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, 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.
On average 19% of women transfer for specialist care. In these cases the majority of the transfers take place in a private vehicle because they are not deemed an emergency. If an ambulance is required for the transfer the expected time frame from door to door is 12 minutes.
The most common reason for transfer from one of our facilities would be the requirement for stronger pain relief or length of labour.
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.
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 two nights post-natal care.
Expectant mothers who are 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?
Women who begin their labour at a Birthing Centre facility but are transferred out for secondary care may be able to transfer back to a Birthing Centre for their post-natal care. This needs to be discussed with the Birthing Centre Clinical Midwife Manager and your LMC Midwife as each centre has a different arrangement with the DHB in their area.
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.
Can my partner stay with me at the birthing centre?
Supportive partners (or alternative support person) who actively take part in caring for mum and bonding with baby can stay at the mothers request.
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 centres are 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).
Can I bring a photographer?
You are welcome to engage a photographer for during and/or after your birth. If you do not have a photographer and require assistance in finding one, our staff would be happy to provide you with a list of local photographers.