Due to Give Birth During Level 4 Lockdown? Here Are the Visitor Policies for Hospitals and Birthing Units Around Aotearoa

Please note: This information in this article is accurate at the time of publication (5pm, 19 August 2021) but may be subject to change with varying alert levels.
Woman gives birth at home in birthing pool

If you are due to have your baby in the coming days or weeks, the recent COVID-19 community outbreak in New Zealand may impact your plans for birth. It’s understandable to feel anxious or uncertain about what it will be like giving birth during Level 4 lockdown but know that any changes that are made are for the health and safety of you and your baby – that is the priority.

 

We’ve collated a list of the current visitor policies for as many maternity units and birthing centres around the motu as possible. This includes how many people are allowed to support a birthing person and (where information is available) what is permitted in terms of your postpartum stay. Keep in mind that each DHB, hospital, maternity unit and midwife may have different rules and these may be subject to change. Consult your LMC for confirmation of the current policy in your region.

By law, you must wear a face covering when visiting healthcare facilities during Level 4.

For more detailed information on how the current lockdown will affect your personal birth plan (including induction, caesarean section births, and your eligibility to give birth at home instead of a primary or secondary maternity unit), your best contact is your LMC – they are here to answer any questions you have and discuss the options available to you. They will also let you know what will be required for your antenatal and postnatal appointments.

Also, remember to use the BRAINS acronym. It can be a helpful tool to refer to when making any decisions in pregnancy, labour or birth:

• Benefits – what are they?
• Risks – what are they?
• Alternatives – are there any? What are they?
• Intuition – what does my gut say? How do I feel about it?
• Not now – what might happen if we don’t do anything?
• Subsequent actions – what are the potential consequences if we do go ahead?

 

Northland DHB

One support person can accompany a birthing person in labour. No other visitors are allowed, do not visit if you are sick. Visitors must wear a mask.

 

Warkworth Birthing Centre

If giving birth, a birthing person can have two support people during the labour and birth. For postnatal stays, one support person can stay with the patient, but no coming and going. Ensure you bring enough food for your support person for the duration of the stay. No other visitors, including siblings of the baby.

 

Waitematā DHB

The Alert Level 4 visitor policy allows for one support person for the delivery of a baby. The support person must not be in self-isolation due to recent travel or have any known COVID-19 contact or symptoms. The support person is able to stay with birthing person during birth (induction, labour, and birth) and the same support person is able to stay with them during their postnatal stay. This support person is not interchangeable.

 

Auckland DHD

During labour and the birth, two support people will be allowed in. After birth, you can identify two possible visitors. Only one person can stay with you at a time. Having a person stay overnight will be arranged on a case-by-case basis. This will mostly only be possible in single rooms.

 

Birthcare Parnell

One support person only. The nominated person must not leave the facility. Once the patient is admitted to Birthcare, the support person cannot leave until the “bubble” family is ready to discharge. If the support person leaves the facility, Birthcare has the right to decline access to the support person re-entering the facility again.

 

Counties Manukau DHB

Visiting at Middlemore Hospital will be on essential and compassionate grounds, or for birthing partners.

 

Nga Hau Māngere Birthing Centre

All visiting is restricted to one support person only during birth and postnatal stay. No one under the age of 16 or any person self-isolating, who feels unwell or is experiencing symptoms of cold or flu will be given access to the centre.

 

Waikato DHB

One support person for birthing facilities and it must be the same person throughout. No children are permitted on the wards. You must wear a mask when you enter the hospital (if you are in labour you will be able to remove your mask when you have settled into your room for birth). Support people are not able to stay postnatally.

 

River Ridge East Birth Centre

No visitors are permitted (including children). Only one support person, from the birthing person’s bubble at home, can attend the birth, and/or stay postnatally here, and they cannot leave (and then return) for the duration of their stay. The support person must be well. The support person will also need to maintain physical distancing with any staff that enter the room.

 

Waterford Birth Centre

One partner or support person only from your own bubble. The partner will be expected to stay on premises for the whole stay, not come and go to minimise exposure to COVID-19.

 

Bay of Plenty DHB

All well birthing people accessing Delivery Suite can be accompanied by their LMC and one birthing support person for their labour and after birth. The support person must be well, wear a mask, and cannot swap out during the stay. Where a support person is allowed to access any DHB facility, they will be asked a set of questions to ensure they are well before they are allowed in. No visitors are permitted during Level 4.

 

Bethlehem Birthing Centre

All birthing people can nominate one support person to remain with them during their labour, birth and postnatal stay. No other visitors will be permitted during this time. The nominated support person will need to stay in the centre for the entire duration of their partner’s stay. Postnatal transfers from the hospital are being declined during Level 4.

Some birthing people may be candidates for a homebirth. If you’re interested in birthing your pēpi at home due to the current lockdown, you should discuss your options with your LMC.

Lakes DHB

One support person with a person in labour. Birthing people must use the main entrance to access the birthing unit.

 

Tairāwhiti DHB

Under the latest Alert Level 4 lockdown, a no visiting policy remains in place at Gisborne Hospital. One partner or one support person only may be permitted for maternity.

 

Hawkes Bay DHB

One support person can attend throughout the birthing person’s stay (labour, birth and postnatal). Otherwise no visitor policy in place.

 

Taranaki DHB

One support person allowed in the maternity ward.

 

Whanganui DHB

Whanganui Hospital visiting is under Alert Level 4 guidance which means there is to be no visitors to DHB facilities. There are exceptions to visitors for patients in the Maternity Unit, however the exact details are TBC.

During Level 4 lockdown in 2020, the DHB policy for maternity was: Where there is no suspicion of COVID-19 for either the patient or visitors, up to two visitors (one partner and one birthing partner) can accompany patients into the birthing suite.

 

Mid Central DHB

One nominated person supporting a birthing person is allowed. Nominated person must: be one person from same household and visit one patient per day, not be under the age of 16, not connected to a confirmed COVID-19 case, not be awaiting test results for COVID-19.

 

Wairarapa DHB

Only one support person for a birthing person during Level 4. Visitors will be screened on entry to the hospital. You will be asked some questions relating to your health and where you have been recently, and you will need to scan in using the tracer app.

 

Capital and Coast DHB

You can choose one person to support you during and after the birth of your baby. If your support person has any signs of illness, they will not be able to be in the hospital to support you.

 

Hutt Valley DHB

A birthing partner is allowed for a person in labour during Alert Level 4.

 

Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre

All birthing people can nominate one support person to remain with them during their labour, birth and postnatal stay. No other visitors will be permitted during this time. The nominated support person will need to stay in the centre for the entire duration of their partner’s stay. Postnatal transfers from the hospital are being declined during Level 4.

 

Nelson Marlborough DHB

No visitors will be granted access to our hospitals with the exception of one family member, legal guardian or support person per patient. This one visitor will need to be screened and granted access by the relevant ward charge nurse manager or charge midwife manager or senior duty manager. To request visitation approval please phone the main line on (03) 546 1800 and ask to be put through to the ward you want to visit.

 

West Coast DHB

People in labour are allowed one support person.

 

Canterbury DHB

People in labour are allowed one support person.

 

South Canterbury DHB

One named birthing partner from the birthing person’s bubble for duration of birth, and two hours after.

 

Southern DHB

Under Alert Level 4 no visitors are allowed in our hospitals unless on compassionate grounds. Visitors who believe they should be able to visit on these grounds are asked to discuss this with the Charge Nurse Manager on the ward. You can call the hospital on (03) 474 0999 and ask to speak to the relevant Charge Nurse Manager.

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