Sarah Phillips and her partner Wyatt Osment were thankful that Lumsden Maternity Centre was close by when she went in to labour, with baby Emily coming rather hurriedly.
She’s hoping the centre will not close, but the resignation of four of the centre’s directors and a lack of funding may mean that happens.
“We had planned to go to Invercargill for a hospital delivery for our first baby’s birth but we ended up having no real choice but to go to Lumsden Maternity Centre, otherwise Emily would have been born in the car on the way to hospital.
Midwife Sarah Stokes from Balfour met them there.
“It seemed a long way to Lumsden from our home on the Wreys Bush-Mossburn Rd when the birth was very close and unexpected,” Osment said.
“It was very convenient to be able to go there at such short notice.”
Their daughter Emily was born at 4am on 25 May 2016, weighing 3.46kg.
“When we first moved back down from Hokitika on the West Coast we were shown Lumsden’s facilities so we were aware of what was there and found them warm, welcoming and relaxed, Phillips said.
“Everyone was happy, there were no worries and I had the choice to stay but it suited me to go in daily with my work commitments,” Osment said.
“Emily is the third generation Osment to be born there and Sarah’s mother was born there as well.”
“We want to have another child later so I hope to go back there,” Phillips said.
“With talk of the Centre possibly closing they have to consider people from beyond Northern Southland such as Queenstown and Te Anau as it is a long way to Invercargill for them when a woman is in labour.”
“I had good care in Lumsden with delicious meals, monitoring of visitors so I could get rest, help and encouragement with breast feeding and was able to stay for six days to get the help I needed.”
A public meeting to discuss the future of Lumsden maternity will be held at 7.30pm on May 9 at the Lumsden Memorial Hall.