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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Where to give birth

Woman leaning on the back of a couch for support during a contractionThere are several different options for where to give birth on the West Coast. You should talk to your midwife or LMC about these options and they'll be able to help you decide where is the right place for you.

Pregnancy and birth are normal processes for most women. If you have no complications, health professionals will encourage you to give birth at a primary birthing unit.

At a primary birthing unit

This is a dedicated birthing unit providing inpatient birthing and postnatal services. Experienced midwives staff these units.

There are two primary birthing units on the West Coast, Kawatiri birthing unit at Buller Hospital and Te Nikau, Grey Hospital & Health Centre.

Primary birthing units are intended for women and their babies who have no complications and go into labour at term. By choosing to start your labour and give birth at a primary unit, you are more likely to have a normal birth and less likely to need interventions. Starting your labour in one of these units also means that staff can focus on women and their babies who are unwell.

At a tertiary birthing facility

Christchurch Women's Hospital is a tertiary maternity facility that provides maternity care to women and their babies who have complex pregnancies and need help from a multidisciplinary specialist team. This may be because of issues that have been identified during pregnancy or because they've been transferred from home or from a primary maternity unit. The help from the multidisciplinary specialist team will be organised by your midwife or LMC, and Christchurch Women's Hospital.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by midwife liaison, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed June 2018.

Page reference: 201217

Review key: HIGIB-113323