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Thames Birthing Unit Celebrates First Birthday

Media Release

Date: 31 August 2012


Thames Birthing Unit will celebrate its first birthday next week (Wednesday 5 September) with nearly a 40 per cent increase in births in Thames compared to the previous year.

Thames charge midwife manager Louise Rowden said the new facility was working well and women were happy birthing there.

Prior to the opening of Thames Birthing Unit as a standalone facility in Mary St, Thames in September 2011, women birthed at Thames Hospital, unless there were complications when they were transferred to Waikato Hospital.

If possible, women and their babies were able to go back to Thames Hospital for postnatal care.

In the old facility at Thames Hospital, from October 2010 - July 2011, there were 71 births at Thames Hospital and 72 transfers back for postnatal care.

Since moving into the new unit that figure had increased 39.4 per cent to 95 births at Thames Birthing Unit and 76 transfers.

“The increase in births happening here in Thames says it all really,” said Ms Rowden.

“There is a desire and a confidence among local women to birth at home here in the Thames-Coromandel area that was lacking before the unit was opened.”

One woman who was particularly pleased about the timing of the opening was Penelope Tee who gave birth to son Flynn on 9 September – the first baby ever born in the unit.

Mrs Tee is expecting again in March 2013 and says she is looking forward to her stay in Thames Birthing Unit.

“They’re amazing there. I have one of the unit’s midwives and she’s just fantastic.”

Thames Birthing Unit provides free pregnancy tests, advice on the maternity system and how to find a midwife in your area, and care during pregnancy, labour, birth and up to six weeks after the birth.

All the families who have used the Thames Birthing Unit during the past year are invited to a barbecue in the Unit’s car park on Saturday 29 September to celebrate the milestone.

For more information about the primary birthing facility, visit


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