Women have much better outcomes if they birth in a primary unit. Even if they start in a primary birthing unit and are transferred to a hospital, the outcomes are better than if they had started labour in a hospital.
A lead maternity carer (LMC)/midwife can advise you on whether being at a primary birthing unit is right for you.
So what can a primary birthing unit provide?
The environment is safe, supportive and relaxing, perfect for giving birth naturally. Women who birth in primary units are much more likely to start labour on their own. They are also likely to have no interventions such as epidural, spinal blocks or episiotomy.
At a primary birthing unit, the third stage of labour (delivering the placenta) is more likely to be managed physiologically (without need for interventions such as oxytocin)*.
Women are free to move about, find a position which is comfortable for them, use the birthing pool for pain relief and allow labour to progress naturally.
What is in the birthing room?
The birthing rooms themselves are designed to feel homely, quiet and comfortable, so you can get those birthing hormones flowing. Our birthing rooms have a bean bag, swiss ball, bead roll, birthing couch along with the option of mood lighting, adjustable light colour, aromatherapy diffuser, fridge and sound system. They all have birthing pools which can be used for pain relief (a very popular option), and you can choose to birth in the pools too. You are welcome to bring in other items from home to make you feel supported and comfortable. We have one birthing room with a birthing bed, if you prefer that option.
Hospital vs. primary birth unit – what are the statistics?
From the statistics below, it is clear that having a spontaneous, vaginal birth and a healthy baby afterwards are increased if birthing happens at a primary birth unit.
- Normal spontaneous, vaginal birth: Birthcare Auckland 76% vs 59% at Auckland City Hospital
- Emergency c-section: Birthcare Auckland 10% vs 17% at Auckland City Hospital
- Neonatal readmission after birth: Birthcare Auckland 2% vs 5% Auckland City Hospital