FAQs

Who can give birth at a Birthing Centre facility?

Birthing Centre facilities are primary birthing centres for women of all ages having low-risk births, without intervention. You need to be booked in advance by an LMC who holds an access agreement with the birthing centre.

Expectant mums with a history of complications during their pregnancies or previous births, such as Caesareans, may not be considered low risk/primary care in which case a primary birthing facility would not be suitable. Your health professionals, including your LMC, will advise you if this is the case.

Talk to your LMC to see if Birthing Centre is right for you. If your vision is to have a non-intervention birth, communicate this with your LMC.

What do I need to do to book a place to give birth at Birthing Centre?

Find a Lead Maternity Carer who has signed an agreement to use a Birthing Centre facility. Your LMC will make the necessary arrangements for your birth.  For help finding a midwife, click here.

What happens if complications arise and I need medical assistance with my birth, or if my baby does when he or she is born?

In the event that a woman in labour or her newborn baby needs transferring to hospital for specialist care or an emergency Caesarean, strict communication procedures and management plans are in place between the Birthing Centre, your LMC and the hospital to ensure this happens as promptly and smoothly as possible.

Our clinically qualified staff give their full support to your LMC to stabilise you and your baby, using our specialised equipment, before a timely transfer to hospital. All birthing centre staff are trained to respond to an emergency situation and use the emergency equipment on site.

How much does it cost to give birth at a Birthing Centre?

Birthing Centre is free for all women eligible for free hospital care in New Zealand.

Women giving birth at Birthing Centre are offered three nights post-natal care. If you transfer after birthing at the Hospital Maternity Unit, two nights of post-natal care at the birthing centre are available to you.

Expectant mothers not eligible for public funding can give birth at a Birthing Centre for a fee. Please contact us for details.

Can I come to a Birthing Centre for my post-natal care after giving birth at a hospital?

In some cases women who have given birth at a hospital are able to choose to transfer to a Birthing Centre for their post-natal care. There are some parameters around the timings of transferring to the birthing centre after your birth and Birthing Centre and eligibility to transfer postnatally is determined by our agreement with the regional DHB. Mothers who are eligible for free maternity care in New Zealand can transfer to a birthing centre at no cost.

All women who wish to transfer to a Birthing Centre for post-natal care must book in advance.

I have previously had a caesarean or other complicated birth. Can I still come to the birthing centre?

We will work with your LMC to decide whether birthing at the centre is the right option for you.

If it’s decided that the birth will take place at the centre, a strict management plan will be agreed on. This will ensure a clear understanding of when the birth needs to be treated as moving from non-complicated to complicated, so that a prompt, safe transfer to hospital can be organised.

Birthing Centre reserves the right of veto if it believes a mother or baby’s safety is at risk.

What happens if the birthing centre is full when I go into labour?

In this unlikely event, the mother will be sent to a hospital to give birth, but can return to the Birthing Centre for post-natal care as space allows.

Can my partner stay with me at the birthing centre?

Partners are welcome to stay in your room on the first night of your baby’s life. We ask they return home for subsequent nights to allow the new mum a chance to rest.

What is primary birthing?

Primary birthing is birthing without intervention. Primary birthing offers many benefits to both mother and baby, including: fewer interventions, shorter labour, faster recovery and facilitating breastfeeding.

As primary birthing facilities, Birthing Centre is for women having non-intervention, low-risk births.

The centre is a non-clinical setting for women having natural, low-risk births. There will be no specialists, obstetricians or GPs on site. Women remain under the care of their Lead Maternity Carers (LMC).