27 May 2019

Maternity service closure forces roadside birth

From Lately, 10:20 pm on 27 May 2019

A Southland women was forced to give birth on the side of the road on Sunday because her local maternity centre was not equipped to handle the complicated birth. The nearby Lumdsden Maternity centre was controversially downgraded to an unstaffed hub by the Southern District Health Board in August. The hub can be used for ante-natal appointments and straight forward births but is not suitable for more complex births. Yesterday's incident has reignited debate about the quality of maternal services for women in rural parts of New Zealand. Emile Donovan is joined by National College of Midwives CEO Alison Eddy about the downgrade and the pressure it puts on midwives.