Birthing Centre Newsletter July 2018

Newsletter July 2018

Birthing Centre Newsletter | July 2018





In this issue



Our new Wellington birthing centre

We introduce you to midwife Alexandra Deas




Letter from the founder 

Dear all,

I cannot believe how fast the last two months have gone. Working towards the opening of Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre in Lower Hutt, a close involvement in the building of Nga Hau Mangere in Auckland, the ongoing commitment to our other birthing centres and I have been to prison. Whatever our past difficulties may be, we must celebrate the blessings people bring to us when we are open to them.

It has been a very busy time preparing for the opening of Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre. We’ve been working with SPACE, Parenting Place and others to bring the best connections and tool boxes for new parents, to effect the best outcomes in the most important role we will ever have: being parents.

That parents are first teachers is an undeniable fact, and as such our ‘big picture’ is to effect the best outcomes through a mother’s birthing and subsequent nurture experience. For us, it begins with antenatal classes, followed by a positive birthing experience, then the Milk Café, Mama and Me programme, and now I am in discussion with SPACE and Parenting Place to work with parents through their voyage of discovery with their new baby.

Freedom of choice is a cornerstone of our practice and I feel grateful for those who so freely share information to aid us on our voyage. I would like to acknowledge River Ridge Birthing Centre in Hamilton, whose people have chosen to give us guidance in so many areas. Also our own midwives and the LMCs who constantly add to my knowledge of pregnancy and birth. Midwives are totally women-centred, and I have come to not only love but have huge admiration for this sisterhood.

Yesterday our midwife Belinda explained why it is so important for pregnant women to sleep on their side: sleeping on your back in the last three months presses on major blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to your womb and oxygen supply to your baby. Sleeping on your side halves the risk of stillbirth. Always start sleeping on your side. Ask your midwife or doctor. 

Prison for me, was a most enlightening experience. We were contacted late last year by Rimutaka Prison with an offer by the Maori carvers to donate a carving to the new birthing centre. Because the carvers were unable to visit us, Traci and I asked if we could meet them. Warden Murray orchestrated our visit and there we met and talked with the men who design and sew many articles that go back into the community. Cosy duvets for the whole family, beanies and mittens for the children, gorgeous raincoats that are mindful of the children’s needs. We visited the extensive gardens, mulched for the winter, that produce tons of food that all goes back into the community.

The carvers unveiled the most exquisite carving that told a story for its new home. We saw ‘our’ carving in its initial stages and the drawings. We listened to the men’s vision and witnessed the love and energy that was going into the carving. All the men spoke of the skills they had learned and embraced as a way of giving back to the community. The staff clearly work toward effecting better future outcomes for these men and we felt privileged to have had this opportunity.

Can we call ourselves truly civilised if we don’t have individual choice, community selflessness, and a willingness to grow?

Live well,

Chloe Wright
CEO, Birthing Centre Ltd




Our new Wellington birthing centre is opening on July 16!


We are delighted to soon open the greater Wellington region’s first primary birthing centre, providing another choice for birthing women in the region after more than 40 years of mothers requesting this service.

Named Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre for the first people to inhabit this area, the centre at Melling, Lower Hutt, is for healthy pregnant women with uncomplicated pregnancies. It is free for women from the greater Wellington area who are eligible for care in New Zealand hospitals.

We’re so grateful for all the support we have received from LMCs, stakeholders and whanau in the area, and are really excited to walk this journey together as part of your community.




Meet Jacqui

We are delighted to welcome Jacqui Paine to our team, as Clinical Manager of Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre at Melling.

Jacqui is excited to be involved with bringing a primary birthing option to the women of the Wellington region – something she says has been long awaited by women in the area.

“My philosophy is all about the empowerment of women and helping them to make informed choices; giving them the confidence to trust their bodies and be able to trust themselves to birth,” says Jacqui.

“This centre gives women in the region a really fabulous choice for another place to give birth.”

Like our centres in Tauranga and Palmerston North, the Lower Hutt facility is for healthy pregnant women who do not expect interventions. The service will be free for women from the greater Wellington area, who are eligible for care in New Zealand hospitals, to birth at the centre and receive subsequent post-natal care.

Jacqui has a huge amount of experience in midwifery. Originally from Britain, she moved to New Zealand in 2003 and worked as a midwife in Whanganui – both as an LMC and at Whanganui Hospital.

Her varied experience includes everything from working in tertiary care at a large UK teaching hospital, to home births and water births.

Primary birthing is where her heart is, and she was excited to learn of Birthing Centre’s philosophy, saying this is a dream job.

“It’s also a dream for the women – this is what women dream of for their birth.

“We have had lots of positive feedback from LMCs in the region, with lists of women keen to book in.”

When she’s not working, Jacqui enjoys keeping fit and healthy, spending time at the gym or going for a run. She also enjoys travel and seeing other parts of the world, and is enjoying getting to know Wellington.

A mother of three, she enjoys spending time with her children, aged in their early 20s, when she gets the opportunity.

Follow our new Facebook page for Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre at Melling, click here.




Our first staff transfer!

Palmerston North’s loss was Bethlehem’s gain, as midwife Gemma Kurth recently moved from Te Papaioea to become our first ever Birthing Centre staff transfer. We’re really pleased that we’ve been able to retain Gemma as a valued member of our team – she’s an asset to us and is missed in Te Papaioea!




Milk Café at Te Papaioea

At Birthing Centre we are all about supporting mothers and connecting communities. Which is why we are delighted that Te Papaioea Birthing Centre has recently started a weekly breastfeeding support group - the Milk Café.

Like the group of the same name at Bethlehem, the Milk Café warmly welcomes mothers to drop in for a casual chat, have a cuppa, get additional advice and support around feeding their baby, and meet other women.

We’ve had great feedback from mothers since launching the group, and are looking forward to meeting and connecting more mums in the area. The focus of our groups is to strengthen our community and to foster coffee groups, primary birthing and support networks for new mothers.

The Milk Café is held at Te Papaioea Birthing Centre every Wednesday from 10am to midday. Please feel free to share this information with any new mums or mums-to-be in the area who may be interested!




Alexandra Deas

We introduce you to midwife Alexandra Deas, who has been a valued team member at Bethlehem Birthing Centre for 18 months.

Alex is a midwife who has worked in healthcare for the last 20 years, starting as an acute surgical nurse and then graduating from midwifery 14 years ago.

She has worked extensively as a midwife in both primary and secondary care midwifery practice.

It was her love of primary birthing that attracted her to the role at Bethlehem Birthing Centre, together with a desire to move away from the congestion of Auckland and give her children a more relaxed childhood.

“The Tauranga community is so warm and friendly, the birthing centre staff and management were so welcoming and my in-laws live here in Katikati,” says Alex.

“I wanted to refocus on primary birthing – normal birthing, with a focus on community and family support. I felt I needed to find a work environment where staff are valued and the wellbeing of the women we care for is paramount.

“Chloe’s vision for Birthing Centre Ltd was the perfect fit for me. Chloe’s focus and passion for building and strengthening community and providing support for new and growing families pretty much sums up my own midwifery and life philosophy.

“I tell my children that life is about impact: show kindness, get kindness, and always do as much as you can to help others and make them feel valued and important. To work in an environment where that is encouraged is so incredible.  I truly love my job and enjoy coming to work with this awesome caring team!”

Alex has recently completed a stint of leading the team at Bethlehem as 2IC, enjoying the opportunity for further learning. She was also a key player in the centre’s introduction of antenatal classes, and the follow-up Mama & Me groups.

“What I love about the antenatal classes is that they totally encompass Chloe’s vision of bringing together communities,” says Alex.

“We started them because we had found that women weren’t joining coffee groups in the area. We wanted to connect new mums so that women could support each other and have lifelong friendships. Now, there are some amazing coffee groups going as a result of our classes. It’s wonderful to have been a part of that.”

Alex enjoys meeting women at the start of their motherhood journey and giving them skills for a positive primary birth.

“The best part of the role for me is seeing women from the antenatal classes come up the staircase when they arrive to have their baby - they already know you and the centre, and they trust in the vision of the centre. I get to meet some truly lovely couples and it’s an absolute privilege to see them transition into parents, with positive birth stories, and the birthing centre is a huge part of that.”

Alex is passionate about sharing positive and uplifting birth stories – she believes the birth of a child can be one of the best days of a woman’s life, and one of her greatest accomplishments.

A mother of four children aged between 5 and 13, Alex’s experience as a mum enriches her midwifery practice, and allows her to speak to antenatal classes about being a working mum.

Outside of work, Alex cherishes time with her family, which includes the recent additions of a Doberman puppy and two Burmilla kittens.




Find us online

Our website,, is a great port of call for anyone who wants to find out more about primary birthing, our philosophy and service.

Check out our Facebook pages too: 
Bethlehem Birthing Centre:
Te Papaioea Birthing Centre:
Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre at Melling:





Quote of the day

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." – Lady Bird Johnson







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