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Pre-colonisation, traditional Māori healing techniques were utilised regularly post-birth, not only if wahine experienced trauma or pregnancy/baby loss, but as a general rule or tikanga to return the whare tangata (womb/uterus) to a non-tapu state and ensure māmā recovered smoothly and remained well.

ACC legislation has recently changed, meaning māmā who have sustained birth injuries after 1 st October 2022 may now be eligible for ACC cover. As an ACC-approved vendor, Te Ara Teatea is now able to offer rongoā Māori treatment for these injuries, using traditional Māori healing techniques such as mirimiri and romiromi.


Our tūpuna understood birth to be a wairua (spiritual) process just as much as it was physical, and as a society, Māori placed huge emphasis on ensuring women were protected and nurtured through pregnancy (hapūtanga) and postnatally, as carriers of the next generation.

In the context of trauma or loss, these same philosophies were applied and traditional healing techniques were used to clear the whare tangata (womb), birth canal, or injuries of grief and trauma, restoring the mauri of the tinana and wairua, facilitating healing on all levels.

Like any other physical injury resulting from trauma, the tissue surrounding your injury may be holding stored/trapped emotion, as well as the residue of the physical trauma itself. Some māmā may have also struggled with feelings of powerlessness, failure, guilt, and grief as the result of a traumatic birth.

Rongoā Māori works on physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and energetic levels simultaneously, allowing for the release of these emotions, as well as the healing of any intergenerational trauma that may have played a part in a woman’s birth experience.

What to expect

What to expect

As touched on earlier, birth trauma isn’t limited to physical injuries. Most women, at some stage of their labour/birth or postnatal journeys, have felt powerless, invalidated, unheard or unseen. And if your injury or birth experience impacted your ability to breastfeed and/or bond with your baby, you may have also experienced feelings of guilt, failure, or grief.

In recognition of this, the first session/treatment is dedicated purely to unpacking your story and experience, and there won’t be any physical bodywork. It's simply an opportunity for you to tell the story of your birth, uninterrupted, in whatever order you recall it. Your practitioner Danielle, will create and hold a safe space for you to share your experiences and explore where healing is needed.

After the initial session, treatment will follow the same sequence as a standard romiromi/mirimiri treatment, however particular attention may be paid to the pelvic region, to facilitate energetic clearing of the whare tangata (womb/uterus), birth canal and injuries.

These treatments will NEVER involve internal vaginal/rectal examinations and you will always remain fully clothed. Consent will be gained before any pressure points in the pelvic region are activated and each treatment will be guided by the client’s level of comfort and readiness.

Danielle Profile Photo.jpg

Meet Danielle

Our practitioner working in this space is Danielle, who is passionate about working with wāhine at all stages of the maternity journey - from pre-conception right through to the postnatal period.

Meet Danielle

In our experience, talking therapy alone is usually not enough to shift trauma out of the physical body, therefore maternal birth injury treatment will involve mirimiri (energetic techniques) as well as romiromi (physical bodywork), which Danielle has been learning since 2019 under the guidance of lead practitioner, Ruatau Perez. Treatment will therefore involve both practitioners, but please let our tangata manaaki Jo know prior to your treatment if you
aren’t comfortable with male touch, as we can work around this. Your safety is paramount to us during any treatment.

What’s the ACC process?

ACC Process

If you already have an approved ACC claim for maternal birth injury, just let ACC know you’d like to access rongoā Māori by calling them on 0800 101 996 and providing them with our name (Te Ara Teatea) and vendor ID (VBD612). ACC will then send a purchase order to us and we’ll contact you once we have processed your paperwork, to arrange treatment.

If you have birthed recently but don’t have an ACC claim, talk to your midwife (if you’re still under her care) to find out whether you’re eligible and whether she can lodge a claim for you. If you have already been discharged by your midwife, arrange an appointment with your GP, so that you can be assessed and find out whether you’re eligible. Once your claim
has been lodged and approved, contact ACC as detailed above, and let them know you would like to access rongoā Māori.

Unfortunately, not every birth injury is covered (but the vast majority are) and depending on whether your injury is classed as a birth injury or medical injury, you may not be able to access rongoā Māori as part of your treatment. For the full list of covered birth injuries, see ACC’s website.


If it turns out your injury is not covered by ACC, but you are still interested in accessing rongoā Māori to heal birth trauma (physical or otherwise), we would still love to work with you. It simply means the cost of treatment will not be covered by ACC and you will need to pay for this privately.

What about mental health issues resulting from traumatic birth? Does ACC cover that?

We hear you, māmā. Psychological and emotional trauma are very real results of births that either didn’t go to plan, or left women and their whānau feeling powerless and the after-effects can be just as debilitating, if not more so, than physical injuries.

Unfortunately, the only mental health conditions covered by ACC relative to birth are those which are deemed to have been the direct result of a physical birth injury on the covered list. If your physical injury is not covered by ACC, then any mental health issue that may have arisen as a result will not be covered, however this does not stop you from accessing
rongoā Māori. It simply means the cost of treatment will not be covered by ACC and you will need to pay the full cost of treatment.

Is mental health covered?
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Get in touch

If you're interested in finding out more or would like to make a booking please call/txt 022 369 6761.


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