Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

500th baby born in Bethlehem

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The wee tot, Harper Anaya, who weighed seven pounds, four onces arrived at 8.08pm on Saturday and was the 500th baby born at Bethlehem Birthing Centre. Photo/Ruth Keber
The wee tot, Harper Anaya, who weighed seven pounds, four onces arrived at 8.08pm on Saturday and was the 500th baby born at Bethlehem Birthing Centre. Photo/Ruth Keber

The 500th baby has been born at the Bethlehem Birthing Centre.

The wee tot, Harper Anaya, who weighed seven pounds, four ounces arrived at 8.08pm on Saturday.

Proud mum Amberley Klinkenberg said it was a quick birth.

"It was a two-and-a-half hour labour. I literally sat down to have dinner and my waters broke. Two hours later Harper was here."

Harper was Mrs Klinkenberg's fourth child but this was her first water birth.

"It was awesome. She didn't even cry when she was born. We had to blow on her skin to wake her up."

Mrs Klinenberg wanted to have her last child, Indie, now 22 months, at the birthing centre but she arrived two weeks early - before it was opened in late 2014.

"By far, this has been the best experience of all our children."

The Bethlehem Birthing Centre co-founder Chloe Wright said the 500th baby was an important landmark for the centre, which opened in November 2014.

The facility was a primary birthing centre for women having low-risk births, without intervention, she said.

"Our mission from the beginning was to provide another choice for Tauranga mums on where and how they want to give birth.

"We also wanted to focus on providing gentle and nurturing post-natal support, including with breastfeeding, so mums leave the centre feeling ready to take on this new challenge of raising a baby.

"Our aim is to give women the choice and best chance to give birth actively and naturally without intervention."

Mrs Wright said in addition to the 500 birthing mums and their newborns, the centre had supported hundreds of mums with post-natal stays.

Mrs Wright they had recently started offering antenatal classes.

Elijah, 8, Amberley Klinkenbery, Indie, 22 months, Harper Anaya, Josh and Rain, 5. Photo/Ruth Keber
Elijah, 8, Amberley Klinkenbery, Indie, 22 months, Harper Anaya, Josh and Rain, 5. Photo/Ruth Keber

The Bethlehem Birthing Centre:

Since opening, the birthing centre has expanded the services it provides - including offering free antenatal classes and a lactation support service - in its vision to be a one-stop shop to meet the needs of new parents.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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