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.