Your spring 2023 update from Helensville Birthing Centre

By Paula Daye, Chair.

It’s been a while since Helensville Birthing Centre has regularly been in touch with the South Kaipara community. A lot has been happening that we want to share – this will be the first of a regular quarterly newsletter.

Whānau continue to feel comfortable accessing pregnancy, birthing, postnatal and breastfeeding care and support at Helensville Birthing Centre. Our aim is to expand our services so we can continue to support the long-term health of families. 

Child health and wellness has never been more crucial – we’re constantly searching for ways of providing additional services in response to community feedback.

This feedback has led us to pilot the new drop-in clinic (Te Hā Tama Ariki) for 18 months. We celebrated our official launch on 9th August, and our aim is to grow our services to improve accessibility of maternal healthcare for all local women and pēpi, especially disadvantaged and hard-to-reach populations from preconception, pregnancy, post-natal and the first 1,000 days. We’ve been delighted with the response so far.

Our vision is to see the drop-in clinic go from strength to strength, supported by the local community while producing the evidence base required to gain long-term funding.

Launched earlier this year, our new website shows just how beautiful, tranquil, and welcoming the Birthing Centre is. Plus, it provides a wealth of valuable information and stories from midwives, peer supporters, lactation consultants, new parents and more. We strongly encourage you to take a look. We’ve also grown our social media presence to engage even more with our local community – you can now follow the Birthing Centre and Te Hā Tama Ariki on Instagram and Facebook.

Some of our priorities this year include making sure local whānau have appropriate access to pregnancy and parenting classes and are supported once they return home with a new pēpi; commitment to strengthening Māori and iwi engagement, and to continue to deliver quality services that meet the needs of our local community.

As we find ourselves navigating a new era for health – where change is constant – we want to reassure you that the Birthing Centre is well placed to meet the growing needs of our community while meeting the objectives of health reforms: “to provide quality and equitable care close to home.”

The country’s new health structure includes establishing localities that will give service users and whānau an opportunity to have a greater say in determining the services that are most important for the health and wellbeing of that region. The locality covering the South Kaipara is yet to be decided, but for us to have a say in its future design and what services are required, based on the needs of our population, can only be a good thing.