Integrated Birth-Parent Centre(s) Needed!
The UK Birthplace Study is the latest international research to show that natural, satisfying birth is mostly likely to happen at home or in a free standing, midwife-led or primary unit (also called a birth centre). A comparison of this research with New Zealand birth outcomes confirms these findings are the same here. New understandings of labour physiology explains why the ‘Place of Birth’ can significantly influence birth outcomes via impacts on labour hormones. Waikato DHB; which has six primary birthing units and funds five privately owned and operated birthing units states “Encouraging the option of primary birthing is important to the DHB and it is worth reflecting that the good outcome Waikato demonstrates against the national clinical indicators for normal births and low caesarean section rates are a result of low risk women being able to birth in environments suited to their needs within their own communities.”
In 2010, a group of women envisaged a unique, “state of the art” integrated birth-parenting centre to best meet the needs of West Auckland women and their families, as per this video this facility would include;
- Physiologically appropriate birthing spaces,
- Family friendly post-natal rooms, with a communal areas,
- A drop-in centre for women, with breastfeeding supportive services,
- Consultation rooms for midwives, doctors and complementary therapy practitioners,
- A maternity-early parenting resource centre,
- Safe play areas for children – inside and out,
- Rooms for relevant community groups to meet and hold activities,
- Embellishments which honour birth and parenting,
- Support services (e.g. catering, home help) for local new families,
- Sustainable community gardens,
- An ecologically sustainable and wheel chair accessible facility.
Meanwhile, the nearest primary units for West Auckland families are at least half-an-hour (Birthcare in Parnell) to an hour (Helensville) drive away, during off peak times. Presently the majority of ‘Westie’ women are being delivered in hospitals where interventions, such as caesarean section, have increased over the last decade.
Recently the Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB) acknowledged the need to support more ‘normal’ birthing practices as part of their planning for the next four years. There are rumours of a new primary unit for North Shore families but the need is for many more, so one is no further than 10 minutes from any family where-ever they be!
Therefore we demand that the WDHB create at least one integrated Birth-Parent unit for West Auckland families, possibly such a centre could be part of current Hobsonville-Westgate developments?
PLEASE Sign the petition here!