10 Feb 2020

Opotiki midwife worried by maternity unit's limited opening hours

From Morning Report, 6:46 am on 10 February 2020

An Opotiki midwife says families should be able to focus on their baby's arrival into the world, rather than worrying about things like whether they have enough petrol to get to hospital.

Opotiki's maternity unit has reopened earlier than planned - with limitations - after its temporary closure sparked protests last year. It is not staffed overnight and women can not stay overnight so have to either go home or travel to Whakatane Hospital after birth.

But midwives can let themselves in at night if a woman is in labour.

Midwife Connie Mikosch told our Health Correspondent Rowan Quinn early bonding is crucial and birth should be as stress free as possible.

The Bay of Plenty DHB says the current plan is temporary and its working with midwives on a long term solution.