Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Generosity of spirit sustains caseloading Lead Maternity Carer midwives in New Zealand.

Hunter, Marion; Crowther, Susan; McAra-Couper, Judith; Gilkison, Andrea; MacGregor, Debbie; Gunn, Jackie


Marion Hunter

Susan Crowther

Judith McAra-Couper

Andrea Gilkison

Debbie MacGregor

Jackie Gunn


Background: This article is the third in a series reporting on original research exploring the sustainability of Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) midwifery. Previous publications have described sustainable practice arrangements and the way that partnership and reciprocity with women sustain LMC midwives. Research about sustainable caseload practice is important because lessons can be learnt that ensure this model of care, with its excellent outcomes and high levels of maternal satisfaction, continues. Aim: The aim of this paper is to provide stand-alone data in relation to what sustains LMC midwives in midwifery practice over time. The final theme to emerge from our original research arose from data which support the strong relationship between the midwives' generosity of spirit alongside professional boundaries that is critical to sustaining caseloading practice. Method: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted in New Zealand. Eleven LMC midwives with between 8-20 years of practice experience were interviewed. Interviews were transcribed and the data thematically analysed. The researchers within the group undertook the analysis together in a reciprocal fashion between the individual interviews and all the data as a whole. Themes were clustered into groups and excerpts from the data used to illustrate the agreed themes. Ethics approval was obtained from Auckland University of Technology Ethics Committee. Conclusion: This paper draws attention to the significance of generosity of spirit in LMC practice and how this acts synergistically with personal and professional boundaries. Reciprocity and partnership work well when generosity of spirt is enabled to flourish, and this, in turn, supports joy of practice. This paper provides further insight into how LMC practice is sustained over time and provides direction for midwives in LMC practice, and those planning to enter LMC practice, in New Zealand and elsewhere.


HUNTER, M., CROWTHER, S., MCARA-COUPER, J., GILKISON, A., MACGREGOR, D. and GUNN, J. 2016. Generosity of spirit sustains caseloading Lead Maternity Carer midwives in New Zealand. New Zealand College of Midwives journal [online], 52, pages 50-55. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 1, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 30, 2016
Publication Date Dec 31, 2016
Deposit Date Nov 30, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 30, 2016
Journal New Zealand College of Midwives journal
Print ISSN 1178-3893
Electronic ISSN 0014-7870
Publisher New Zealand College of Midwives
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Pages 50-55
Keywords Sustainability; Generosity of spirit; Caseload midwifery; Midwife lead ; Maternity carer; Midwifery practice
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations