The Birth Afterthoughts Clinic is a listening and debriefing service available for anyone who has given birth to their baby in a Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury facility. This includes Christchurch Women’s Hospital and Community Maternity Services at Oromairaki (in Rolleston), Rangiora, Kaikoura and Ashburton.
If you have some questions about your birth experience that you would like answered, or there is an aspect of your care that you would like to discuss, the Birth Afterthoughts Clinic provides an opportunity to talk with a midwife, in a safe, confidential and supported environment.
We welcome you and your whānau to get in touch with us, and look forward to hearing from you.
Self-referrals are welcomed for women/mama birthing after July 2022 or hapū.
Sometimes events around a baby’s birth may be confusing, unexpected or unplanned. Labour and birth may have been different to how you expected it to be. There may have been a need for medical intervention, or even a medical emergency. Such events can be difficult to understand without information to ‘fill in the gaps’, have questions answered, or understand the medical assessment and why things happened in labour. Our Birth Afterthoughts clinic provides an opportunity for those gaps or questions to be discussed.
We suggest that you wait for 4-6 weeks after giving birth before requesting an appointment to give yourself time to recover from the birth, to allow your thought processes to settle a little and be ready to talk through your birth experience.
The Birth Afterthoughts process can be really helpful if you are finding it difficult to understand, or perhaps come to terms with what happened during your birth experience. It may also be important in helping to prepare for another pregnancy, labour and birth.
During the appointment with the Birth Afterthoughts Clinic you and your whānau can talk with a midwife and read through your birth notes together. You may wish to ask specific questions, or talk about memories, feelings and thoughts you have about the birth and any part of that experience.
We welcome your partner/support people to attend the clinic with you.
Appointments are currently available on Friday every week at Christchurch Women’s Hospital.
You can self-refer and contact us by email or by leaving a voicemail message. A midwife will aim to contact you within 5 working days to confirm your appointment.
When booking an appointment please provide the following information:
Note: If you prefer, telephone or video appointments are available on request, instead of meeting at a clinic.
We look forward to hearing from you.
If you are having anxious thoughts, or feeling 'flat' or down after having a baby one of the most valuable things you can do is talk to others. There are other parents who are going through the same thing – you are not alone.
You may also want to talk to a support person, such as a whānau member, midwife or family doctor, kuia or kaumātua, faith leader, counsellor, or friend. Try to accept help when it is offered, and get some rest and exercise if you can.
You can also free call or text 1737 at any time to speak to a trained counsellor. If you call between 2pm - 10pm you can also choose to talk to a Peer Support Specialist - these are people who have experience of wairangi/mental distress who are trained to provide you with advice to support your wellbeing.
There are also community support services that you can contact for support, please read our Maternal Mental Health - Referral and Support Services in Waitaha Canterbury Pamphlet (PDF, 250KB) for more information.
Page last updated: 17 January 2023
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