Rural women could miss out on critical pregnancy care, as midwives struggle to cope with rising petrol prices.

The College of Midwives says some are considering cutting back on seeing expectant mothers when they're too far away because the price of petrol is too expensive.

Breaking down the cost of petrol: See our interactive here

Spokeswoman Nicole Pihema said this is especially an issue in Northland, where visits are often spread out and some mothers are vulnerable.


She told Newstalk ZB's Mike Yardley that price rises are just not sustainable for them in the long term - and soon mothers will be missing out on home care.

"Recently I have had to not take a woman who lived quite a fair distance away, she had no transport so she couldn't even meet me half way. That's an effort that her and her family will have to try to make because we just simply can't get there, it's just too far."

Listen to the full interview here

Pihema said the problem has become far worse in the last few months and families are really struggling.

"It's a weigh up of, do I put petrol in the car or do I feed my kids?"

"Some midwives are taking that cost onboard and they might even fork out of their own pockets some food for the family or some fuel to get them to appointments."