Life Begins At…

The Waihi Maternity Annexe was built originally in 1940 and since that time tens of thousands of expectant mothers have chosen it as a place to deliver.

The new owners of Waihi Lifecare are committed to continuing to offer this service to the local community despite a decline in birth numbers. Director, Steven Wallace, explains it in the following terms. “ It’s not the number of births that are dropping but simply the number of Independent Midwives available. There are a few excellent and loyal independent Midwives who continue to deliver babies at the Birthing Centre, but better pay and conditions in the hospital sector has driven others to leave the community work behind”.

Despite this, Helen Watson, fellow director, lists the changes that have taken place. “Along with the face-lift for the main hospital/resthome building we are also slowly upgrading rooms in the Birthing Centre. This has really freshened the look while maintaining the homely atmosphere. We have also employed Margaret Hansson as manager of The Centre. Margaret is passionate about providing safe and compassionate care to Mothers, their babies and whanau.

“Not only is it about safely delivering new babies, but also offering mum, dad and baby a comfortable place for a few days R and R post-delivery. If a mother delivers elsewhere but prefers to be closer to home, then they are more than welcome to transfer to us from hospital in the initial post-natal period. Apart from supporting independent midwives in facilitating antenatal clinics and deliveries, we also provide new parents with education to help them with the wonderful yet challenging early days in their journey. Education can include safe sleeping, bathing, care of baby as well as breastfeeding.

We also work alongside Tamariki Ora, Plunket and Newborn Hearing Screening to ensure parents have ongoing support within their community”.

The Waihi Lifecare Birthing Centre will continue to provide a wonderful experience for mothers, their babies and whanau at such a precious time in their lives.