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Thames Birthing Unit on show in new video - Waikato DHB

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Thames Birthing Unit stars in a new video featuring a local musician and an actor who both have strong personal connections to it.

The project, which received funding from the Waikato Health Trust, aims to promote the unit as a great option for low-risk births in the Coromandel.

The short video follows a couple who have chosen to give birth at the unit, giving prospective parents some insight to the experience and newly renovated facilities available. The unit serves a wide area so providing a ‘virtual tour’ aims to reduce the need for people travel long distances for an in-person viewing.

Viewing the unit when planning a birth can also help in gaining comfort and familiarity with the space ahead of time.

Thames musician Tyla Pere’s song ‘Stay Lazy’, which was written for his wife Lydia Mahon, provides the soundtrack to the video.

The couple had both of their young daughters by water birth at the unit - the first in 2017, and the second during lockdown in April last year.

Mr Pere says both times staff were incredibly accommodating, and they felt at home during their stays.

The couple says it was important to them to have a facility close to home.

"I didn’t want to give birth at Waikato Hospital, I wanted to birth in Coromandel, so having the birthing unit in Thames was amazing. Everything went smoothly and then it’s only a three minute drive home," Ms Mahon says.

It also became personal for local actor Tim Mapuhola who plays the expectant father in the video.

His real-life partner gave birth to their first child at the unit earlier this month.

He says the day-long experience on set helped him prepare for his upcoming role as a father and he even met their midwife during the shoot.

"We’d do the filming and afterwards I’d have a million questions to ask the midwife [in the shoot], and just things I was curious about. The director told us to use that during the filming so we were just yarning about appointments, things like that."

Mr Mapuhola says he initially had seen the shoot as any other acting gig and didn’t know until he arrived on set that it was about the birthing unit.

However, it quickly became apparent how welcoming and well set up the unit was, something which was cemented for the couple when they experienced the facilities firsthand.

"The staff were amazing. They really cared and made things a lot easier for us. We were initially going to go home after the first night, but decided to stay another night for the extra support."

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