Update November 2022 - it was recently announced that the Birthing Centre in Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt will be reopening as a Transitional Care Unit for babies and new parents that need special care, which is a positive outcome for those whānau that need this support. There is discussion that there may be 2 rooms available for birthing at the transitional care unit, but details are yet to be confirmed. We welcome anything and will support it, but this is not what we had hoped for. So we are in the very early stages of talking about a community owned and led Birth House/Whare Kōwhanga at Wesley Rātā Village in Naenae. We are delighted with the very positive signals from Te Ati Awa about having a birth centre at the headwaters of their awa and look forward to exploring how partnerships with Te Ati Awa and Wesley Community Action may develop.
If you are interested in how these community discussions evolve, and/or would like to offer your ideas and/or action and/or funds to help support the project, please register your interest and we'll be in touch to let you know what is happening, as soon as something is happening!
“If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any!”
Diana Korte & Roberta M Scaer (from “A Good Birth, A Safe Birth”)
Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre was created, and has been run since its opening in July 2018, by a Charitable Trust with no funding or support (or promotion) from the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards. It has been FREE / no charge for all those who planned to birth there for their full maternity and 48-hour postnatal care. It was NOT run as a profit-making business as the DHB and Ministry of Health are trying to suggest in the media.
Our only home-like Birthing Centre in the Wellington Region (and only primary birth space in the Hutt Valley) was closed (moth-balled) on Thursday 23rd September 2021.
We campaigned and worked hard to try to save Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre in Lower Hutt and stop its closure (which was first proposed on 12th August 2o21).
Unfortunately our health decision-makers were not even interested in listening to our logical and well-supported case that the Birthing Centre should be financially supported and promoted by the DHB as it provides a safe place for those healthy people who have low-risk pregnancies to give birth and have optimal 48-hour postnatal stays.... and those people have great stories to tell - read them here....
Birth Hub Wellington
We are a group of dedicated individuals from the birthing community in Wellington, New Zealand (parents, midwives, childbirth educators, natural therapists etc.) who are volunteering our time and resources to promote the importance of creating home-like, midwifery-led Birth Centres in the Wellington region, and to promote Primary Birthing in the community (where healthy women, with low risk pregnancies, choose to birth at home or in a Birth Centre).
We need skills and experience from all walks of life for this project, so if you think that Wellington region needs Birth Centres, please join in and help us. You can offer as little, or as much time as you have available. We get involved in the promotion of primary birthing (birth at home or in birth unit/birth centre) wherever we can in the region, and we campaign and advocate for primary birthing liaising with the local District Health Boards.
Many other places in New Zealand already have midwifery-led birth centres - Wellington needs them too! Ideally one in Wellington, one in the Hutt and one in the Wairarapa.
In July 2018 the Wright Foundation opened the first Birth Centre in the region Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre at Melling, Lower Hutt - feedback from new mums has been fabulous, which makes us only more determined to continue our advocacy for a midwifery-led Birth Centre for Wellington city.
EDIT: As of 23rd September 2021 this Birthing Centre has been forced to close due to lack of support and funding from the DHB and MoH. It has been run by a Charitable Trust since opening in July 2018 and all who planned to birth their had FREE maternity and postnatal care - we are continuing to fight for its reestablishment, and are offering our time and resources to support those midwives and pregnant people who have been affected by the closure. If you can help us, please do!
We meet regularly online via Zoom and organise various events and activities to promote physiological birth in the Wellington region.
Our thanks to Jo Frances Photography for donating their time and resources.