A Bay midwife had her hands full after two first-time mums gave birth to girls at the same hospital at exactly the same time - 2.06am on Wednesday.

Charlee Hall and Pippa Sharples, dubbed the "almost twins", were born at the same time after their mothers, Andrea Hall and Kathryn Sharples, had long labours that progressed at the same rate, and were assisted by the same midwife.

Mrs Hall went into labour on Monday and checked into Tauranga Hospital on Tuesday and Mrs Sharples went into hospital on Tuesday after beginning her labour early that day.

Their midwife, Gillian Sims, with student midwife Renee Darvill, helped them through their labours.


Mrs Sims said it was common for a midwife to have two mothers in early labour at the same time but it was unusual to have them progress through labour at the same rate and deliver at the same time.

She said it was always going to be a difficult decision to choose which mother to be with at delivery but in the end, it was decided by circumstances.

"Both mums are doing really well and both were heroic as well. I was impressed with how they both coped and their willingness to share their midwife. There aren't a lot of women that would be comfortable with that."

She said Miss Darvill's help had meant she was able to provide more continuous support between the women.

After the births, the women went to Bethlehem Birthing Centre for post-natal care and were allocated rooms next to each other. Although sharing such similar experiences, Mrs Hall and Mrs Sharples had not met until the Bay of Plenty Times arrived at the centre to take their picture.

Mrs Sharples said it would be a story to tell wee Pippa when she was older.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard they were at the same time. We will be telling her when she's older that she's got an almost twin. And with the same midwife," she said.

She and husband Sam had been waiting for the arrival of Pippa, who was 11 days late.

Mrs Sharples said Mrs Sims had been excellent and was there throughout the labour. Mrs Sharples was looked after by Tauranga Hospital midwives in the last 20 minutes as Mrs Sims tended to Mrs Hall.

"We were in good hands," Mrs Sharples said. "I was caught up in the midst of it all, so didn't really notice so much."

In the earlier stages of Mrs Hall's labour, she was looked after by student midwife Renee Darvill, who had trained with Mrs Sims since November. Mrs Hall was comfortable being with Miss Darvill when Mrs Sims was with Mrs Sharples.

Being a mother was "surreal" and it had not quite sunk in yet, Mrs Hall said.

It was exciting that another baby had been born at the exact same time as her Charlee. Her husband, Ashley, had been a huge help, she said.