Te Papaioea Birthing Centre is celebrating its second year and the birth of 634 babies born in its purpose-built 12-suite centre.

Birthing Centre funder and director Chloe Wright said Te Papaioea was for healthy pregnant women who do not expect interventions.

"Evidence consistently suggests that healthy women with a low-risk pregnancy who labour and birth in a primary birthing facility have better outcomes for both mother and baby.

"Our philosophy is to offer that choice for women with the support of their midwife.

"We work closely with midwives, mothers and other stakeholders in the Manawatū.


"We are advocates for midwifery recognition and support the midwifery-led care system in New Zealand."

Wright said Te Papaioea enjoyed a fully collaborative relationship with the MidCentral DHB.

"MidCentral recognises the value of primary birthing and postnatal care that supports mothers and midwifery in their choices and we are grateful for their continued support.

"We hope other DHBs around the country come to recognise that we need to be providing this level of care to women and babies - firstly because it is their right, and secondly because research has repeatedly shown that the first 48 hours after birth are critical to
the future health and wellbeing of mothers, baby and whānau."

The service is free to all healthy pregnant women who choose to labour and birth at the centre and are eligible for care in New Zealand hospitals.

Te Papaioea Birthing Centre is co-managed by clinical midwife managers Rachel Cleall and Jane Spilman.

The centre has a strong focus on postnatal care and every mother at the facility has her own room in which she gives birth and receives postnatal care.

Partners can stay too in a support role for mother and baby.


"Birthing Centre provides safe and quality care for women in a relaxed, nurturing and home-like environment and our wonderful team of midwives here support women to achieve a positive birth experience by working closely with our highly-skilled community midwives that access our centre," says Cleall.

"Te Papaioea is such an asset for the women of the Manawatū region.

"To be able to access our facility and achieve their desire to birth without intervention and encounter a satisfying birth experience in a safe space is of huge significance, not only for the woman but also her whānau."

The centre also offers a breastfeeding support group from 10am-midday every Wednesday in the Milk Café, which is for all breastfeeding mums to get additional advice and support from an experienced lactation consultant, as well as meet other women.

Te Papaioea Birthing Centre is owned and supported by the Wright Family Foundation which is a registered charitable trust.

Other Birthing Centres operate in Tauranga, Hamilton, Lower Hutt and Māngere in South Auckland.