Birthing Centre Newsletter March 2018

Newsletter March 2018

Birthing Centre Newsletter | March 2018

In this issue

Update on Melling and Nga Hau Mangere Birthing Centres!

Classes at Bethlehem Birthing Centre


Letter from the founder 

Dear all,

I can’t explain why but I have a growing excitement and anticipation for the May 5th celebration of International Day of the Midwife. Perhaps with the growing understanding of her, the midwife’s role, and a somewhat poignant and reflective contemplation of how my pregnancies and births might have been different.

Don’t get me wrong; by the time I arrived at the fourth and fifth children I was well prepared mentally for the, hmmm, how can I put this, ordeal. You see, I had had good doctors for my deliveries, I had even had ‘specialists’ for two births. Not that I needed it but my doctor had said “you can afford it, so why not”. They did their monthly increasing checks as my pregnancies advanced, everything going according to plan and they duly turned up at the hospital gowned, masked, gloved and timed to perfection. The medicalisation of birthing robbed me of my empowerment as a woman. And sometimes it must be that way. But only if it must. Babies were cleaned and swaddled and with my arms outstretched to hold them I welcomed them into the world in a most clinical way.

No one told me how strong my body was and yet I discovered on my own, it was. There was no consideration of immediate ‘skin to skin’, the way this love had begun, culminating in the new love that entered the world. Certainly, there was no chance of having my unsterilised hands anywhere near to helping my baby into the world. There was no ‘sisterhood’ that I see accompanies the pregnant woman with her midwife. It is the real love that midwives have for their profession that keeps them going and it is love they give to their ‘mothers’.

I have watched as our midwives at Birthing Centre soothe the worried and guide the faltering new parents. They work hand in hand with the LMCs and they feel deeply for every mother. I have felt honoured to be in the company of the LMCs who bring their mums to our centres. Although they work under different titles they are all midwives, I grow wistful when I consider how much sweeter the journey might have been under the watchful, mindful, practice of a midwife.

In recognition and deepest appreciation for ‘our’ midwives we will pay penal rates on the same basis as the DHB effective from the pay period beginning 5th of March. This in no way compensates for the role they play in best outcomes for women but it is something that we are committed to.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, But by the number of moments that take our breath away”.
Kindest wishes,


Keeping in touch

At Birthing Centre it’s important to us to communicate with all our stakeholders, whether that’s mothers-to-be, LMCs or community groups. 

Our door is always open, and we encourage you to come directly to our clinical manager if you have any issues or questions, rather than taking to social media with any concerns.

We look forward to speaking with you!

Update on Melling and Nga Hau Mangere Birthing Centres!

2018 is set to be a big year for Birthing Centre, with our centres in Wellington and Auckland opening.

Melling Birthing Centre, which will service the wider Wellington region, is now expected to open in July. We’ve been busy recruiting fantastic staff for this facility, and are really excited be able to soon offer our service to Wellington mums.

Construction on Nga Hau Mangere Birthing Centre, in South Auckland, is well underway and on track to open next summer. We’ve been really enjoying working with representatives in this community to ensure our service meets its needs.

Meanwhile, Te Papaioea Birthing Centre in Palmerston North has been open for three months now and has been embraced with open arms by the Manawatu community.

Thank you to everyone in these communities who is supporting our service, with a shared goal of supporting families!


Kahurangi Ross

We introduce you to midwife Kahurangi, who is a valued team member at Te Papaioea Birthing Centre. 

Kahurangi has been a midwife for 18 years, and feels she has “come home” in her role at the birthing centre.

She was initially inspired to become a midwife after supporting her sister when she gave birth. “There was a young Maori midwife working on the floor at that time, and I thought ‘wow, if she can do it so can I’,” recalls Kahurangi.

Since then she’s had a varied midwifery career including working in all aspects of secondary care, complex care and as an LMC.

But it’s primary care that is her passion, which is why she was attracted to Te Papaioea Birthing Centre.

“It’s just wonderful working here – I feel like I’ve come home. It’s pure wholesome midwifery, and I love the continuity of care in an unrushed work environment.

“I get to do beautiful things like ask women ‘shall I make you a cup of tea?’, and take the time to show a real interest in the women and their experience, rather than being a task-based midwife. That’s the biggest thing I’m enjoying the most.

“I have no desire to be working anywhere else - this is the best job ever.”

Kahurangi is a supporter of all aspects of women's health, and appeared in a campaign for BreastScreen Aotearoa encouraging women to get checked. She has also featured in documentaries to help spread awareness of ‘shaking baby syndrome’ and family violence.

When she’s not working, Kahurangi is busy being an active mum to her two teenage sons and spending time with friends and family.

Kahurangi and her sons train and compete in triathlons together: this year they are training to do the IRONMAORI Quarter in November. Kahurangi will then do the IRONMAORI Half, and intends to hopefully do the FULL IRONMAN in Taupo in March 2019.

“I’m not really a sit-on-the-sidelines mum. I like to provide experiences for the children. We do taiaha as a family as well, which is Maori weaponry art,” says Kahurangi, who is also actively involved with Poutu Marae.

Birthing Centre CEO Chloe Wright says Kahurangi’s caring nature is a “ray of sunshine” and Birthing Centre is lucky to have her on the team.


Classes at Bethlehem Birthing Centre

Last year we started a suite of classes at Bethlehem Birthing Centre aimed at strengthening our community.

Our intention was that these classes would foster coffee groups, encourage primary birthing and help develop support networks for the new mums in our community - and we’re delighted with the outcome to date!

We’ve received excellent feedback from mums and are looking forward to developing similar classes at our other birthing centres.

This initiative includes:
Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond: These antenatal classes focus on preparing couples for mindful birthing and learning skills to manage the discomfort of labour, as well as preparation for life with a newborn, positive parenting and establishing/nurturing family traditions. These classes are free to parents who birth at the centre. A fee of $150 is payable at the time of booking and refundable after birth.  We recommend early booking as the classes have proven to be popular and places fill quickly. The course is structure as a two-hour evening class, held for six weeks.

Mama & Me: This three-week course is designed for mothers to attend with their baby from six weeks after birth.

The Milk Café: This weekly lactation support group for mums and babies is a casual support group where mums can form friendships and speak to our lactation consultant in a relaxed atmosphere.


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:

Quote of the day
“If you do not sow in spring, you will not reap in autumn.” – Celtic proverb


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