If you are pregnant and expecting to give birth soon, you may be worried about what giving birth will be like while the country is at alert level 2.
Maternity care is an essential service. All your maternity care will still be provided. However, to protect you, your baby and your whānau, we’ve made some changes to how we work.
Before your baby arrives
You will still have appointments with your midwife or doctor. However, as we are trying to reduce face to face contact, some of these appointments may happen over the phone or via video. Your midwife or doctor will talk to you about arrangements for your appointments.
If you are not feeling your baby move or have concerns about your health, please call your midwife, and ask to be seen in person.
If your appointment is at a hospital clinic, you will not be able to have anyone accompany you. This is so we can maximise the amount of appointments we can provide, while maintaining safe distancing between people in clinic waiting rooms.
Giving birth at hospital
Once you are in labour, ring your Lead Maternity Carer (midwife or doctor) to arrange your admission. They’ll run through some screening questions with you and work with hospital staff to make arrangements for your arrival.
If you’re feeling sick, please let your midwife or doctor know and they will ensure that staff take the appropriate precautions.
You’ll be asked to choose one person to support you during labour, birth and your stay in hospital after your baby is born.
To keep everyone safe, this person will also be screened. If your support person is unwell they will not be able to enter delivery suite, so consider carefully who you would like to take their place. The person who comes into the delivery suite with you will not be able to trade places with anyone else. This person will be allowed to visit you once you are transferred to the ward
We’ll also be asking support people to follow Alert Level 2 precautions such as ensuring that hands are washed and physical distancing of 2 metres is maintained.
This person will be able to stay to support you as for as long as you are in the birthing suite While you are in birthing suite, your support person will need to share the bathroom facilities with you to avoid leaving the room.
Your support person will be able to accompany you to the ward if it is within the Level 2 visiting hours of 2.30-8pm.
Support people may be able to stay overnight. Clinical staff will discuss this with you.
These measures help us reduce the amount of people on our wards. This helps us to protect women, babies and our staff.
After your baby is born
After your baby is born, the midwifery and nursing team will support you to care for your new baby and prepare to go home.
Once home, you will still have appointments with your midwife or doctor. However, as we are trying to reduce face to face contact, these appointments may happen over the phone, or via video.
We know that having a baby is a wonderful and exciting experience that you want to share. However, to minimise the risk of infection entering the hospital, visitors will only be allowed from 2.30-8pm. The person who supported you during birth will be able to visit.
During the time that people are visiting you, we ask that they remain with you as much as possible to reduce movement of people around and in and out of the ward. They should not use your bathroom but use the visitor bathroom on the ward.
Our staff can work with you to facilitate other ways to keep connected with other loved ones virtually.
These measures may seem tough, but they need to be. We need to do everything we can to keep you and your baby safe. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Please remember that all District Health Board campuses are SmokeFree.
If your baby is in our special care baby unit
Both parents will be able to visit babies in our special care baby unit (SCBU), but must visit one at a time to maintain safe physical distancing between visitors.
Read more about how COVID-19 can affect you during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Watch a video on how the health care sector is currently providing maternity care
Read information from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Samoan version) (Te reo version)
Ministry of Health information for pregnant women, and those who have recently given birth
Ministry of Health information on breastfeeding and advice for women who have recently given birth