zealand benefits 2000-Present.

Until 1990 there was no clear general framework for such a new childbirth trend that could be inclusive of all families and every birth. Our unique Midwifery Partnership gives us the ability to heal the gap unintentionally created three generations ago and exacerbated since.

Read more about The Concept
Read more about the cost to participate (Koha)
Read more about support

How Will Midwives Participate?

Common Knowledge Trust invites 100-150 individual midwives to enroll and participate in framing this new societal message around childbirth and educate expectant families. The training is straightforward, satisfying, sustainable and tweakable.

Find out how the training will suit you

Participating midwives will work with Common Knowledge Trust to:

  • Deliver a simple scripted protocol that explains this new societal view of childbirth.
  • Inspire Women/Partner/Other to participate in your training during pregnancy and throughout the birth.
  • Encourage Women/Partner/Other to encourage their pregnant friends/family members to also participate.
  • Collect a small but significant amount of data.

All collected data will be freely available to NZCOM and other researchers.

Make the remarkable more remarkable

No other country has a midwifery partnership that gives 24/7 care to all expectant women regardless of risk. Nowhere else in the world can midwives take such direct steps to heal the unintended oversights that occurred generations ago.

Through the global work of the Director of Common Knowledge Trust since the early 1970s, we can now understand why and how those oversights occurred. Now, we can right the unintentional wrongs because we know better now.

Andrea Vincent took the risk to change in 2000. She sought out a change. She worked closely with Common Knowledge Trust, engaged in informal and evolving ‘practice-based evidence’ and has presented her findings 6 times over the past 17 years. Andrea has reaped the benefits.

Why New Zealand midwifery is remarkable

Around the world, modern midwives have identified themselves as the ‘best birth provider for normal, low-risk pregnancy and birth’. But NZ midwives disagreed and gave a resounding loud and clear … ‘NO’. New Zealand midwives insisted on including ALL expectant families. This is remarkable!

Now all expectant women have a continuity of care care-provider who is a midwife.

  • New Zealand midwives are leading the way to a totally transformed maternity system.
  • New Zealand midwives have given dedicated 24/7 continuity of care to a generation of ALL New Zealand mothers and fathers.

Midwives cannot achieve this change without a highly skilled birthing population who uses effective skills to work through their baby’s birth journey.

Why? Because everyone benefits from having the best skills for the task they are ‘doing’. Giving birth is the ultimate task. 100% of pregnant women will do it no matter the woman’s personal life, where birth unfolds, who is present, the circumstances or what happens to or around the birth.

Our midwifery profession and New Zealand families are at a crossroads. Your involvement in this training will produce the rapid changes in your clients that Andrea experienced.


“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

—Maya Angelou

Further reading:


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