Fiona was my midwife for both of my babies. I couldn't speak highly enough of the professionalism and level of care she provided. She wasn't just interested in my baby, but everything else that was going on in my life too. I also had contact with the wider team, Michelle & Lisa, and always felt comfortable and in safe hands. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Fiona and the team.

Megan Sloan

Being the nervy, worried person that I am, Helensville birthing unit was not where I first planned to birth my baby girl. However, the further my pregnancy progressed, the more I grew to absolutely love my midwife Michelle Nasey and most importantly trust her whole heartedly. Consequently, I ended up choosing to give birth at Helensville birthing unit and I am so grateful I did. From the start of my labour to the time I left 3 days post- birth, my partner and I received nothing but full guidance and support from every single member of the team there. Being first time parents, we didn't quite know what to expect, especially when it came to breastfeeding. I had herd it was a beautiful experience, that it was the best for your child, that it was time consuming and sometimes challenging, but nothing prepared me for how hard it really was going to be. The pain, the cracked and bleeding nipples and the feeling of failure when I realised it was in fact, not just popping my baby on the breast. It would have been much easier to throw in the towel, however with the reassurance from the midwifes at the birthing unit, I knew that with a bit of time and support we could get there in the end. Day and night, I was able to ask for help whenever I needed, I was shown lots of different techniques, I was recommended lots of remedies to help with the pain and when it all became a little too much I was reassured of how much progress we had made and the wonderful job I was doing. After plenty of persistence, lots of tears, an amazing effort from my little girl and over flowing support from the team at the Helensville Birthing Centre, we got there in the end. With their endless smiles, professionalism, guidance and reassuring words , the ladies there made me feel like I was doing an amazing job the whole time and got me threw a very hard time. For this, I am so very thankful and even more grateful that we have such an amazing place in our community.x :)

Jade Tonge

Six years on and I still fondly remember arriving at Helensville birthing centre after an emergency C-section with Avera. A very jaded, but blissfully happy little family. There was a 24 hour support system given by the staff- they ensured a successful latch, ease of pain, and a comfortable Co-sleep, it was beautiful. The staff empower not only mothers but also fathers with their knowledge and kindness. I recommend to all and will forever be grateful for the lessons, sleep and healing I received at the little sanctuary, Love from Lisa and Avera Anderson.

Lisa and Avera Anderson

I was incredibly thankful to be able to birth my second child at the Helensville Birthing Centre in November 2015. The support I received while there, to be able to establish our breastfeeding journey was amazing. A tongue tie was very quickly discovered, we were given options of different people to contact to get it released, and when we got it released when he was two days old, we were supported back at the birth centre to ensure we were continuing to latch as comfortably as possible. My absolute favourite thing about staying at the Helensville Birthing Centre is having the support to establish breastfeeding in those crucial early days. There's help on call any time it's needed and even if it's just a quick check to identify whether or not a latch is correct, or help with more serious issues like ties, sleepy babies that won't feed etc, you are never made to feel like your queries are pointless. When we left the birth centre after staying for a few days, although feeding was still uncomfortable due to the damage done before my sons tongue tie was released, I could leave feeling confident that we were doing everything to the best of our ability, ties had been checked and released, latch was exactly as it should be for optimal comfort and we were well on our way towards a successful breastfeeding journey. So thankyou to my midwife Michelle, and all the amazing staff at the Helensville Birthing Centre for everything you do to support great breastfeeding relationships with the families in our community!

Esther Kern

"When I found out Helensville had a birthing centre I knew straight away that I wanted to have my first baby there. What a fantastic facility we have — a beautiful large birthing room with a birthing pool, queen sized bed and lovely aftercare rooms all with ensuites. I had requested in my birth plan a dark quiet room and when I arrived it was just that — welcoming, warm & dark. It was 9pm and I couldn't wait to get into the birthing pool that was being filled. The feeling of warmth and weightlessness was amazing and I'd highly recommend it to all mothers to be. At 11:34pm and completely drug free, I lifted my baby girl, Indiana out of the water; she was the best Father's Day gift I could ever give to my partner, Trent. Shortly after, I was transferred to my lovely, spacious, home-away-from-home bedroom. Our visitors commented on how wonderful it was. The staff were so helpful, the food was excellent and it was amazing having the support of the lactation consultants there. If you're able to, choose Helensville Birthing Centre — it's a real treasure and I'm certain it helped me to have a short, smooth birth as I felt so safe and comfortable."

Cherienne Brown

"In July when our little guy was born by emergency caesarean we were fortunate enough to stay at the Helensville Birthing Centre for three nights. It felt like we were there for a week and came home confident thanks to all the wonderful staff who not only looked after us but nourished me and taught me so many little tips and tricks to help establish a happy breastfeeding relationship with my baby. I arrived still in shock and not really knowing what I was doing as a first-time mum and the gentle care and encouragement I was given in the most respectful way was priceless. When we first arrived we were advised to treat the place like Grandma's house and from the very beginning, I was comfortable. I felt like I was staying with family — as if a group of aunties were there for me to help with anything. I asked so many questions and left armed with a wealth of knowledge. It really was the very best start for our wee family and I am very thankful to all the staff."

Victoria Gardner

"Both of my sons have been born at the Helensville Birthing Centre and both times it has been a really positive time with so much care and support from the staff. I left the birthing centre with my first son feeling empowered as a mother due to the way that my son and I were treated with respect at all times and the second time I was there was just as wonderful and empowering. Thanks to all the staff that cared for us each time - the support and space to get to know my new babies was really appreciated."

Melanie Martin

To the beautiful women at the Helensville birthing unit – I just wanted to say thank you each and every one of you, literally. I really, really struggled with breastfeeding with both of my children in every way possible. My first child Saskia was born, and hours later my nipples were so sore and damaged. Upon entering the birthing unit for my stay, Claire identified that Saskia had a lip and tongue tie, and quickly arranged for that to be fixed. The staff at the birthing unit supported me day and night with latch, ways to relieve the pain, offering shields, and anything to help me persevere. They even let me stay an extra night, as I was finding the whole thing really hard. Breastfeeding was very painful for a good length of time after that, but thankfully it did become easy and pain free, and I was able to exclusively breast feed Saskia for 12 months. 2.5 years later, I had Arlo under the care of Michelle. She was aware of my breastfeeding concerns, and she identified immediately that Arlo also had a lip and tongue tie. She put in a big effort to help me latch Arlo the best I could, and arranged for me to have Arlo seen by the newly trained doctor at Helensville who could cut Arlo’s ties. Debbie was also an amazing support who saw me through this process from start to end, with follow up check ins. Breastfeeding was just as hard this time, and I also developed a pretty bad case of mastitis. Both Debbie and another midwife were amazing at doing what they could in this situation. They even brought me up to Helensville and worked for an hour with me on a pump with heat pads and all the bells and whistles, to try and remove my lumps. Maybe 6 weeks post birth, I was able to breast feed easily, and I proudly exclusively breastfeed Arlo for 16 months. I am so thankful and so appreciative of all the ladies at the birthing unit who went above and beyond to support me through that first month especially of pain, confusion and breastfeeding troubles. I literally could not have done it without their care and love, and I hope they know how important they are, and what they mean to us new mums when it is so scary and hard. Forever thankful

Jasmine Franklin

I had my first & only child at the Helensville birthday unit in 2014. I wanted to birth there as had heard such amazing things about it & I also lived locally. My son decided to arrive quickly so as soon as I arrived at BC I was greeted by kind & smiling faces. My 2 midwives Fiona Kerton & Michelle Nasey went above & beyond for everything & assisted with the safe arrival of my son. We stayed 3 night at the BC & our stay was incredible. I didn't want to leave. Everyone was so patient & kind & I was shown different options of BFing & supported over the challenges you face being a first time mum. I had incredible support from the staff at BC & from my midwives the following months. I can't thank Fiona, Michelle & Sally Garrod enough for their kindness & support & also feel very lucky to have been able to take advantage of using the BC - I'd recommend Helensville BC to all of my friends.

Stevie Porter

On Tuesday October 7th 2013 at 41w5d I headed to be induced at north shore hospital, where my midwife Michelle planned to join us once I was in more established labour. However, after a terrifying ordeal, my son was transferred to NICU intensive care in Auckland and I was transferred not long after to be with him. Despite being discharged to hospital care, Michelle came to visit every few days to check on me and see how our son Leo was doing. We were discharged by day 12 and Michelle had arranged for us to be transferred to the birth unit so that we could establish breastfeeding, something that I wasn't receiving much support on from the hospital. Our first night there was a long one, the midwife on duty at the time spent two hours with us to observe him feed and then provide some options to help him get a proper latch and off the nipple shield. We had her complete attention and her passion and dedication to help our wee boy was evident in the care she took with us! After that they simply provided support at each feed and within 48hrs of being there we had a happy and satisfied boy with a great latch, something we had struggled to get whilst in hospital care. My husband and I are forever grateful for our two days at the birthing unit post NICU, and even after we left the support kept coming. These ladies are above and beyond and the passion for their work shows on every friendly face there! We look forward to taking our next bub there in few short weeks to experience it all again. We can never thank you enough for giving our little family the best start after a horrific ordeal we suffered!

Monique Stevens

When I first became pregnant I knew I wanted to have a natural birth and to breastfeed. With the incredible support of Michelle and the team at the Helensville Birthing Centre I was able to achieve both of those goals. I felt supported, empowered, respected and encouraged as I navigated those challenging 1st few days at the Birthing Centre when everything felt new and overwhelming. No question was to silly, no problem to big, and the reassurance of knowing that the lovely ladies at the birthing centre were there to help and pop their head around the corner when they could hear things weren't going well made the world of difference. Debbie taught me how to feed while lying down which has been a god send in my breastfeeding journey. With the help of all of you in the early days and especially Michelle in the following weeks I was able to establish breastfeeding and I haven't stopped since! After a few months of tandem feeding Archie naturally weaned at almost 3, and I am still feeding my 1 year old Oliver. I was fortunate to go through the Breastfeeding Peer Support training. It has been so helpful not only in my breastfeeding journey but for so many mums in our community that have just needed a little encouragement, a few simple ideas or tricks as they embark on their breastfeeding journey's. I am so grateful that there is such huge support for women who want to breastfeed in our community. From the antenatal classes, to our dedicated midwives, the Birthing Centre, then ongoing support of LC's, birthing centre coffee groups etc we are spoilt for choice. It is inspiring to have such passionate, dedicated women who go above and beyond time and time again for us. I am forever grateful for you all

Emily Dickson

I feel incredibly blessed to have been a member of the Helensville community and having access to not only great midwives but a fabulous birthing centre and maternity support system as a whole. I have three beautiful boys all of which have been through the Helensville Birthing Centre for after care, and all of which have been through the LC’s for different reasons. I’ve been able to have extended breast feeding relationships with all of them and so much of this I put down to the support and care offered by the LC’s, and the holistic approach offered in the wider community. For such a small community I firmly believe the approach and care we receive is THE best in NZ and I am so proud of the centre and all its achieved. Congratulations Debbie and the team for such a massive achievement!

Belinda Coles & Ashton (7), Harry (5) & Leo (9 months)

"We feel really lucky to have been given the opportunity to stay at the Helensville Birth Centre following our first baby’s birth which didn’t go to plan at all and ended up an emergency C-section at Waitakere Hospital. The expert care, attention and empathy we received at the Birth Centre turned what had been a bit of a traumatic start into a really lovely and memorable experience. Having my partner Jake able to stay overnight with me was really special and a great way to begin our life as a family of three. Everything, from the fabulous and plentiful food, to the comfortable rooms and ensuites to the 24-hour support with baby and breastfeeding — we’d recommend this place in a heartbeat. Our second baby is now due and we’re already looking forward to staying there again to ensure we can bank some rest before heading home with a newborn."

Michelle Gimblett

Hi Michelle (and other staff), Since I had my baby at Helensville Birthing centre in May this year I have been asked by many people about my experience birthing at the unit. I am always very pleased to tell them it was the most positive, relaxed birth with the best support both for the birth and the following few days of aftercare. Before I had met my midwife and visited the Birthing unit I had expected to have my baby in a Hospital and most likely have an epidural as Labour would be the horrible painful experience were told it is but a thing you must do to get your baby. However, using hypnobirthing techniques and being surrounded by calm supportive midwifes in a nurturing environment I now feel that giving birth is a natural part of life, not a medical procedure that requires hospitalisation (assuming there are no pre-existing issues). I owe so much to the the Helensville Birthing Centre and the team of midwives/ lactation consultants and staff at the centre. The 24 hour support helped me and my husband to have a really positive birth and the days after were invaluable. I would recommend giving birth at Helensville and perhaps even more importantly for mothers to spend a couple of days in the centre to learn how to feed and care for their baby with help so readily available. I feel all midwives operating in the area should be encouraging new mothers especially to spend time in the centre as 2 days of education and support can have a profound effect on the next several months and in all likelyhood the rest of their lives. Thank you again

Johanna Sorensen

I feel so lucky that we have such a wonderful resource as the Helensville Birthing Centre in our community. Also that we have such amazing, hardworking, passionate and caring midwives and lactation consultants to support us. The anti natal class run by the birth centre was very interesting and informative and both Renee and Debbie did a great job of teaching. I'm very grateful that Michelle, Emma and Fiona supported me to have a home birth like I wanted to. Both Steve and I were blown away with how fantastic they all were. It was the most challenging and intense experience of my life and along with Steve they were the best support people I could have wished for. And Elsie is the best reward. Then staying at the birth centre was such a fantastic experience. It's so great how it's set up so that both parents can be together and get to know the baby and learn about being parents in a caring supportive environment. It was good being away from home and the normal stresses and responsibilities of everyday life so we could just focus on the baby. I love how the baby bed is attached to the parent's bed and it's so comforting knowing that there is always someone just a phone call away if you need help or have a question. The lactation consultants have all been extremely helpful. Renee, Debbie and Marie (and Michelle) have all helped me so much with breastfeeding Elsie, giving advice on all aspects, identifying that she had some stiff neck muscles so we were able to take her to the osteopath and also that she had a tongue tie which we were able to get fixed at the birth centre as well. It's my wish to exclusively breast feed Elsie and being given the tools (such as the lact-aide and nipple shields) and strategies to do so when it's been difficult is empowering and has helped me achieve my goal. It's still a work in progress, but it's reassuring knowing that if I ever need more help I can return to the lactation consultants. It was also fantastic having home visits from Michelle, Emma and Renee. They were really helpful with good advice and suggestions. The encouragement especially meant a lot to me. I never felt rushed or that any question I asked was a silly one. I felt respected and supported to make my own decisions. I really don't know what I would have done without everyone's support - we couldn't have asked for better outcomes for Elsie's birth, after birth care, and breastfeeding support. Thanks so much everyone. You all do such an amazing job and you deserve to be recognised for what a great start you give to babies and their new parents.

Amy Fletcher

Being a first time mum, I learnt so much from Debbie in preparation to breastfeed when I attended the Helensville birthing centre antenatal classes. I took that knowledge with me when I stayed at the Helensville birthing centre after my son was born and was thrilled to see Debbie pop in to see how things were going, even at 2 in the morning. The whole experience staying at the birthing centre and having hands on support from the incredible hard working lactation consultants and midwives was just beautiful. With hormones going wild and learning so much in the first few days of being a mum, I look back on my experience with such love. They definitely helped me start a positive breastfeeding journey <3

Izzy Hart

I'm so grateful to have such amazing support from the Helensville Birthing centre. While I've never actually stayed at the Birthing Centre myself, I've had Michelle and Fiona at 2 of my homebirths, and they've made the whole experience so much less stressful than it could have been. They were amazing at trusting in me, and my body, and listening to what I wanted, and respecting my wishes. All of my babies have had some issues with feeding, but with my daughter, I found breastfeeding sore from the start. So I had some help from Marie to work on her latch and my technique which helped a lot, and along with osteopathy her latch is now fantastic! I was also lucky enough to be part of the second group of mums who trained to be a Breastfeeding Peer Support Counsellor through the Birthing Centre. I gained so much knowledge, not only for myself and my current and future breastfeeding experiences, but also to be able to support and encourage other mums to overcome obstacles on their breastfeeding journeys. All of the Lactation consultants are amazing, but Debbie in particular goes above and beyond, often answering questions on our facebook support group, at all hours. You all do such a great job, and I feel very privileged to be part of a community that invests so much value in mothers, babies, and breastfeeding.

Katey Jackson

To the Wonderful Midwives of HBC, Congrats on your recent award, I'm so proud & we are so lucky to have such an amazing group of women running our birthing centre. Michelle, you are the best LMC I could possibly ask for, you made me feel respected, safe, empowered to make the right decisions for me and you stood by me as I insisted on a natural birth when Liam decided to turn breach at 41+ weeks! You went above and beyond expectation through both of my pregnancies, labour and postpartum journeys. I absolutely loved my stays at the birthing centre, it's such a beautiful, calm place to recuperate and get to know your baby, and a bonus that hubby could stay with us too. I felt like my decisions were always respected and my emotional wellbeing was as important to the midwives as my physical wellbeing. Everyone is so lovely and knowledgeable and sometimes offering just a little chat in the middle of the night was a sanity saver when cluster feeding strikes!! After having my first baby, Ryan, Michelle helped me successfully latch and feed in the delivery room, then the next night in the birthing centre my milk had started to come in, I had Debbie on shift and was having a little trouble getting my tiny baby to latch onto my ginormous chest! Oh gosh Debbie was a godsend, we tried a few different positions and she also gave advice with my fast flow, all the while putting me at ease and making me feel like I was doing a great job. I'm so proud to say that the support I received from midwives was taken on board and put to practice with both of my babies and I successfully breast fed Ryan to 12 months and am still feeding Liam at almost 14 months. I felt so supported and knew if I needed further help the door was always open. Thank you ladies for everything you do, I wish more babies were in the cards just so I could stay again! Lots of love Sara Thomson xoxo (& thanks also from Will, Ryan and Liam)

Sara Thomson

I'm incredibly grateful for the team at the Helensville Birthing Unit. I gave birth the first time there and stayed three nights afterwards. Being able to call upon the staff night or day for assistance in establishing breastfeeding was amazing. I felt so supported and no question of mine went unanswered. After I left the birthing centre, breastfeeding didn't feel totally right and there was some pain. Although I wasn't in agony I was frustrated at not being able to get it right! I met with one of the lactation consultants, Marie, and a minor tongue-tie was diagnosed. Marie encouraged me that I was doing everything right otherwise and was very supportive. I went in to have the tongue-tie released and gradually over time breastfeeding became wonderful and natural. I continued until my son was 16 months old when he self-weaned. Thank you to Michelle, my midwife, Marie, my lactation consultant, and all the staff that are on call 24/7 at the birthing centre to help with breastfeeding. Your support is incredible and so valued!

Rachel McColl

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