Maternity services

MidCentral DHB Maternity services during COVID-19

Last updated on 14 May 2020

Maternity services are essential and will be available at MidCentral DHB throughout all levels of response to COVID-19. See below for information about changes to services and/or closures. 

Status of maternity units in MidCentral DHB

FacilityStatusPhone Number
Palmerston North Hospital maternity unit Open 06 356 9169
Te Papaioea Birthing Centre Open 06 929 4584
Horowhenua maternity unit Reopening on 15 June 06 366 0034
Tararua: Dannevirke maternity unit Open 06 374 5691

Those with appointments will be screened via phone call before attending any maternity facility. This will enable staff to learn the health and COVID-19 risk level for patients and their partners so that appropriate steps can be taken for the protection of patients and staff.

If you need to urgently visit a maternity unit, it is important to phone before arrival.

If your pregnancy involves complications, you will need to birth at Palmerston North Hospital.

Epidurals and entenox gas

Epidurals and entenox gas are still available. If a women with COVID-19 is giving birth, she may require alternatives to ensure her safety and health and will need to discuss with medical staff.

Birth support person policy

A birthing mother is allowed one support person during labour and postnatal stay at MidCentral DHB facilities. Mum and baby may also have other visitors, one at a time, but the support person will need to leave to allow this. This applies to the Hospital and Te Papaioea Birthing Centre, and for caesarean births.

Ultrasound services

Ultrasound services in MidCentral DHB will continue as usual, however the scanning time may be reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions. Appointments will also be spaced out to ensure there are not too many people in the waiting room at once.

Medlab

Medlab are continuing to take essential pregnancy blood tests and are also taking special precautions due to COVID-19.

Antenatal Clinics

MidCentral DHB antenatal clinics will continue, however many women are receiving phone calls rather than face-to-face appointments. Community midwives are conducting any face-to-face contact required in the woman’s home. Only women who must have face-to-face appointments are coming in to clinics.

Preparing for birth during COVID-19

For more information on how to prepare for birth in MidCentral DHB during COVID-19, view and download the pdf resource below.

View the preparing for birth during COVID-19 resource (PDF, 2.8 MB)

During COVID-19 you are unable to visit your prefered birthing site in person. To help with this, walk-through videos have been created to give you a virtual tour of our facilities. The following virtual tour videos are available:

Te Papaioea Birthing Centre (external website)

Photo of Te Papaioea Birthing Centre (external website)

Palmerston North Hospital Maternity (external website)

Newborn baby held by mother (external website)

Horowhenua Maternity Unit closure

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MidCentral District Health Board has made the difficult decision to close the Horowhenua Maternity Unit from 7am on 6 April 2020 until further notice.

Our midwifery workforce is already under pressure, and it’s likely this will be impacted even further by COVID-19. For this reason, we feel it is essential to consolidate our midwifery staff over two facilities, rather than three, during this time. This will ensure we can maintain safety for all of our mums and babies.

We know this is a really stressful time for expecting mothers and your whānau but we are confident that wherever you give birth you will be provided with the best care possible from our dedicated teams.

Please speak to your LMC if you need more information.

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