Birthing Centre Newsletter December 2018

Newsletter December 2018

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Birthing Centre Newsletter | December 2018





In this issue



Mothers Matter campaign

Ngā Hau Māngere Birthing Centre opening mid-February 2019




Letter from the founder 

Dear all,

I recall my psychology professor telling the class about the 50/50 rule we could use when it came to discussing marriages that were in trouble. The rule is a little indelicate but upon request I could post it in plain brown wrapping. With all the stresses coming from getting the Practical Completion certificate, audit, staffing, DHB negotiations for Ngā Hau Māngere, coupled with the thrill of knowing more women and families will experience the care, education, and nurture they deserve and are entitled to and that this sanctuary offers, I am hanging on to a somewhat different set of criteria but still mentally balancing using a variation to the 50/50 rule. And to top it off, I have discovered a diabolical plot to usurp the team at Bethlehem Birthing Centre. The skulduggery was caught on film and the perpetrators have been dealt with appropriately. Not one to complain, but sometimes it feels like I am trudging uphill in the snow pulling a great weight behind 😊. Click here for the evidence.

I couldn’t say, exactly, that I am a hoarder, but I do tend to collect all manner of paper clippings that I feel one day will come in handy. I had a cleaning blitz and came across a yellowed newspaper clipping of an interview with James Fletcher (Sunday Star-Times, February 1, 2015, D11 ) who said “I don’t expect anyone to do anything that I wouldn’t be prepared to do myself”, and I reflected on the importance of this. Of course, in my case, midwifery would be horrified should I attempt to do all that they do. But we humans gather up a multitude of skill sets as we truck on through life, perhaps never fully comprehending just how valuable another’s skill sets are and oft times how we take them for granted. It takes a very special person to become a midwife and I pay homage to them.

People often ask me “how do you find the energy to do all you do?”, and I tell them “because I have borne and raised five children”. As Lisa Alther said: “Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease”. Mothers become lay teachers, judges, nurses, taxi drivers, mediators, strategists, economists; roles that lead to all manner of career paths. They, perhaps unwittingly, have prepared themselves for top roles in government, corporate, or not for profit. So when the cry goes out ‘there are not enough women in CEO roles’, perhaps the lens needs to shift to mothers who have raised a family. She didn’t quit when it got hard, demand perfect conditions, or expect perfection. Her ‘pay’ doesn’t change, she can’t strike and it’s pointless to demand better conditions and recognition, and yet she who rocks the cradle, ultimately rules the world. She has made the decisions to always effect best outcomes. All that was needed for her to blossom was the right support as she spread her wings in the university of motherhood. It’s imperative that the Government gets it right. We must nurture and care for the mother through her first days of motherhood and support her and the family ongoing. Mothers matter; she is a CEO, and so much more. 

Now you might have thought that I would get all ‘Christmassy’, I do love the tinsel and Christmas pudding as evidenced by my (childbearing) hips. But Christmas has become synonymous with daily acts of kindness rather than the opening of gifts. The gift is people. I was invited to a Board meeting of the Te Mataatua Marae, a Community Marae in Māngere where I presented an overview of the philosophy and values of Ngā Hau Māngere Birthing Centre, scheduled to open mid-February. To be welcomed with prayer and song must be the ultimate gift of love for a stranger. Chairman of the Board, Kaumatua Pouroto shared with us the Māori belief in the stages of a child before birth, and the child’s place in the hapu after birth. When he spoke of the embryo’s eyes it was as if my eyes were suddenly opened. What a great gift to be offered the wisdom of others’ ways. I have learned so much but have much more to learn from the many different cultures. In so doing, we learn not to ‘other’ the other.

Our cultural advisor is Paul Purutetahua, his uncle David Wilson Takaanini from Te Akitai Waiohua, the tribe of Māngere and South Auckland, will bless the building. We have communicated with Māori, Pakeha, and Pasifika midwifery and invite anyone with questions or comments to get in touch at . The support we have received is truly humbling. Thank you. ❤️

Paul is well versed in Māori medicinal plants and will write the story for a mural on this. The Māngere College and Southern Cross High School students have elected to enter a competition to paint the stories of the creation, first people of the area and those cultures who came to Aotearoa in later times. The inspiration they bring will create the art that tells the story of the past and the possibilities for the future.

If you believe that love is the strongest thing in the world, then you and your family will be truly blessed at Christmas.

From us at Birthing Centre to you, strangers no more, may your Christmas be filled with love,

Chloe Wright
CEO, Birthing Centre




Mothers Matter campaign

Mothers Matter’s mission is to ensure all women and their families know they are entitled to receive up to 48 hours of funded, inpatient postnatal care, or more if necessary, regardless of the type of birth they have had.

The group aims to raise awareness about the positive health and well-being outcomes for a mother, her baby and her family that can occur from receiving up to 48 hours postnatal care in a supportive environment and dedicated facility.

They are are also wanting mothers and their families to have the choice about where they receive their postnatal care.

The aims of Mothers Matter are aligned with us at Birthing Centre. We understand how crucial the first 48 hours is post-birth for maternal mental health, bonding and attachment.

At Birthing Centre our aim is to nurture and support mothers during this time to ensure their first few days with their baby are as stress-free and peaceful as possible, and allow them to get on with the joyful experience of bonding with their baby.

Our clinically qualified, experienced and caring staff provide a nurturing and informative environment for postnatal care. Our goal is for mums to return home feeling confident in their ability to look after their baby.

We offer a complete postnatal package including breastfeeding support with our lactation consultant, and teaching mums how to bath, wind and wrap their baby. Partners are also supported to learn hands-on baby-care skills.

As Mothers Matter says, the first 48 hours post-birth is “the time that is about love, interaction and attachment. It is the time that allows mothers and fathers to learn skills and gain confidence as parents. It is the time for monitoring the health and well-being of a mother and her baby”.

We support the Mothers Matter campaign in the hope that every mother in New Zealand receives this level of care post-birth.

Check out their website here:




Ngā Hau Māngere Birthing Centre – the final countdown is on!

We’re continuing to receive plenty of interest from the community, and can’t wait to open and be able to offer this service to mothers, babies and whānau in the area from mid-February.

Expectant mums wanting to give birth at Ngā Hau Māngere Birthing Centre must choose a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) who has signed an access agreement to use the facility, and supports the centre’s vision and values.

We would like to invite LMCs wishing to use the centre to get in touch with us for an access agreement. Please email us at

In the coming weeks we will publish a list of LMCs on our website, so expectant mothers may find a midwife who uses the centre.

In the meantime, we recommend that pregnant women wishing to birth at the facility choose an LMC who is supportive of primary birthing and who has experience in home births.

If you’d like to get in touch with us regarding Ngā Hau Māngere Birthing Centre, please email:




Lonaye Te Wake

We introduce you to Lonaye Te Wake, who joined the team at Bethlehem Birthing Centre as support staff in December 2017.

As part of the support staff team, Lonaye’s role involves supporting both her colleagues and mothers at the centre, serving meals, keeping rooms tidy, and generally making sure mums are okay.

She loves the nurturing side of the job – being able to share a smile or a kind word at the right moment, and making a difference in someone’s day.

“Sometimes it’s offering to hold a baby for five minutes for a mum, so they can have a breather,” says Lonaye.

“It’s really rewarding to do little things like that, because it’s not just a little thing to them, it makes such a difference. They are so grateful, and I love being able to help. It’s an amazing job and I have met so many amazing people.”

In the year she’s been at the birthing centre, Lonaye has embraced the experience and loved the opportunity to learn more.

She’s loved learning about the World Health Organisation Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, and enjoys receiving mentoring from the centre midwives about the theory behind our practices.

“I’ve grown in myself so much since working at Bethlehem Birthing Centre,” says Lonaye.

“It’s made me believe in myself. I love knowing the reasons why we do what we do. I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here, it’s awesome.”

We are thrilled that working at Birthing Centre has inspired Lonaye in a new dream of becoming a nurse – next year she will do a bridging course to begin a nursing degree in 2020.

“I would really like to work in mental health, I think I could make a real difference there,” says Lonaye, who experienced post-natal depression after her third child.

“I just want to be able to help people more - I think that would be really rewarding.”

Lonaye, who is mum to three boys aged 15, 12, and 11, would have loved to receive the kind of support offered by Bethlehem Birthing Centre when she had her children.

“I wish I’d had the support of Sarah and the whole birthing centre team. I was really bad, and if I can help a mum through something like that, because I know how hard it is, that would be amazing.”

We’re fortunate to have Lonaye on the Bethlehem Birthing Centre team!




Milestones celebrated: Te Papaioea's first bithday, and Bethlehem turns four!

We celebrated two important milestones in November – one year since Te Papaioea Birthing Centre opened, and four years for our first centre, Bethlehem!

Congratulations to Annie Kinloch and the Te Papaioea Birthing Centre team on a successful first year, which saw expectations exceeded and a wonderful 307 babies born!

The centre is really making an impact on the community, acting as a central hub and providing support with its Milk Café and other services.

“The team celebrated with a lunch on 13 November, which was attended by many from our community that have so positively supported the success of Te Papaioea Birthing Centre,” says Annie.


We’re also exceedingly proud of Sarah Pike and the Bethlehem Birthing Centre team, who have set the bar high for our other centres.

Since opening four years ago, our services at Bethlehem have evolved and will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the community.

It makes us happy to imagine the 1350+ babies who have been born at Bethlehem!

As a primary birthing centre, we’ve been delighted to offer pregnant women with uncomplicated pregnancies an option other than birthing in hospital or at home. We also provide, as is the right of women, a post-natal stay of up to two nights for rest, breastfeeding support and mothercraft education.

But we also see our role as connecting mothers with each other, so they can form strong bonds and friendships and support one another - providing that 'village' to help raise a child.

We’ve added services included antenatal classes, Mama & Me, Milk Café, and now the LMC Midwifery Service, and are looking forward to continually evolving our service.

Read more about our milestones on Stuff and on SunLive.




High satisfaction with LMC Midwifery Service

The Bethlehem Birthing Centre team has seen the first births by mothers using the centre’s LMC Midwifery Service.

We’re delighted that the families have been very happy with their experience.

All three of our centres are now offering this service to women who are unable to find a midwife to provide their primary care. This free service operates in the same manner as any other LMC midwifery service.

All the midwives employed by our birthing centres are experienced primary care midwives who support women who wish to have a primary birth experience in the birthing centre.

Women who wish to use the LMC service must have tried to attain the services of an LMC service but have been unable to do so, and plan to birth at the centre.

Referrals can be from the woman herself, another LMC or the DHB.

If you are pregnant and have been unable to find an LMC midwife to provide your antenatal, labour and delivery care, please contact your local birthing centre and talk to the Clinical Midwife Manager or a staff midwife about the midwifery service we are able to offer.




News from our centres


The Bethlehem Birthing Centre team recently welcomed Lynne as an administrator, and wish Taniya well as she leaves us to spend more time with family.

The team enjoyed a wonderful Christmas party with plenty of fun and laughter. Check out the photos:


Te Papaioea

One of our wonderful Support Staff, Jodie Wilson, will soon be welcoming her first baby.  We will miss Jodie but are all very excited to meet her baby.

Te Papaioea Birthing Centre had its Christmas party on-site on 28 November. “We shared a banquet of Turkish food and had lots of fun playing ‘Secret Santa’,” says Annie. “A heartfelt thank you to Chloe from all the team for providing a nail artist to treat the staff.”

Focus magazine

Check out the latest edition of Focus magazine for an article written by Chloe about her own birthing experiences, and how these inspired her work supporting Kiwi families. If you can’t get your hands on a copy of the magazine, you can read it online here.




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

“Mothers need just as much attention as a newborn, as they too, have just been born.” 







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PO Box 13 465 Tauranga Central 3141

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