Full maternity services resume at St George’s Hospital
Nearly 10,000 babies have been born at St George’s since maternity services were established in 1941.
The 2011 earthquake resulted in demolition of the hospital’s iconic heritage building which housed the maternity unit. Services were subsequently restricted to postnatal care for women transferring from Christchurch Women’s Hospital after their baby was born.
A newly refurbished maternity ward with a birthing pool will now provide care for all women who plan to have a natural birth. Maternity care at St George’s Hospital is provided free of charge.
“This is a significant milestone for us and the community,” says Charge Midwife Anna van Uden. “We were closed for 11 months after the earthquake, and since January 2012 we have only been able to provide postnatal care."
“A team of experienced midwives work at St George’s to provide safe, modern care for women whoare planning a normal birth. It is an ideal environment for those looking for a more natural, family- centred experience, including first time mothers. Birthing at St George’s also means there is no need to transfer to another facility for the postnatal period, allowing women to be supported, have assistance with breastfeeding and start the journey with their new baby,” says Anna.
The facilities at St George’s Hospital include individual rooms with ensuite, Sky TV, WIFI and an extensive food service. “We are renowned for providing excellent food, with plenty of choices to cater for varying diets and diverse cultural needs,” says Anna. “This is all part of the warm, home-like environment that we aim to create, allowing families/whanau to enjoy what is a very special time with their new baby.”
The support continues long after discharge, with a free breastfeeding drop-in clinic providing a professional lactation consultant four mornings a week. The clinic is open to all women in the postnatal period – regardless of whether they received maternity care at St George’s Hospital or another facility.
St George’s Hospital is a primary birthing unit, catering for women who are planning a natural birth without intervention. However should any complications arise, women are very easily transferred to Christchurch Women’s Hospital.