Birth Naturally at a Primary Birth Unit: Birthcare Huntly

By Hannah Schenker

North Waikato mamas! Have you decided where you will have your baby? Are you looking for somewhere warm, friendly and supportive, where your wishes will be respected? A place where you can rest and recover after the birth, while you gain the confidence you need before you head home? Many women/whanau would love to birth at home but don’t feel quite confident enough, nor do they want to birth in a base medical hospital. Were you aware that there is a third option? A Primary Birthing Unit, like Birthcare Huntly, could be the right place for you.

A Primary Birthing Unit (PBU) provides a balance between the two birth spaces – home birth and hospital. Birthcare Huntly is a modern facility offering a relaxed rural whanau-centred environment. They provide 24-hour care to birthing and postnatal women and their whanau.

Birthcare Huntly accept women mostly from North Waikato, though sometimes also from Hamilton and Auckland. They provide free labour and birth options for low risk mothers under the care of their Lead Maternity Carer (LMC), and their own experienced midwifery staff are also available. That means you can birth naturally in a modern environment without any medical intervention, in a way that works best for you. If secondary hospital support is needed during the birth, then women are transferred to Waikato Hospital and return after the birth.

Women and whanau are supported by their LMC to navigate through labour and birth using your chosen practices, i.e. mirimiri, water birth, waiata, etc.


A Note on WATER BIRTHS: Birthing in water is an option offered to all women. Birthcare have a large birthing pool which is popular and women report that the pain relief of birthing in water is huge. Up to 30-40% of women at Birthcare Huntly are now choosing to birth in the water.

Partners and husbands are welcome to stay with you, giving you that stability and support you so need. Each room has a queen size bed with en-suite spa bathroom. Your meals are catered (including yummy home baking!) so you are fully taken care of.

The caring staff have plenty of time to sit with you after the birth and provide quality breastfeeding support and mother-crafting tips. They know how important those first days are in establishing breastfeeding confidence, and as a result they have excellent breastfeeding rates. You will not be pushed out the door – you tell them when you are ready to go home (the average stay is 3-4 days).

If you do need to birth at a base hospital for whatever reason (such as for a caesarean), you can then still transfer to Birthcare Huntly after the birth or later if circumstances warrant a longer stay at Waikato hospital. This can be a great option if you need that little bit longer to recuperate and feel supported by caring professionals, before heading home.

To find out more or register, visit the Birthcare Huntly website.

Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand. 

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