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Work To Start On Thames Birthing Unit

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Work To Start On Thames Birthing Unit

Waikato District Health Board has received the consent it needs to start work on Thames Birthing Unit.

Thames-Coromandel District Council granted building consent today.

The primary birthing facility will open at 412 Mary Street in June 2011.

Waikato DHB director of nursing and midwifery Sue Hayward said the unit has undergone a series of unfortunate delays but the DHB remains committed.

"This is fantastic news for Hauraki and Thames Coromandel women albeit long awaited.

"Building of this new primary birthing unit reflects the acknowledgement and respect Waikato District Health Board gives to women wanting to birth in a modern yet low tech environment and one that is close to their community.

"The new unit will be available for all lead maternity carers, and while only just across the road from Thames Hospital it will operate independently. Women who require additional secondary care will get that at Waikato Hospital, not Thames."

Waikato DHB announced in 2008 that it would construct the unit after a survey found that more than 90 per cent of women would give birth in Thames if there were a new primary birthing facility.

The project was put on hold in February (this year) because of over-priced tenders and a projected budget blowout.

Mrs Hayward is encouraging pregnant women to get in early and book their spot in the unit now with an increase in demand expected for the new facilities.

"Choosing where to give birth is an important decision during pregnancy.

"Thames Birthing Unit will have a much more comfortable, rather than clinical, feel, with modern dcor similar to a new home," Mrs Hayward said.

Thames Birthing Unit will be a primary birthing facility, meaning it will be for natural, low-risk births under midwifery care and will not offer medical interventions like epidurals or caesarean sections. Waikato Hospital provides those.

It will have three bedrooms, two birthing rooms, a birthing pool, a breastfeeding room, a patient lounge and outdoor areas

Each bedroom and birthing room will have its own ensuite.

Currently the only birthing facility in the Thames-Coromandel region is inside Thames Hospital, in old, adapted ward space that lacks privacy and ensuite facilities.

Preconstruction works began at the Mary Street site in June this year so building work can begin immediately.

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