Supporting Families, Preventing Tragedies

Welcome to AIM

When you’re expecting a baby, you prepare yourself for lack of sleep, dirty nappies, crying all night and being exhausted all day. You also indulge in the happy anticipation – building the cot, buying the smallest clothes and stocking up on tiny nappies.

Sadly, sometimes, instead of the happy outcome you have been hoping and planning for, the unexpected happens. Sometimes, even more sadly, the unexpected proves to have been avoidable.

At some point during the birthing process, things for our families went terribly wrong.

We have lost children, or have children who are now compromised. Some of the new mothers in our network have been affected themselves by poor care leading to serious and at times, fatal avoidable treatment injuries. We have become knowledgeable enough to realise these poor outcomes have come about due to systemic failings of the maternity system in New Zealand.

Through no fault of our own, we are now faced with a future that is tainted by our past. Some of us have become experts in labour and birth. Some have become full time nursing experts, adept at suctioning secretions from our children’s airways or feeding them through tubes in their stomachs. Others can recite word for word Ministry of Health maternity policies and guidelines. None of these things did we ever think we would know, or need to know. But we do, because of flaws in our system. We want to prevent these hard lessons for others.

There are three things that every affected family needs:

  • Information around what happened to them
  • The right supports in place for their circumstance
  • The knowledge and confidence that, where ever possible, it will never happen again

Action to Improve Maternity (AIM) is a Charitable Trust that supports families where a birth tragedy has occurred which did not have to happen. Our work includes helping them to discover what happened to them and their child, walking them through the different (often complex) complaints procedures, offering a consumer opinion about the clinical notes, helping them get ACC cover – and then teaching them how to use it… We’ve sat beside families during coroner’s inquests, held hands at hospital bedsides, and have been honoured and deeply touched to support them through funerals. Through our website, we give these families a safe and special place to tell their story – this opportunity for these particular families has never existed before. We are also here long term to help prevent the preventable from occurring in the future.

Add your voice to the call for change in the New Zealand maternity system.

Help us give support to affected families. Help us prevent the preventable.

Red Flags

        RED FLAGS

  • Lack of monitoring
  • “Normalising” the abnormal
  • Lack of action/delay in getting emergency care
  • Going over due date
  • Failure to progress in labour
  • Meconium-stained liquor (waters)
  • Lengthy handover during emergency
  • Inconsistent reporting and documentation
  • Your concerns being ignored

    Click here to read more about common warning signs


The content of this website is offered for information purposes only and is not intended in any way to be a substitute for medical advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem. Always check with your medical practitioner if you have concerns about your condition or treatment. AIM is not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any form of damages whatsoever resulting from the use (or misuse) of information contained in or implied by the information on this site.

This website contains links to websites operated by third parties. Such links are provided for reference only. AIM does not control such websites and is therefore not responsible for their content.