You’re pregnant and have COVID-19?
During pregnancy, most people with COVID-19 will have a mild flu-like illness and it is unlikely to cause problems for you or your baby, especially if you have been vaccinated.
Read more advice and find useful links and phone numbers in our You’re pregnant and have COVID-19? We’re here to support you (PDF, 800KB) pamphlet.
The seven-level hospital is next to Christchurch Hospital, located in Christchurch central city, on Riccarton Avenue, between South Hagley Park and the Botanical gardens.
The maternity services at Christchurch Women's Hospital are specialised to provide care for women who have medical problems or are experiencing complications in their pregnancy. It is staffed 24 hours a day. Clinical staff liaise with your Lead Maternity Carer to provide your care.
Parking is not available on the hospital grounds. Eleven bus routes pass the hospital. Commercial car parking venues are located among the several nearby blocks. There is also the hospital's shuttle bus service from Deans Avenue Car Park available.
Our Facebook page is to inform and update on what is happening in the maternity community. It also provides an environment for valuable consumer feedback. The administrators on this page are part of the Maternity Quality Safety Programme as coordinators and consumer members. This is Ministry of Health initiative to encourage and promote consumer engagement in the maternity services.
Birthing Suite on the third floor of Christchurch Women's Hospital and accessed via the front entrance on the ground floor. Please contact your lead maternity carer (LMC) in the first instance as your LMC will notify Birthing Suite when you are expected to arrive, so the Ward Clerk can welcome you at the reception desk and Birthing Suite can be prepared for your arrival.
The clinical team of doctors and midwives liaise closely with you and your LMC to ensure you are able to make informed choices about your care. Please ask to speak to the Acting Charge Midwife Manager at anytime if you wish to discuss your care during your time in the Birthing Suite, or the Charge Midwife Manager during business hours.
Your partner and visitors are able to purchase meals from the Great Escape café on the ground floor of the public hospital, up till 7.30pm. Snacks can be purchased from the vending machines at any time or from the café, on the ground floor.
In Birthing Suite there are two small parent lounges that have tea and coffee making facilities, and a television. There are no cooking facilities. Meals are provided for women who are staying. It is recommended your support people bring their own food and drink.
Well women and their babies are transferred to one of the primary birthing units for a postnatal stay, commonly within 2-4 hours following a vaginal birth.
If you wish to discuss your care at any time during your stay, ask to speak to the Acting Clinical Midwife Manager or the Charge Midwife Manager.
Christchurch Women's Hospital Outpatients holds specialist clinics every day. Your LMC midwife or GP will refer you if you have:
Before you attend an outpatient’s appointment, you will receive an appointment letter which will tell you the date and time of your appointment as well as the clinic team that will care for you.
If an ultrasound has been organised in the hospital for you, and you cannot attend, the staff or your LMC can organise an ultrasound in the community, with the surcharge paid by yourself.
If you are offered an ultrasound appointment at the hospital or you need to change. Please call the Radiology Department on 03 364 0618.
If you need to contact the hospital for any reason, please quote your hospital number which you will find on your letter. If you wish to change your appointment, please contact the Maternity Outpatients Department as soon as possible so that the appointment can be offered to another pregnant woman.
A chaplain is available at Christchurch Women's Hospital to respond to women, and their families/whanau. If you are giving birth at another facility you can request to be put in contact with a chaplain through the Charge Midwife Manager.
An Interpreter Service is available for people who are deaf or for whom English is not their first language. Please talk to your LMC or hospital midwife who can contact the interpreter / translator service.
Our interpreter service is available 24 hours a day and should be used whenever a lack of ability in the English language could restrict understanding of a patient's needs, rights and obligations. The translation/interpreter service is provided FREE at no charge to patients and there are a large number of languages available, including NZ sign language.
Provides care to pregnant women from 24 weeks gestation that have been identified by an obstetrician as requiring extra monitoring during pregnancy. This unit, containing three lazy boy chairs, allows you to remain at home with your family and attend the hospital for appointments to receive the extra monitoring required. This is a Monday - Friday service (8.00am - 4.30pm).
Your first point of contact for general enquiries and advice about your pregnancy is your LMC.
Following a consultation with an obstetric doctor/specialist obstetrician in the maternity clinics, or assessment on Birthing Suite/admission to the Maternity Ward, you may be referred to the DAU for increased monitoring of your pregnancy. Please remember to bring your pregnancy notes with you on every visit.
If you do need to visit the Day Assessment Unit, you will be assessed, examined, treated and advised by midwives where applicable or referred to an obstetrician if necessary. Visiting DAU can prevent an overnight or longer stay in hospital thus allowing you to remain at home longer during your pregnancy.
Location: The Day Assessment Unit is located on the ground floor of Christchurch Women's Hospital.
It is easily accessible through the Radiology Department entrance that is to the right of Christchurch Women's Hospital entrance. As your visit should always be pre-arranged, the reception staff will be expecting you.
Phone: 03 364 4272
Fax: 03 364 4471
Ngā Ratonga Hauora Māori (The Māori Health Service) is available to help women and whānau through their hospital journey with culturally appropriate advice and support. Specially trained staff provide āwhina/help and tautoko/support with cultural issues, education on tikanga (values and beliefs) and referral to the appropriate resources available in the community for both Māori and mainstream organisations.
The Māori Health Worker, Kaiawhina Whaea me ngā Pēpi is part of the multi-disciplinary team at Christchurch Women's Hospital and is available to all women admitted to hospital, to provide support and education on cultural issues, information sharing and referral.
Find more information at Māori and Pasifika Health
Maternal Fetal Medicine is a branch of women's health which includes high-risk pregnancy where the mother or baby or both has a problem. The expectation is that your pregnancy will be a happy time without any problems and you will not need fetal medicine services. However, if you do, these services are provided throughout New Zealand.
The clinics are Monday to Friday, but not everyday. This is an acute service and therefore waiting times may vary.
Phone: 03 364 4557
Fax: 03 364 4411
Maternal mental health in the primary setting is managed by general practitioners. The specialist mental health service provides a secondary regional service for maternal mental health, which includes the Mother and Baby Unit located at The Princess Margaret Hospital. It is the only inpatient service for the South Island. Referral to this services is usually by a GP.
If you suffer an acute (emergency) mental health issue, you can be referred by an individual, family member, GP, Obstetrician, lead maternity care midwife or community service to the single point of entry (SPOE) service at Christchurch Hospital.
Being pregnant and becoming a mother can be an anxious time for some women. If you have any concerns around your mental health during pregnancy, talk to your LMC or GP for support and advice.
The following links may also be helpful:
The Maternity Assessment Unit is a midwifery-led unit which provides care to women/wāhine who have concerns during their pregnancy (22 weeks onwards). It provides assessment and monitoring, and women work with their LMC (Lead Maternity Carer) to make a plan.
A midwife or your LMC can make a referral to an obstetrician or a doctor who works at Christchurch Women’s Hospital if required. Service hours are 7.00am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
If you are worried about your baby/pēpi or yourself when you are pregnant your first point of contact for advice is your LMC (Lead Maternity Carer). They will carry out the first assessment with you and may ask you to meet them at the Maternity Assessment Unit if they think you should meet one of our midwives for a second opinion.
Whānau/family are welcome to support you during your visit to the Unit. Our aim is for you to be seen and have a care plan in place within three hours. If we are very busy or if you need to have further time for observation or care this will take longer, but if so we will discuss with you at the time.
The Maternity Assessment Unit is located on the ground floor of Christchurch Hospital. Come in the main doors of Christchurch Hospital and follow the signage to the Unit which is on the ground floor of Parkside.
If you prefer, ask one of the volunteers in the main reception area to help you get there.
To contact the Maternity Assessment Unit, call 03 378 6410
Once you have been assessed, if you and your pepi (baby) are well you will be able to go home. If your plan is for more monitoring, or if you need to be admitted it will either be to Birthing Suite or to the Maternity Ward, whichever is best for you.
If you wish to discuss your care at any time please don’t hesitate to contact the Associate Clinical Midwife Manager of the Unit, Louise McKinney or the Charge Midwife Manager of the Unit, Sonya Matthews. Phone: 03 378 6411.
Maternity clinics are held four times a week. Pregnant women are referred to these clinics by their LMCs and GPs. LMCs are welcome to be part of this consultation. The maternity clinics provide each LMC with a letter after each consultation.
Twice a week, obstetric physicians are available at the maternity clinics to see women with medical conditions prior to pregnancy and medical conditions developed during pregnancy.
This is a multi-disciplinary clinic held each Monday with an obstetrician, physician, midwife and dietician
These are held each Tuesday with a dedicated midwife and team from Community and Alcohol Services (CADS).
These are held each Wednesday for women who require interpreter services or whose social issues require extra input. Christchurch Women's Hospital do not supply LMCs.
These are held each Thursday morning. You will be referred here by your LMC or GP early in your pregnancy to discuss mode of birth for this pregnancy. You will be seen by an obstetrician.
Prior to your caesarean section, you will be seen in this clinic by a midwife and anaesthetist to complete your pre-admission. These clinics are held on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon.
Phone: 03 364 4454
Fax: 03 364 4301
Phone: 03 364 4420 (answer machine available after hours)
Phone: 03 364 0618
The Maternity Outpatients Department at Christchurch Women's Hospital includes the Day Assessment Unit and Fetal Maternal Medicine.
Maternity clinics are held every weekday and include the General Obstetric Clinic, High Risk Obstetric Clinic, Core Midwifery Clinic, Methadone in Pregnancy Clinic and Anaesthetic Pre-admission Clinic.
The Maternity Ward is a 45 bed antenatal / postnatal unit located on the fifth floor.
The length of stay postnatally on the Maternity Ward is assessed on an individual clinical basis of both mother and baby. Only women with complex needs (including caesarean section) or with babies with complex needs are admitted to the maternity ward. Midwives are available throughout your stay on Maternity Ward, to offer support and advice for breastfeeding, and lactation consultants are available for specialised assistance.
If you wish to discuss your care at anytime during your stay, ask to speak to the Acting Charge Midwife Manager or the Charge Midwife Manager.
|Who can visit||Visiting times|
|Husbands/Partners/Siblings of the baby||8am – 9pm daily|
|Open visiting||10am – 1pm and 3pm – 8pm|
|Rest period (no open visiting)||1pm – 3pm|
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As soon as you are well you will need to transfer to a primary birthing unit for your postnatal stay. If you have had a caesarean section this will commonly occur between 24 - 48 hours.
If your baby is in the Neonatal Unit you will be admitted to Maternity Ward for 48 hours and maybe discharged home while your baby remains in hospital.
Your partner and visitors are able to purchase meals from the Great Escape Café on the ground floor of the public hospital, up till 7.30pm. Snacks can be purchased from the vending machines at any time or from the café, on the ground floor.
The Neonatal Service provides 24-hour care for newborn babies with a variety of special needs at Christchurch Women's Hospital. This includes prematurity, surgery, congenital abnormalities and babies who may have been compromised at birth.
Care is provided by a skilled and experienced multi-disciplinary team utilising current evidence based practice. There are 11 intensive cots and 30 special care cots.
See our Neonatal Service web pages for more information, including visiting hours.
The nutrition service is staffed by NZ registered dieticians and is available for women, Monday to Fridays, who are using maternity services. Staff see women as outpatients and inpatients for individualised nutrition assessment and advice. Referrals can be made by your LMC or doctor to discuss any of the following:
Find more information at Nutrition Services
Physiotherapy staff see women as outpatients and inpatients for individualised advice about looking after your body after childbirth. Referrals can be made by your LMC or GP to discuss any of the following:
Find more information and advice at Women's Health pages at Healthinfo
The Christchurch Women's Hospital social work and counselling services provide support, information, referral to community agencies, assistance with decision making, advocacy and short and long term counselling services for a range of issues. Your LMC midwife can arrange a referral if needed.
Sometimes you may need to attend a clinic appointment with your children. It is important to advise you that there are no childcare facilities available. If you are unable to attend without bringing your children with you, please remember that they are your responsibility.
A breastfeeding room and baby changing facilities are available in the reception area of Outpatients.
There are public phones available in several areas of the hospital. Mobile phones are allowed in public areas, but not in the clinical areas.
As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed it is recommended that you find and register with a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC), if possible, by 9 weeks gestation. Maternity care in New Zealand is funded by the government for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents and those who meet Ministry of Health eligibility criteria. Your LMC will organise your first visit (before 12 weeks gestation) to review your general wellbeing, provide dietary advice and explain options for antenatal screening and tests.
Visit the Find Your Midwife website for Midwives in your area
Find out more about the care a midwife LMC provides for your pregnancy, birth and after your baby is born
A healthy lifestyle is important for you and your baby, the following links provide information on eating well and lifestyle changes you can make to improve you and your baby’s health
Healthy eating for pregnancy
Food safety and pregnancy
Alcohol, smoking and drugs in pregnancy
Looking after your body in pregnancy
Supplements during pregnancy breastfeeding
Vitamin D in pregnancy
Exercise during pregnancy
Mothers Matter is a comprehensive website offering advice and support with anxiety and depression that some women (and fathers) can have in pregnancy
During pregnancy your LMC will discuss screening and tests that you may consider at different stages of your pregnancy, further information can be found on the Healthinfo site antenatal tests and screening
Your LMC will complete a maternal history form with you. This form needs to be forwarded to the unit where you plan to give birth. If you have no complications detected, the option of birthing at a primary birthing unit should be offered and encouraged.
This website gives detail on the community units for birthing postnatal care and Christchurch Women’s Hospital located in Canterbury.
Further information is also available on the Healthinfo website and includes information on home birth where to give birth
Immunisation during pregnancy is the best way to protect both you and your baby from pertussis (whooping cough) and flu both are recommended antenatally and vaccination is free
For information and helpful advice and further website links visit being a great Dad
Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury has a comprehensive resource for wāhine/women and whānau needing maternal mental health support Maternal Mental Health Pathway (250KB, PDF)
Canterbury DHB provides a variety of free Pregnancy and Parenting Education Classes for new parents at a range of locations and days of the week. There are also specific Young Parent classes for those under 23 years of age (within Christchurch).
We recommend booking before 20 weeks so you are able attend the class of your choice. Your birthing partner/support person is welcome to attend with you.
Whānau Mai is a two-day programme.
The first day (Tuatahi) is best attended before 28 weeks. This wānanga is about pregnancy and connection. We cover nutrition, exercise, ways to connect with pēpi and whānau. On this day we make kawakawa mirimiri oil, kawakawa pēpi balm and ipu whenua (placenta burial containers).
The second day (Tuarua) is best completed around 28 weeks and is about labour & birth, breastfeeding and parenting. During this day we continue with connect though Te Ao Māori and this includes making muka (flax) cord ties.
Please either call Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust on 0800 66 99 57 or use the referral form on our website, www.whanauoraservices.co.nz.
Breastfeeding, lactation and infant feeding are supported by all the midwives working in Birthing Suite, and Maternity Ward and the nurses in the Neonatal Unit and all Canterbury maternity units are baby-friendly accredited.
Information about breastfeeding support and education is available on the Canterbury Breastfeeding Advocacy Service website (canbreastfeed.co.nz)
The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) supports mothers and whanau to feed their babies. You can read the Being Baby Friendly / Manaakihia nga kohungahunga hou 1 page poster to find out more about being being baby friendly, or you can find out more at www.babyfriendly.org.nz
The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) has written a short leaflet called Kiri ki te kiri Skin to Skin Contact about the benefits of skin to skin contact for babies, and how and when to have skin to skin contact with your baby.
Immunisation during pregnancy is the best way to protect both you and your baby from pertussis (whooping cough) and flu both are recommended antentally and vaccination is free
Read about monitoring your baby's movements
Sleep in pregnancy can be difficult with your growing baby, there is new evidence that the position you sleep from 28 weeks can half your risk of stillbirth sleep on the side.
Water exercises in Pregnancy classes are held every Wednesday and Friday from 11:00am to 12:00pm at Burwood Hospital Hydrotherapy Pool in Christchurch. Pregnant women can attend after 27 weeks gestation. No booking is needed. Find out more about water exercise classes, including a location map, fees and advice.
Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust provides an opportunity to learn to weave a wahakura for your pēpi, or to support whānau to make for a relative and gift. Our master weaver provides a supportive learning environment and the important safe sleep message is provided. See our website for the next wānanga www.whanauoraservices.co.nz or phone 0800 66 99 57 to register.
Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust has produced a video about safe sleeping. The video can be viewed on their Facebook channel at https://fb.watch/7KvHHLhCjv/. Please note that you do need to be logged into Facebook to view this video.
A guide to help you choose products that are safe for your pēpi (baby) for sleep. Read this publication (ISSUU flipbook format).
This website gives detail on the community units for birthing postnatal care and Christchurch Women’s Hospital located in Canterbury. Further information is also available on the Healthinfo site and includes information on home birth where to give birth
Labour and birth are a normal physiological process. You may have discussed options for pain relief already with your midwife or at antenatal classes. More information can be found on pain relief options for labour and birth - Healthinfo website.
Please leave valuables at home
Your support person/family/friends `
(e.g. partner sleeping overnight)
Partners / a support person will usually stay overnight with you when you are in labour. It is important that another designated adult is available to supervise children if they come to the hospital.
Information on cafes and food services and overnight stays for your support person is available on each maternity unit information sites.
Plunket no longer offers a car seat hire service, but there are a number of community groups, health providers and retailers who do. To find a local provider, just search online or ask at your local Plunket centre.
If you are planning to buy a car seat, check out Plunket's advice on car seat safety and what to look for here.
Immunisation during pregnancy is the best way to protect both you and your baby from pertussis (whooping cough) and flu both are recommended antentally and vaccination is free
You can read about the induction of labour process in our Induction of Labour information pamphlet (300KB, PDF)
Watch an informative video about reducing perineal tears during childbirth.
After the birth of your baby and once you are home your midwife LMC will continue to provide care for you and your baby and for 4-6 weeks after your baby is born. Baby’s care will then be transferred to the well child provider of your choice and continued care for both of you will be with your GP.
Breastfeeding, lactation and infant feeding are supported by all the midwives working in Birthing Suite, and Maternity Ward and the nurses in the Neonatal Unit and all Canterbury maternity units are baby friendly accredited baby friendly accredited
A Lactation Consultant is an allied health professional who specialises in breastfeeding, taking into consideration the unique needs and values of each breastfeeding family. The Lactation Consultants provide education and advice about lactation to mothers as well as staff to ensure you receive consistent and appropriate advice about the initiation, establishment and maintenance of breastfeeding.
A referral to a Lactation Consultant can be made by either your LMC midwife or a core midwife/nurse. Please ask if you are experiencing problems and would like to be referred to a Lactation Consultant. The lactation consultant service is available 7 days a week from 07:30hrs till 16:00hrs.
Further Breastfeeding support and information
La Leche League
Registering your baby's birth is important and required by law. It is easy to complete online just follow the prompts and it is free unless you want to order a birth certificate.
For advice and assistance on any financial help that you may be entitled to go to Smart Start and Best Start
Find useful information about coping with a crying baby on the Ministry of Health website
Your Midwife, GP and Wellchild provider will discuss with you Immunisations for your baby which start at six weeks of age.
If your baby has a hearing loss, finding it early will help their language, learning and social development.
The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Programme aims to identify newborn babies with hearing loss early so they can access appropriate assistance as soon as possible. Screening is usually done before you and your baby go home from the hospital.
Find more information at Newborn Hearing Screening
Baby Blues are common for new mums at around 3 to 5 days after giving birth, but it is important to know the signs of postpartum depression
If you are worried or concerned please talk with you Midwife LMC, Well Child provider or GP they are there to help.
Well Child Tamariki-Ora services are offered free to all New Zealand children from birth to five years. They provide you with the knowledge and skills to respond to your child's needs at the different stages of their development so you can give your child the best start in life to:
Some simple tips from our physiotherapy team about ways that you can physically recover after having your baby.
Te Whatu Ora has a comprehensive resource for wāhine/women and whānau needing maternal mental health support Maternal Mental Health Pathway (250KB, PDF)
Birth afterthoughts is a listening and debriefing service available to any māmā and their whānau who has given birth to their baby in a Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury facility. This includes Christchurch Women’s Hospital and Maternity Services at Oromairaki, Rangiora, Kaikoura and Ashburton.
For parents, events around a baby’s birth may have been confusing, unexpected or unplanned. Labour and birth may have been different to expectations and plans made during pregnancy. 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 decision-making process in labour.
Self-referrals are welcomed for women/mama birthing after July 2022 or hapū.
Further details are available on our Birth Afterthoughts Clinic page.
Christchurch Parents Centre is a volunteer organisation run by parents for parents. They are part of a national organisation and are one of over 50 centres nationwide. They have been supporting parents in our community for over 50 years. Find out more at the Parents Centre NZ website.
Colic is when a baby cries for several hours a day and no other cause for the crying can be found. The cause of colic is unknown. Information about support for babies with Colic.
Miscarriage Support offers empathy, emotional and psychological peer support and information for all women who have experienced the loss of their baby, particularly by miscarriage.
Information about multiple birth, and supporting parents of multiples.
Pregnancy Help provide practical support and advice to prepare for parenthood.
SANDS is a voluntary, parent-run, non-profit organisation set up to support parents and families who have experienced the death of a baby at any stage during pregnancy, as a baby or infant.
Women’s Refuge is a domestic violence organisation. If you are living in fear in your relationship or in your family, there are many ways we can help you right now.
Young Mother Support for parenting advice, counselling, financial support, or just getting in touch with other teenage parents, there are organisations and agencies who are there to help. This site provides a list of organisations which have links to local support networks.
Healthinfo is a health information website provided by the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB). The information on HealthInfo has been written and approved by local doctors, practice nurses, hospital clinicians, and other healthcare professionals.
Kimihia Parents College is a Teen Parent Unit set up to provide a learning environment for pregnant teenagers or teenagers aged 19 and under who are parents.
The Maternity Services Consumer Council website provides information and resources on maternity services in New Zealand and has links to a number of other websites. Find out more at the Maternity Services Consumer Council website.
The New Zealand College of Midwives website has an area specifically for pregnant women. Here you can find out about the maternity services in New Zealand and the care you can expect to receive from your LMC midwife. Find out more at the NZ College of Midwives website.
Browse the Tapuaki website and you will find information about pregnancy and parenting in English and Pacific languages. Find out more at Tapuaki - Pacific Pregnancy and Parenting Education
Page last updated: 30 June 2023
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