Come and join us for an awesome night out!

home birth Canterbury

If you are interested in pregnancy, birth and newborns come and join us for an evening of inspiration and information! I'm really looking forward to being part of Kāhuarau, an event put on by Home Birth Canterbury as part of Home Birth Awareness Week 2017. I will be sharing about the role of a doula, what opportunities lie at the feet of future NZ doulas and how these could benefit future NZ parents. Whether you are a health professional, parent, or parent-to-be, planning to give birth at home or not, you'll definitely get heaps out of attending! Don't miss out on your ticket!


Rest, rest, and rest some more…

Pregnancy Multitasking

Growing a whole human being is HARD WORK! So anytime you feel like a rest, and can, just do it!! Learning to disregard the 'list of things to do' and focus on taking care of you and your womb baby is great training for life with a newborn. 



Attending a group antenatal class over many weeks is difficult for a lot of New Zealand parents to be. These classes are often not tailored to suit working parents to be with busy schedules, those who are expecting another baby, single mums, high profile New Zealanders, immigrants, or those with transport issues. That's why The Birthing Room Private Antenatal Sessions are tailored to offer more than your regular antenatal course.

We offer:

  • Individualised sessions that can be done in the comfort of your own home, at our North Canterbury base, or via Skype/Google Hangouts.
  • The opportunity to do Private Antenatal Sessions on your own, as a couple, or with your whānau (family). This means that whoever you are choosing to support you during your birth and afterwards can attend with you so you share the same knowledge.
  • The choice of topics ranging from conception to care of baby. Specific topics for your situation can also be chosen, such as multiple birth or pregnancy diabetes. This ensures you are only covering the topics which are relevant to you.

To find out more click here

To book your Private Antenatal Sessions with The Birthing Room contact us here

The Birthing Room Conference 2017: Cultivating Our Roots: Let The Tree Flourish


skin to skin benefits breastfeedingThe Birthing Room is thrilled to announce our 2017 conference, Cultivating Our Roots: Let The Tree Flourish! This one day hui will focus on traditional Māori birth practices, and how tikanga can be integrated into today’s maternity system. Cultivating Our Roots: Let The Tree Flourish is a hui for midwives, childbirth educators, obstetricians, doulas, plunket nurses, other allied health staff, and whānau (families), who would like to feel more empowered and knowledgeable about integrating traditional Māori birthing practices into their clinical practice or the birth of their pēpe (baby).


Kelly Waiana Tikao 32 Kelly Tikao
Waitaha, Kāi Māmoe, Kāi Tahu
“E tama! And he pointed to this cousin of mine. Na! He commanded and I thought no way, no way, no way. It was the next thing you had to do after the baby had come away that I had difficulty with…they always said go and get a shell and I thought they were going to use it for that, severing the cord. They didn’t, they bit it off, tied it in a knot both ends! It’s sacredness ceases after the cord has been severed then it becomes another womb ready for another baby, twins or triplets but that cord belongs to that child, so you sever it and then you go and bury it. We had a tree under which we buried all the umbilical cords in the village.” (Porter, 2011)

Ngāti Kahu Kaumātua Pereme Porter was chosen at the age of 12 to cut the umbilical cords of the newborn babies in his village whilst reciting ancient karakia. A task he initially found very difficult to do but over time Pereme felt honoured to be part of such a rich cultural process.
Kelly Tikao filmed Pereme for her student film “Iho – a cord between two worlds” Traditional Māori Birthing Practices in 2011, along with a thesis on the same topic for her Masters in Science Communication Degree specialising in film making at the University of Otago in 2013.
Kelly’s own fascination with indigenous birthing practices and the ongoing public interest in her Masters film and thesis encouraged her to extend upon her Masters research with a doctorate at the University of Canterbury. She is currently in her second year of study specifically exploring Kāi Tahu birthing traditions and practices pertaining to conception, pregnancy and birth. Kelly was fortunate enough to be financially supported by the NZ Health Research Council and the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre with two research scholarships to help her carry out this project.
Another important component for Kelly is to ensure her research can be used practically to aid and support the implementation of traditional Māori birthing practices into New Zealand’s current maternity services. Therefore, she already has plans drawn up for the production of resources post her doctorate to return the research into the hands of midwives and whānau.

Kelly is quick to declare that she herself is not a midwife although she has the upmost respect for her colleagues in this field. Kelly is an experienced Registered Nurse currently working for the Southern District Health Board in Public Health. She has completed the Huarahi Whakatū PDRP Programme to expertise level through Te Rau Matatini and has worked for Māori Health Providers and in a variety of clinical areas under the Auckland, Wellington and Otago District Health Boards over a 20-year period.
Her current Public Health Role involves working with priority tamariki and vulnerable youth. Kelly completes health assessments, provides health education and navigates youth and whānau towards appropriate and needed health services. Having a variety of health interests and working through barriers to wellbeing as an advocate for young people and whānau have been Kelly’s ongoing professional focus.

In 2008, Kelly decided to extend her nursing into health research and worked for the Donald Beasley Institute (a research institute that promotes research and education in the field of intellectual disability) as a research assistant. She worked on a number of short and long term national and international research projects and remains with the Institute as a Research Associate of the Donald Beasley Institute.
Alongside her health and academic research Kelly thrives off the many creative opportunities that have been presented to her over the years in: radio, film and dance. She has produced a number of radio documentaries, created short films for exhibitions, danced for Puaka/Matariki Performances and generally enjoys viewing or being part of Māori arts in it’s many expressive forms.

Kelly’s te reo Māori journey began when she started her first tertiary qualification and after many years of various courses including: Kura Reo, Kia Kurapa, Kainga Reo and the many other fantastic Kāi Tahu reo initiatives Kelly has gained an intermediate fluency (of sorts) and has resigned herself to the reality that it will take her many more years to feel confident in the tongue of her tupuna.
Kelly is completely dedicated to her PhD topic and she is honoured to be able to share a little of what she has learnt so far at this very special Birthing Room Conference – she admits she has a long way to go on this project but knowledge of generations will never be achieved in just one life time, so she reckons she better get on with it!

Alice Spittle

Alice SpittleAlice is a Māori Contemporary artist based in Christchurch, New Zealand. She finds it hard to define herself as a painter, weaver or mixed media artist but she would consider herself as a Māori contemporary artist, exploring life creatively through as many art forms as she can. Each art form inspires and compliments the others and they allow her to stay motivated and focused on her passion. “As long as I am doing something creative and I am in my studio exploring and playing, I feel free to channel my life’s experiences through my art”

Alice studied Māori Design and Art at Te Wananga O Raukawa in Otaki (2002) and started her journey into the expression of art in Christchurch where she exhibited and sold her works nationally and internationally. Alice has exhibited her work in galleries and events throughout New Zealand and most recently in Australia. She has spent the last 5 years enjoying motherhood and being creative.

Alice runs weaving (raranga) workshops in Australia and New Zealand. We are delighted to announce Alice will be holding a muka cord tie demonstration workshop as part of The Birthing Room’s conference. She will demonstrate a traditional technique of making muka cord ties with New Zealand harakeke (flax) and together the group will explore and talk about processes, traditions, tikanga/protocols around weaving as well as how to nurture the plant and how to harvest sustainably.

Whether you are a beginner or have experience in other weaving techniques, you will enjoy this demonstration of weaving muka in a safe and nurturing environment.

Whānau AdobeStock_85669744 [Converted]-01

As part of The Birthing Room’s conference we will be having a panel of whānau (family) members sharing about their experiences of birth, and how they incorporated Māori tikanga (customs) into their births. Hear first hand of the joys and challenges they faced, and how incorporating tikanga (customs) influenced they way they and their whānau felt about pregnancy, birth and parenting.


As well as sessions with Kelly Tikao, Alice Spittle, and our whānau panel this hui will include a workshop on making clay ipu whenua (a vessel in which to place a placenta for burial), and an interactive discussion on obstacles to implementing tikanga in birth and ways to overcome these hurdles.

You will also receive an awesome conference bag filled with goodies, delicious kai (food) and the chance to meet like minded individuals who are passionate about seeing whānau have empowered birth experiences.


The Birthing Room has been serving New Zealand’s midwifery community and hapu whānau (pregnant families) since 2013. We have had hundreds of expectant families come through our antenatal education service since then, and love to see families come away feeling empowered and equipped for their journey ahead. In 2015 we began offering antenatal education for young parents-to-be in partnership with The Youth Alive Trust, funded by the Canterbury District Health Board, which is still going from strength to strength today. Since opening our doors in 2013 we have run numerous events for health professionals and birthing families, including movie nights, educational workshops, conferences and ‘Bringing Māori Tikanga Back to Birth’ hui. Our purpose is to equip families and their care providers with evidence-based information, so that families can make informed decisions and have positive birth and parenting experiences.


Friday March 24th 2017, 0900-1700hrs The revolutionary round table

Registrations from 0800-0850. Tickets must be pre-purchased through Eventbrite. No door sales.

Grace Vineyard, 111-113 Seaview Rd, New Brighton, Christchurch, New Zealand.



This year The Birthing Room is looking to partner with an organisation to give each participant a FREESET CONFERENCE BAG! This means that not only will you receive a beautiful bag that you will use forever, your attendance will also be helping set free women trapped in Kolkata’s sex trade. Say goodbye to useless conference bags that are thrown away after conference ends. Your amazing conference bag is going to be life-changing!

Find out more about Freeset click here


To register please click on this link: The Birthing Room Conference 2017 Registration


Tickets can be purchased from as little as $90NZ* for exhibitors and $145NZ* for participants.

*Excludes Eventbrite fees


Opportunities are now open for your organisation to partner with The Birthing Room to promote your Clay ipu whenuabusiness/services, as well make our 2017 conference awesome. These opportunities range from exhibitor tables to sponsorship & promotion packages. Please contact us to be emailed a sponsorship prospectus and find out how our 2017 conference can benefit you contact us here



We are looking forward to having the following exhibitors and sponsors as part of our conference:

ALR&R-stacked A little R & R provides clinical therapeutic level massage to pregnant bodies of all trimesters. We have wonderfully comfortable ‘Body Form’ pregnancy pillows that enable you to lie face down safely and easily up until mid 3rd Trimester (or 2nd Trimester depending on shape of bump). We promise: To Listen, To be 100% present while we treat you, To do our best to ease your pain in body and spirit & give you the best tools we know to empower you to help yourself out of discomfort.


image001International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE), is a non-profit organisation that certifies health professionals who provide lactation and breastfeeding care to mothers, infants, and their families worldwide. There are now over 28,880 currently certified IBCLCs worldwide, in 105 countries.

To become certified one must meet the eligibility criteria and pass a psychometric exam. Once certified the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is able to use the acronym IBCLC to identify as a professional who has demonstrated their lactation knowledge. The IBCLC certification program is accredited by National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) of the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE).



SBA Hornby will save you time and money.
We know you have a business to run, a family to look after and a life to enjoy.

You don’t want to be doing tax returns when you could be growing your business, relaxing with the family or having fun with friends. Let SBA Hornby take care of the finances, so you can focus on life!

The Nappy Lady Workshop North Canterbury


The Nappy Lady is coming to North Canterbury! The Birthing Room is excited to announce we are hosting The Nappy Lady's Waste Free Parenting Workshop in Pegasus on September 17th, in partnership with the Waimakariri District Council. This is a humorous, entertaining and inspirational seminar full of tips and ideas around ways you can minimise waste at home especially with children in the home. The best news is that you receive a pack for attending this workshop. The 'Waste Free Parenting Pack' includes cloth nappies and other waste minimisation products worth $100 which is great if you have babies in nappies in the home.

Who should attend this workshop?
- Parents to be.
- Parents with children in the home.
- Grandparents.
- Anyone interested in reducing waste in the home.

Includes afternoon tea provided by The Birth Connection. 

Click here for more information

MilkPads Are Here!


The Birthing Room is delighted to announce we now stock MilkPads! Locally made, eco-friendly products that help make your breastfeeding journey a little bit easier. MilkPads have reusable breast pads for light, medium and heavy leakage (covering both your day and night time needs), and for small to large breast sizes. If you are not sure where to start, why not try a MilkPads Starter Pack? You can check out all your choices at The Birthing Room's Facebook shop, while our website shop is currently being built behind the scenes. Happy shopping! The Birthing Room's Facebook Shop


Class giveaway

Many parents find they come away from their first birth experience with their hopes and dreams shattered, with feelings of failure, despair and disappointment. Here at The Birthing Room, we believe this should be a rare event as birth is meant to be challenging, yes, but also empowering, incredible, intuitive, bonding, and... HEALING!

We believe this SO much that we have given away a spot in each of our February Canterbury antenatal classes to three families having another baby, so they can experience the healing and empowerment themselves! The lucky winners are:

  1. Elizabeth Bowen -North Canterbury Antenatal Classes Feb 11th-March 17th
  2. Isabel Foster -Christchurch Antenatal Classes Feb 3rd-March 9th
  3. Casey & Adam Curtis -Christchurch Antenatal Classes Feb 20th-March 12th

If you are one of our lucky winners, please email The Birthing Room within 10 days to claim your prize. contact us here

If you have missed out this time around, don't despair... Our March antenatal class give away is just around the corner!

New Zealand Childbirth Educators Needed!

New Zealand Antenatal Classes

New Zealand Antenatal Classes

Empowered birth: Does this light a fire of passion in you? The Birthing Room is looking for new Childbirth Educators to join their team. Could this be you?? Whether you are already a CBE or midwife, or just someone who loves to see families have positive birth experiences, there is a pathway for you to come and join our awesome team!

The first step is to gain a BirthWorks International certification in Childbirth Education, or join their Accelerated Doula and Childbirth Educator programme. BirthWorks International will be holding their annual workshops in New Zealand in June 2016, both in the South and North Islands. This is a fantastic opportunity to up skill to a BirthWorks qualification or to begin a new career as a Childbirth Educator. These 3-4 day workshops are life transforming, both professionally and personally, and are a prerequisite to facilitating The Birthing Room Antenatal Classes. Both BirthWorks programmes are able to be started at any time, and are mostly a long distance packages, seeing you well on the way through your qualification before the workshops in June.

To find out more about becoming a BirthWorks Childbirth Educator check out BirthWorks International or Contact Us



A person is more than just a physical being. He or she is also made up of the spiritual and emotional, and is designed to be part of community. So antenatal classes should be catered to all of these parts of a person, or much potential for learning is lost.

This week started with a fantastic night of Hornby antenatal classes, whose group is halfway through their course. It was a really fun night looking at what spiritual, emotional and physical things can provide comfort in labour. The next day we began another awesome course of antenatal classes in Christchurch at the Fendalton Plunket Rooms. 9 beautiful families had the opportunity to get to know each other, express their deepest fears about childbirth, look at the influence of society and media on our beliefs about childbirth, talk about the importance of having a midwife or obstetrician who shares their birth philosophy, and learn about the importance of pregnancy and postnatal exercise.

And now this week is finishing with the last day of our North Canterbury antenatal classes. We are so privileged to have a couple coming with their new baby to share about their experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting. And then BabyCalm will be held in North Canterbury this afternoon. Such a fantastic day ahead!

If you'd like to know more about registering for The Birthing Room's 2016 antenatal classes CLICK HERE

The Birthing Room’s Pathway for an Empowered Birth begins in 2016!

Bloom Birth Photography

Bloom Birth Photography

Check out The Birthing Room's brand new Pathway for an Empowered Birth which begins in 2016!! We now offer an empowered experience for every trimester, meaning expectant families have a village of love and support with them throughout their whole pregnancy journey. From Early Pregnancy Workbooks with The Birth Connection for those who have just found out they are pregnant, to Bringing Tikanga Maori Practice Back to Birth for those who are close to giving birth, there is something for every family! Pathway for an Empowered Birth

If you are currently in your first trimester, now is the time to book your antenatal classes for the beginning of next year. We have classes available in both Christchurch and North Canterbury in February 2016, as well as another Online Antenatal Course so you don't need to miss out if you are living out of Canterbury!
Click here for more information about Antenatal Classes
Click here for more information about Online Antenatal Classes

Also super excited to share with you the great new photography from Bloom Birth Photography showcasing on our website. Thanks Bloom Birth & their amazing families who have so generously shared these precious images!