Maternity services

MidCentral DHB Maternity services during COVID-19

Last updated on 9 September 2021

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 during alert levels 3 and 4. 

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 Open 06 366 0034
Tararua: Dannevirke maternity unit Open 06 374 5691

In higher alert levels, 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 her postnatal stay at MidCentral DHB facilities during COVID-19 Alert Level 2.

If you are in a single room, your support person can stay with you overnight. If you are unable to have a single room or bathroom, your support person can’t stay the night, but they can return daily between 10am—8pm. The support person must be from your own ‘bubble’.

Alternatively, women can have two support people during the hours of 10am and 8pm.  If the additional visitor is from the same bubble, they can visit together, otherwise only one visitor at a time is permitted.

These restrictions are under constant review.

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 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, 1.5 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)