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About our services

The West Coast District Health Board (WCDHB) provides both primary and secondary maternity care services (see definitions below). The West Coast maternity service works in conjunction with Christchurch Women’s Hospital for antenatal consultation and review for potential pregnancy problems. All women and babies requiring tertiary level care are transferred to a tertiary unit, most often Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

In 2014, 269 babies were born at Grey Base Hospital, with 87 caesarean sections, (a rate of 32%).

West Coast Maternity Services are Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) accredited, an international accreditation process monitored by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF.

To find out more about some of the services we provide click here.


Please note also: All WCDHB facilities are smoke free. If you are a smoker our staff can offer you assistance to enrol in a free smoking cessation programme. Click here to find out more about some smokefree services you can access.

How to access Maternity Care

photo of little fetus/little bump

As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed it is recommended that you find and register with a lead maternity carer (LMC), by nine weeks gestation, if possible.

Your LMC will organise your first booking visit (before 12 weeks gestation) to review your general wellbeing, provide dietary advice, explain options for antenatal screening, arrange appropriate tests and discuss support services.

West Coast based midwives providing primary care

Self-employed LMC midwives provide both hospital and home births. If you are thinking of having a homebirth or would like more information on home birth, view our Home Birth Association information, and visit the findyourmidwife site for LMC midwives who facilitate home births.

Antenatal Tests and Screening

For more information on antenatal tests and screening, refer to HealthInfo

Postnatal Visits

The LMC who looked after you during your pregnancy will provide postnatal visits after the birth. The LMC provides care for the first six weeks of the post natal period, then will refer you and baby to the GP and Well Child Provider you have chosen. If you live in a rural area where there is no Well Child provider the Rural Nurse Specialist will provide ongoing care and support.

Primary Maternity Services

For uncomplicated pregnancy

Primary maternity services are provided to women and their babies for an uncomplicated pregnancy, labour and birth, and postnatal period. Primary Maternity Services are based on continuity of care. The majority of primary maternity services are provided by Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs). Primary maternity facilities provide inpatient services for labour and birth and the immediate postnatal period.

Secondary Maternity Services

Pregnancy requiring additional care

Secondary maternity services are those provided where women or their babies experience complications that need additional maternity care involving obstetricians, paediatricians and other specialists. Secondary maternity services include routine and urgent specialist consultations, elective and emergency caesarean sections, assisted deliveries, all treatment required in emergency situations, allied health services, and support from a lactation consultant for women and babies who experience breastfeeding complications.

Tertiary Maternity Services

Where highly complex clinical care is needed

Tertiary maternity services is additional maternity care provided to women and their babies who have highly complex clinical needs and require consultation with and / or transfer of care to a multidisciplinary specialist team.

This consultation and / or transfer of care will be organised by your WCDHB health care team in conjunction with Christchurch Women's Hospital.