$2m upgrade gives mums more choice

By Katherine Irvine

Birthcare now has rooms with pools and a whanau room. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Birthcare now has rooms with pools and a whanau room. Photo / Sarah Ivey

He may not have a name yet but with a full-head of strawberry-blond hair and an easy-going attitude, Julia and Mike Dawson's newborn boy proved to be a natural in front of the camera.

The Dawsons' third child was born at 2.45am yesterday in the refurbished Birthcare Parnell weighing just under 4kg.

"Everything went really well with him and he has been really good, but that will definitely be it," said Mrs Dawson.

The day-old boy is one of 600 babies expected to be born at the birthcare centre this year and a further 1100 expectant mothers will stay in the days before giving birth.

Birthcare general manager Ann Hanson said the $2 million upgrade was needed to accommodate the growing demand for their facility where woman can choose to give birth or stay for three nights after giving birth at Auckland or Counties Manukau Hospital.

"Women have told us they want a place that is less like a hospital to give birth and have their postnatal stay," said Mrs Hanson.

"They also want more services and education around parentcraft and breastfeeding to support them at this important time in their lives."

The development has made way for a new birthing centre, complete with rooms with pools for pain-relief or for water births, and another "whanau room" to accommodate larger family groups.

There are also 21 private rooms to accommodate new mothers and their partners in the days after the birth of their child.

A third 236sq m level was added to the building of New Zealand's largest maternity facility to make room for ante-natal clinics, consulting rooms and an administration area.

"Along with our modernisation, we have employed six of our own lead maternity carer midwives and created a dedicated birthing suite to give more women the option of birthing in a primary maternity unit," Mrs Hanson said.

Mrs Dawson said she had chosen to have her son at the birthing centre after having her second daughter Aimee there four years ago.

"They are just great here and it's great to know the hospital is just around the corner," said Mrs Dawson.

- NZ Herald

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