Where to give birth: your options

You can choose to give birth at home, in a primary maternity unit (birthing centre) or in a hospital maternity ward.

Women who give birth at home or in a birthing centre or small maternity unit are more likely to have a normal birth than those who give birth in hospital.

You should discuss the place of birth with your LMC as part of your planning in early pregnancy. Unless you have complications all of these choices are safe.

Home birth

Home birth is a safe choice for many women. Women who have home births use less pain relief and have fewer caesarean sections and forceps deliveries than women who give birth in hospital. If you want to know more about this choice talk to your midwife or doctor. You can find out more on the Home Birth Aotearoa website.

At a home birth your midwife will have another midwife there to support you and her during and after the birth. Your midwife will stay with you for at least two hours after the birth.


Puawai Aroha Maternity

Puawai Aroha Maternity offers a warm, modern environment staffed by our team of friendly and professional core midwives, obstetric and paediatric teams. Support service staff can also provide Maori cultural support, breastfeeding support and quit-smoking support.

Puawai Aroha Maternity has:

  • antenatal beds
  • birthing suites
  • a birthing pool room
  • private (not shared) postnatal rooms
  • anaesthetic services for epidural pain relief during labour

Puawai Aroha Maternity at Gisborne Hospital has been certified by the Ministry of Health and the maternity ward has been accredited as a Baby Friendly hospital which means it meets the highest standards of maternity care in New Zealand.


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