Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about our birth centre.

Getting to know us

You are very welcome to visit and we’d love to meet you. Feel free to pop in for a tour of the centre during weekdays 9am-5pm or by arrangement after hours with LMC.

Your midwife will book you into the birth centre and provide us with the paper work required.

Our birth centre services, including your postnatal care and stay, are free if you are a New Zealand citizen or resident and for other eligible women.

Check your eligibility here:

If you do not meet the requirements for free maternity care contact us for our charges.

You can birth at Waikato Hospital and then transfer to our birth centre, and many women do. Your midwife can give you further information about including this option in your birth plan.

For well-women who carry their baby to term Waterford is a safe place to have your baby. Choosing where to labour and birth is one of the most important decisions you will make as you focus on creating the safest possible conditions for your baby to be born.

Research, and Waterford’s own statistics confirm that giving birth at Waterford is much less likely to result in complications for you and your baby. This is because we provide the kind of birthing space that enables a woman to labour and birth as nature and her body intended; private, safe, warm, and unobtrusive care with your trusted midwife. These fundamental needs at the time of birth protect the flow of hormones that progress labour and birth and enable healthy women to deliver with few or no interventions.

If transfer to Waikato hospital is required, it is only a five-minute journey in a free ambulance.

Here is a recommended list:


  • Day clothes, comfortable leisure wear.
  • Nighties or pyjamas – PJ’s x 3
  • Dressing gown
  • Underwear – comfortable pants that fit a pad x 8, maternity bra
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo & conditioner etc.
  • Maternity pads 2-3 packs
  • Extra snacks as required


  • Cotton singlets x 3
  • Woolen or merino singlets x 3
  • Woolen hat x 2
  • Cotton or merino gowns or stretch n grows x 4
  • Cotton, woolen or merino wraps x 3
  • Woolen booties x 2
  • Woolen cardigan
  • Any baby care products you wish to use


  • Day clothes, comfortable leisure wear
  • Pyjamas – PJ’s/dressing gown
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo & conditioner etc


  • Snacks, wheatpacks, hotpacks – (bucket and hand-towels), music.

Preparing for birth

Your midwife, partner and chosen support people. The midwife will be one of the many Waikato midwives with an access agreement to support births at Waterford Birth Centre. The staff midwife may attend if/when required.

We have large birth rooms that easily accommodate your whanau support, and even your birth photographer!

Waterford is so associated with water births that we are often mistakenly referred to as the Water Birth Centre!

Every birth room has a birth pool you may during your labour to ease your contractions.

Our birth room occupancy is about 20% with at least one room usually being available so it is unlikely that we will be full when you go into labour. Our soundproof postnatal room are also lovely to give birth in.

Your LMC. When you go into labour, contact your midwife as planned. She will arrange when to meet you at the birth centre once your labour is progressing. She may visit you at home first.

Your LMC midwife will accompany you to Waikato Hospital a short distance away by free ambulance. Waterford staff midwife assist in preparing you for transfer.

Whilst at Waterford, you are only 4-5 minutes from delivery suite. There are no bridges to cross as we are on the same side of the river as Waikato Hospital.

Five or six labouring women transfer to Waikato Hospital each month for slow progress and/or extra pain relief and other reasons.

After your birth

You, your baby and your partner/birth support person can stay in your postnatal room for 48 hours (or two full nights) after the birth. Your planned discharge time is written on the congratulations card on the bedside table.

Birth may leave you emotional, exhausted and in need of someone close to care for you. The period following birth is also precious bonding time for both parents. We invite you to have one adult stay with you in your room, whether it’s your partner or another birth support person of your choice.

Children cannot stay overnight at Waterford Birth Centre but may visit with you and their brand new sibling during visiting hours.

Due to our current restrictions with COVID19, our visiting hours are constantly being renewed. Should you know when you can visit, please phone Waterford Birth Centre.

Yes, all birth and postnatal rooms have an ensuite for your privacy and convenience.

Yes. We provide you with two free wi-fi connections to stay in touch with family and friends from the sanctuary of your bed. Your login codes are found in your white postnatal basket.

Meals and amenities

Your meals are prepared and delivered fresh daily, by Lone Star restaurant. Portions are large, delicious and nutritious.

Breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are delivered to your room by the staff. Special dietary needs are catered for.

You are welcome to bring extra food and snacks.

Your room is equipped with tea and coffee facilities including a fridge and kettle. Microwave facilities are available.

No, but partners can order lunch and dinner from Lonestar at our discounted price. The information on how to order is in your bedside cabinet. Breakfasts are not provided for partners, but you are welcome to bring in your own supplies.

Certainly! Our meals can be adapted for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free, dairy-free, allergies, halal and any other requests you might have. Write special dietary requirements on your menu.

Whether pregnant or breastfeeding we invite you to come along to La Leche League (LLL). Meetings are held every third Thursday at 7.30pm at Waterford. La Leche League offer woman-to-woman breastfeeding and parenting peer support.

What other families are staying about their stay at Waterford Birth Centre:

“We absolutely love Waterford and its wonderful staff. Everyone is very friendly and helpful as well as sensitive to tired mums. Also loved giving birth in the birthing pool. All the rooms are lovely and spacious and feel nice and private.”

“I have felt very privileged and blessed to have stayed in such a beautiful facility with amazing staff. I have never felt like an inconvenience and everything I needed and required was met. My favourites here was definitely beautiful staff, wonderful food, my own bathroom, big sized room and having my husband stay.”

“The environment was really calming and friendly to recover in and establish breastfeeding. The staff were really helpful when I was struggling.”

“Beautiful atmosphere, nothing was ever an inconvenience. All staff were lovely and considerate. Even after my third child, I still learnt so much. I would recommend Waterford to any expecting mothers – it was a lovely experience.”

“Outstanding service – everyone greets you with a smile and are so friendly and polite. My two days gave me the opportunity to recover mentally and switch off from everyday life. Meals were delicious and portions huge. I never went hungry. Thank you so much everyone. The birth room is huge and calming as was the post labour room – just perfect. This birth has been my healing second birth and Waterford played a very big part in that (as well as my midwife).”

“Everyone we met during our stay were so lovely helpful & welcoming. They showed genuine interest in the care and well-being of myself and baby. Very polite with night checks, and made not only myself feel comfortable, but my partner too.”

“We felt really well supported, and loved having the staff midwives on call – they were all very helpful. The birthing room is very well equipped and has everything that I needed. Friendly staff, delicious food! Very sound proof rooms too.”

“I couldn’t fault anything even if I tried. The care that I received was amazing. In fact the care that I was given exceeded my expectations. I would recommend Waterford to every pregnant female. Thank you to all the staff/ midwives/ cleaners etc for making our stay amazing and comfortable. Couldn’t have asked for a better Birth Centre and team.”

“For a first time mum it’s always a nerve wracking thing coming out into the world with a tiny baby. The whole team went above and beyond and always made us feel confident and comfortable. Can’t rate the ladies enough!! We felt fully supported and comfortable. It was a great way to adjust to parenthood, with midwives able to assist as needed. The information books were great and we learnt a lot from the helpful staff. It has been a really great – the partner meals are genius.”

“Thank you so much Waterford. We left feeling so much more confident. Words cannot express how privileged we felt to have your service. The midwives were all so knowledgeable and respectful. We could not have done this without them.”

“Staff were fab, very helpful. Breastfeeding tips were very helpful and made the whole process that much easier. Rooms were a great size. We didn’t feel like we were tripping over each other, especially when we had visitors. Meals were lovely and exactly what my body craved!”

“Everybody was friendly and non-intrusive and when called upon were very courteous and professional. They were willing to provide practical assistance which was good. Special thanks to the midwives for their professionalism and warm-hearted care.”

“This time around it has been nothing but a positive experience. The environment is like a home and there is an instant feeling of relaxation and feeling safe and supported. I found all the staff helpful in a non-intrusive way. I never hesitated to call for help and help was prompt and professional. My stay here has honestly had such a positive impact on my mental and physical health and given me such a great start to life with our baby.”

“The care I received here was more that I expected. I felt comfortable and safe during my stay at Waterford. The staff were amazing and hard working. I believe this is the best-ever experience I had in giving birth in a place that is filled with people who are committed and concerned for the welfare of my baby and I. I rate Waterford 10/10. Many thanks for all your support.”