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Counties Manukau Health Maternity Services

Public Service, Maternity, Maternity/Birthing Facilities, Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Middlemore Hospital Maternity Wards - North and South

The Maternity wards are on the 4th floor of the Galbraith Building, two floors above the birthing unit. It is a busy ward area which has a receptionist and a small waiting area.

Care is provided by midwives and nurses. There is a daily specialist ward round for the antenatal women and for any women after birth who need a doctor review.


Visiting hours are between 2pm and 8pm with no more than two people (including children) in addition to the key support person are permitted per patient at one time.

A key support person can visit between 8am and 8pm or at all times by arrangement for compassionate reasons - please check with the midwife in charge on the ward your family member or friend is on.

Children under the age of 16 may visit between 2pm and 8pm for compassionate reasons – again, please check with the midwife in charge on the ward your family member or friend is on.

Will I have to share a room?

Most of the rooms are a twin share so that means you will share with one other person only. Because it is a ward only for maternity, you will only share with another woman! We do have some single rooms and they are usually given to women who have:

  • infections which mean they cannot be beside others
  • multiples such as twins or triplets
  • caesarean sections (if possible)
  • a very sick baby
  • to stay for a long time in pregnancy.

There are no private rooms and single rooms are not able to be reserved.

The Maternity Floor is divided into North and South areas. This allows the staff to be organised and is nothing to do with where you live!

South - Antenatal Care

Some women need to be in hospital during their pregnancy and this is where they will stay. Most will only stay a few days but others have to stay for longer. 

Why would I need to be in hospital before my baby is born?

There are a number of reasons and most of them are described in the Birthing and Assessment page as almost all women will go there first before being admitted. These reasons include:

  • bleeding
  • diabetes needs more control
  • baby not growing well
  • high blood pressure
  • possibility of premature birth
  • rupture of membranes before 37 weeks.


North - Postnatal Care

You may need hospital care after the birth of your baby if you have:

  • problems at the birth
  • problems in your pregnancy which means you need extra care at first
  • a caesarean section birth pamphlet after a caesarean
  • a baby who needs extra care by specialist doctors either in or out of neonatal intensive care unit.

Many women can transfer to one of the birthing units a day or two later.

When you transfer to a unit or when you are ready to go home you will need a car seat suitable for your newborn baby. Have a practice at home before baby arrives so you know how to use it. pamphlet rental schemes

How long will I need to stay?

While this depends on what has happened, a rough average would be:

  • Vaginal birth - around 48 hours
  • Caesarean Section birth - around 72 to 96 hours but often only 24-36 of this is in Maternity Floor with the rest in a birthing unit.

Your postnatal stay is a time to learn how to give basic care to your baby and begin feeding while you have support at every feed.

We will cover:

  • all things about feeding such as position, feeding cues and common problems
  • hand expressing of milk
  • hygiene for baby
  • cord care pamphlet
  • blood loss
  • recovery from the birth
  • support in the community breastfeeding support in community
  • resuscitation of baby
  • postnatal and pelvic floor exercises pamphlets
  • contraception pamphlet


Lots of babies become jaundiced a couple of days after birth as their blood system changes from what they needed inside of you to what they need now they are air breathing. Your baby will have a yellow colouring. This gradually goes away over several days.

Sometimes the amount of jaundice is high and the baby cannot get rid of the chemical causing the yellow colour without help. 

Although the colour of your baby's skin shows us the jaundice, it is a blood test which tells us how high it is and if he/she needs treatment.

Using ultraviolet lights and making sure that baby feeds lots is usually what is needed. Sometimes a mother and baby have gone home and because of jaundice need to come back in. Sometimes jaundice can be managed in one of the Primary Birthing Units.

pamphlet jaundice

Why would I transfer to a birthing unit?

Transferring to Botany Downs, Papakura or Pukekohe Primary Birthing Unit is a great move for most women because they:

  • have free parking
  • are quieter at night and not as busy in the day
  • are in places where your other children can have a run around outside
  • have opening windows and doors so you can get some fresh air
  • have better food!
  • have a better number of staff to women so staff are more available to help you.

This page was last updated at 3:23PM on October 26, 2021.