Birthing Centre Newsletter December 2019

Newsletter December 2019

Birthing Centre Newsletter | December 2019

In this issue

Happy Birthday Bethlehem!

Celebrating our 100th baby at Māngere


Letter from the founder 

Kia ora,

A massive shout out to MidCentral DHB (Palmerston North) for having the foresight, bravery and real commitment to the mothers, babies and whānau of New Zealand in actioning what so many others have talked about.
We were thrilled to announce last week that MidCentral DHB and Wright Family Foundation have entered into an agreement that will see the DHB managing the Te Papaioea Birthing Centre in Palmerston North.
This DHB approaching the Wright Family Foundation to form a partnership of care will allow us to hand over the operation of Te Papaioea Birthing Centre, permitting the sisterhood of midwives to share the two spaces (the birthing centre and the hospital) to give best support for primary birthing and postnatal care for women. Our centre managers across Birthing Centre have embraced the change and look forward to the day the Ministry of Health and other DHBs across the country see us as not only a solution, but as a model of care for best outcomes. The door has always been open and we hope 2020 will bring further progress.
While our philosophy of care remains intact, this groundbreaking move releases capacity for us to provide more funding for wraparound parenting support and education. Six years of knocking on doors, hands pressed up against windows pleading to come in, and MidCentral DHB has recognised the long-term health benefits by recognising the first 1000 days, particularly the crucial immediate time of family bonding after birth that can set a pattern for a lifetime. We can only hope, pray, and keep knocking until we in this country recognise that if we put the care of mothers first, the children’s care will follow. Let all us be part of stopping the downward spiral of abuse, child and spousal murder, drugs and suicide in New Zealand. Begin at the beginning, one step at a time.
As the Christmas season is upon us, it is a time for reflection, another year gone too fast, and what has been achieved? Louise Upston MP’s petition for 72 hours care is gaining momentum. She has travelled the country, listening to the voices of women and men. It is clear, the level of care for mothers postnatally needs to be reviewed. Mothers Matter has petitioned Government for recognition and response to putting mothers back at the centre. Everyone Wants to Hold the Baby, But Who Holds the Mother?
Midwives, whether they be LMCs, at the DHB, or in primary birthing units should be given more recognition for the role they have. They are women-centred, trained professionals, pastoralists. We need those midwives who have burned out to come back to their craft. We need their conditions to be such that they can give all the levels of care for which they are trained and to which their hearts call them.
Please read on; the fruit of our labour follows.
Go well, live well and love to all,

Chloe  ❤️
Chloe Wright


New partnership with MidCentral DHB

MidCentral District Health Board has announced an innovative, exciting opportunity for birthing women in the region.

MidCentral DHB and Wright Family Foundation have entered into an agreement that will see the DHB managing the Te Papaioea Birthing Centre in Palmerston North.

The agreement is the first of its kind in New Zealand and will enable staff to move between Palmerston North Hospital and Te Papaioea, implementing a flexible work flow to provide cross cover and enable staff opportunities of working in primary and hospital-based maternity settings.
Birthing Centre Founder and Director Chloe Wright says the new partnership is an acknowledgement of how primary and secondary maternity services can work together to provide excellent care for mothers and babies.
“This signals the gold standard of care for our mothers and babies and really is very important for their future health and wellbeing.
“We all know the well-documented pressures hospital maternity units are facing across the country. MidCentral DHB has recognised with this partnership that the existing primary birthing centres are part of the solution.
“We are thrilled that MidCentral DHB has been at the table, talking to us, putting mothers first, and understanding our philosophy to provide a warm, nurturing sanctuary, based on World Health Organisation recommendations for optimal conditions conducive to primary birthing.”
Read more about the partnership here.

Happy Birthday to us!

We specialise in birthdays at Birthing Centre! So we get very excited when we have birthdays of our own and we celebrated two of them in November.
Te Papaioea Birthing Centre in Palmerston North celebrated its second birthday on November 13.
There was no formal celebration this year, but the milestone was acknowledged by local media, with articles on both the Manawatu Standard/Stuff website Primary birthing unit marks two-year anniversary with more special deliveries and the Manawatu Guardian/NZ Herald website Papaioea Birthing Centre: 634 babies born in the first two years.
Bethlehem Birthing Centre in Tauranga celebrated its fifth birthday on November 19 with a special afternoon tea party attended by staff, LMCs and our guest of honour, 5-year-old Millie Fryer- our first baby born here in 2014. She loved her new Elsa doll gifted to her by our Founder and Director Chloe Wright to mark the occasion.
The day was also made extra special by the birth of another baby, taking our five-year total of 1862 babies born here up to 1863.

Bethlehem Birthing Centre celebrated its fifth birthday with guest of honour Millie Fryer - the first baby born at the centre in 2014.

100 babies born at Nga Hau Māngere

And speaking of numbers of babies born, Nga Hau Māngere celebrated its 100th baby born at the centre last week. A baby boy, Elijah, was born to parents Luisa Taito and her partner Mann with the support of Southside Midwives.
A special morning tea was held to celebrate the occasion and we were joined by some of the families who have birthed with us this year.
Celebrating 100 babies born at NHM
Luisa and Mann with baby Elijah

Quilt donation to Te Papaioea Birthing Centre

Some of the babies born at Te Papaioea Birthing Centre will be going home with a beautiful quilt made by students at Carncot Independent School for Girls and Boys in Palmerston North.
The quilts were made as part of a class sewing project and include a handwritten note sewn onto the back.
One of our midwives, Rebecca Matsas, brought her daughter Hannah and her classmates to the centre for a tour, question and answer session, and afternoon tea, as part of the quilt presentation. It is hoped to become an annual project.
It was awesome to hear and answer their thoughtful questions and to see the pride on their faces. How lucky our babies will be!
Birthing Centre Founder and Director Chloe Wright says the donation is both “beautiful” and “heart-warming.”
“I totally believe if children, from the earliest time, become involved in service to others with no tangible reward, they will be contributors for a lifetime.”



Founder of both Mothers Matter and Birthing Centre, Chloe Wright, was joined at Bethlehem Birthing Centre recently by National MP Louise Upston. These two women are leading the charge in New Zealand for better maternity and postnatal care for women.

Mothers Matter aims to empower all women and their families to make an informed choice about their postnatal care, including awareness of the right to 48 hours of funded in-patient postnatal care regardless of the type of birth experience. Mothers Matter is also putting pressure on the DHBs and Government to allow mothers to choose where they birth and receive postnatal care. This will allow for better utilisation of the primary birthing units around the country, while simultaneously alleviating pressure on the hospitals.
Louise is currently working on a petition for public support to extend the current 48 hours postnatal care entitlement to a three-day-stay, and a private member's bill to the same effect. You can sign the petition here.
We also encourage you to visit and join the Mothers Matter Facebook page. Make comments, tell us your stories. The page is a way to show our country and DHB leaders our experiences so that they understand why improvements are needed. Visit here:
Also look out for our Mothers Matter video campaign on television and social media over the Christmas season! Here's a sneak preview of two of the clips:

Mothers Matter – "Mothers Matter really does matter." (Dr Anil Sharma, Gynaecologist)

Recovery – "There is an expectation that mums will just have a baby and get on with life." (Katarina Komene, Midwife)

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.

You can also find previous issues of our newsletter here

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

Quote of the day

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. ”

Diane Mariechild


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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 13 465 Tauranga Central 3141

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