Birthing cen­tre on way soon


Welling­ton re­gion moth­ers-to-be will soon have a new birthing op­tion, which could ri­val the com­fort of a home birth.

Melling Birthing Cen­tre, in Lower Hutt, a so­cial en­ter­prise to open its doors early next year, is driven by a mo­ti­va­tion to of­fer a choice for women who wanted a non-clin­i­cal and safe birth set­ting.

Mid­wives could ar­range for the mother to birth at the cen­tre, the same way that moth­ers were booked at hos­pi­tals, she said.

The cen­tre is owned and sup­ported by the reg­is­tered char­i­ta­ble trust, the Wright Fam­ily Foun­da­tion.

Foun­da­tion and Melling Birthing Cen­tre chief ex­ec­u­tive Chloe Wright said sup­port­ing moth­ers at the on­set gave them the best start with their baby.

Wright said ev­i­dence showed women who gave birth in a sec­ondary unit, such as hos­pi­tals, were about 70 per cent more likely to have in­ter­ven­tion.

‘‘Stud­ies all round the world show if you’ve got the right en­vi­ron­ment, birthing will be faster, and more com­fort­able.’’

‘‘The hos­pi­tal is for sick peo­ple, surg­eries, things like that.

‘‘We take the nor­mal, ac­tive de­liv­ery, so that they [the hos­pi­tal] have more room for those other things.’’

In some hos­pi­tals, moth­ers could be sent home just hours af­ter their baby was born, Wright said.

The cen­tre would al­low them the best start pos­si­ble, and moth­ers could stay for three nights of post-na­tal care, if they wanted, she said.

Cul­tures such as Chi­nese and In­dian al­lowed for moth­ers to spend about six weeks to bond with their child, she said.

By con­trast, Wright said New Zealand cul­ture ex­pected moth­ers to be out do­ing nor­mal things again as soon as pos­si­ble.

‘‘It’s this whole so­ci­etal ex­pec­ta­tion to be out there, and be ef­fi­cient and they [moth­ers] don’t want to say ‘I can’t cope’.’’

The qual­ity of the mother and child’s first 30 days to­gether made all the dif­fer­ence, she said.

Each birthing room, of which there were 12, would have a screen so that moth­ers could Skype fam­ily mem­bers who could not at­tend.

‘‘It’s like a home birth, but with all the sup­port.’’

The fa­cil­ity in­cludes an ed­u­ca­tion room, which Wright said could be used by the whole com­mu­nity, such as the vol­un­teer fam­ily help group, Su­perGrans.

‘‘We can do so much good in the com­mu­nity with this room,’’ she said. ‘‘It will all tie in to fam­i­lies and ed­u­ca­tion.’’

Con­struc­tion be­gan on the site on the cor­ner of Melling and Con­nolly streets in Septem­ber 2016. The cen­tre is on track to open in Fe­bru­ary or March next year.

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