Angelika Möllmann is a lead maternity care midwife, accompanying women in their journey from first positive pregnancy test to six weeks post-birth, supporting them above all to trust in their own capacity.
It means being on call, literally, 24/7, requiring a flexibility and openness to the organic, often chaotic process of bringing forth new life. “There’s not a male-dominated profession similar to what we do.”
Angelika, who is German-born, trained in Britain in the 1990s, and has delivered over 1,000 babies in Hawke’s Bay since immigrating 19 years ago, in homes and hospital, in pools and birthing suites, her books open to all on a first come, first served basis, on the principle, “whatever you want, wherever you want to be”. In her local practice, Maya Midwives, she works with a team of five other midwives, who back and cover for each other, providing consistency of care for the women they attend.
She sees “a huge variety of women”, across all ethnicities and demographics, from those living in garages to luxury homes. No two births are ever the same, though there are universal truths. While women are “certainly challenged” through labour and birth, it can also be “super empowering” – on the other side of childbirth there’s often “a massive sense of achievement that is rivalled by nothing else.”
Her husband says he will know she’s done if she were ever to respond to a call-out, night or day, with a sigh. “I love what I do, it’s a real privilege.”
Angelika describes having a baby as a kind of “cracking open” that occurs in the dynamics of a relationship and a person’s life. “It’s an incredible step in human development to bear witness to.”
“My women inspire me, families inspire me – the way they adapt in their roles to accommodate a new life that is so consuming, that requires so much care and attention.”