The Birthing Suite floor at Christchurch Women's Hospital is undergoing earthquake repairs from May to early July and pregnant women are advised that these repairs are likely to cause some disruption.
Director of Midwifery, Norma Campbell, apologised in advance to those who will be affected by this repair work. "If you're nearing the end of your pregnancy, now might be a good time to talk with your midwife or LMC about the best place for you to have your baby," she said.
"We have some wonderful community birthing units which provide a peaceful, spacious, family-friendly atmosphere – not to mention ample free parking!" Norma Campbell said.
The concrete floor of the Birthing Suite has significant cracking that needs to be filled with resin. In preparation for the work to begin a plastic coating will be placed on ceilings and at either end of the area being treated to keep dust and smell contained to that area. The cracks are then filled with resin and then ground down so the fill is level with the floor, which will create some noise.
The work is being managed in stages to minimise disruption and ensure the birthing suite can remain open. However, the work will mean the Birthing Suite has less capacity than normal and women presenting for assessment will be relocated to an area on Level Two in Gynaecology.
All inductions of labour and elective caesarean sections will be reviewed daily to determine the number the Suite can manage that day. This means women may be asked to wait longer unless they meet specific induction criteria.
Christchurch Women's is contacting midwives and health professionals working with pregnant women to encourage those women who are well at the end of their pregnancy to choose to birth at one of Canterbury DHB's community birthing units at Ashburton or Kaikoura Hospitals, Lincoln or Rangiora Maternity Units or St George's Maternity Centre. This is so the Christchurch Women's Hospital Birthing Suite can continue to have capacity for sick women and babies that require complex clinical care. If the Suite is at capacity it is possible women may be asked to birth at one of the primary units.