Cover for maternal birth injuries

The birth of a pēpi (baby) is a life-changing moment for you and your whānau, but it can also lead to injuries for the birthing parent which take time to recover from.

If you have experienced an injury while giving birth on or after 1 October 2022, we may be able to help with your recovery. 

On this page

    Cover and back pages of the maternal birth injuries parents brochure

    Getting help after a birth injury

    Learn more about maternal birth injuries for parents and whānau and how to get help for an injury.

    Download pdf 1.3 MB

    What to do if you’re injured

    Maternal birth injuries can have long-lasting effects so it's important to get treatment and support early on. This will help you recover faster and reduce the impact of related injuries in the future.

    Your midwife, doctor, nurse, physio or other healthcare provider can lodge an ACC claim for you after you’re diagnosed with an injury. This might be straight away after the birth of a baby while you’re in the hospital, or sometime after birth when it’s been identified you need further support and care for your injury.

    Learn more about how a claim is filed on your behalf

    What's normal?

    In some cases, maternal birth injuries can become apparent weeks or months after birth, so it’s helpful to be aware of what’s normal and what’s not, and when to seek help.

    Learn more
    Pasifika woman helping children with food

    What we cover

    We can cover specific maternal birth injuries that happen during labour or delivery on or after 1 October 2022.

    We can also help if you have other mental or physical injuries that are caused by your covered birth injury.

    If you don’t have one of the listed injuries, you might still be able to get help from us if your injury was caused by medical treatment during birth. Please talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner for advice.

    Maternal birth injuries covered by ACC

    • Anterior wall prolapse, posterior wall prolapse, or uterine prolapse
    • Coccyx fracture or dislocation
    • Levator avulsion
    • Obstetric anal sphincter injury tears or tears to the perineum, labia, vagina, vulva, clitoris, cervix, rectum, anus, or urethra
    • Obstetric fistula (including vesicovaginal, colovaginal, and ureterovaginal)
    • Obstetric haematoma of pelvis
    • Post-partum uterine inversion
    • Pubic ramus fracture
    • Pudendal neuropathy
    • Ruptured uterus during labour
    • Symphysis pubis capsule or ligament tear

    What we don't cover

    There are some limits to the support we can provide. These limits are set by Parliament, which makes laws about what we can and can’t support. 

    We’re unable to cover:

    • any of the listed injuries that occurred prior to 1 October 2022
    • pregnancy-related injuries or illness
    • maternal birth injuries not listed above
    • injury to pēpi (baby), although they may be eligible for treatment injury cover.

    We acknowledge this is difficult for those excluded by this change. If you experienced a maternal birth injury that’s not listed above or which occurred before 1 October 2022, please talk to your midwife, doctor or primary care provider about support available. 

    Support available from ACC

    Once your claim is accepted, you can get the support you need from us. That might be physiotherapy or other specialist treatment or rehabilitation, support at home, or help with other costs.

    Your midwife, doctor, nurse practitioner or other healthcare provider will be able to refer you for further treatment. Once you have an accepted ACC claim you can also contact your local ACC-registered treatment provider, such as a physiotherapist, directly to make an appointment.

    Find out more about treatment we can help pay for

    Rongoā Māori

    We also offer traditional rongoā Māori healing services as a rehabilitation option if you’re injured. This is part of our kaupapa Māori health service pathway, which aims to provide culturally appropriate care to māmā, birthing parents and whānau. These services include mirimiri (bodywork), whitiwhiti korero (support and advice) and karakia (prayer). 

    Find out more about accessing rongoā Māori treatment

    Ongoing support

    ACC can also assist with other ongoing support while you recover.

    Types of ongoing support

    What to do if you’re experiencing mental distress

    Although it’s a special time, sometimes giving birth can be a traumatic and distressing experience. It’s common for new parents to feel down, depressed, anxious, or suffer from the ‘baby blues’.

    If you have a covered maternal birth injury, we may be able to help pay for counselling and therapy sessions to support you to recover from your physical injury. 

    Contact us to discuss your needs.

    Phone 0800 101 996

    Should you be diagnosed with a mental injury resulting from your maternal birth injury, for example post-traumatic stress disorder, you may be eligible for mental injury cover.  This requires a separate claim to be submitted to us.

    Learn more about the counselling and therapy we can help pay for

    If you are feeling distressed, please reach out for help. Talk to your doctor or midwife and let them know how you’re feeling. There are other free services available that can provide support.

    Where else to go for information and support

    Birth Trauma Aotearoa

    Provides information and support for parents and whānau following birth trauma.

    Birth Trauma Aotearoa


    A free service that provides health advice if you’re feeling unwell but aren't sure if you need to see a doctor, and that helps you find services near you.



    A free helpline and advice service available to all families, whānau and caregivers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


    Plunket advice on health and care after birth

    The Ministry of Health

    Provides helpful advice for birth and afterwards.

    Ministry of Health

    The New Zealand College of Midwives

    Provides resources about how to care for yourself and what to expect throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and the postnatal period.

    New Zealand College of Midwives

    Ngā Māia Māori Midwives o Aotearoa

    A national body that represents Māori birthing. The kaupapa of Ngā Māia focuses on māmā, pēpi, whānau and promoting mātauranga Māori in pregnancy and childbirth.


    Physiotherapy New Zealand

    Provides information about how physiotherapy helps, including for pelvic floor disorders.

    Physiotherapy New Zealand

    Helplines that offer mental health support

    Anxiety Line

    Phone 0800 2694 389

    Depression Helpline

    Phone 0800 111 757


    Phone 0800 543 354 or 09 5222 999 within Auckland

    Parent Help

    Phone 0800 568 856

    Suicide Crisis Helpline

    Phone 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

    Last published: 20 December 2022