From here to maternity in 100 years

Judd and Ramona Stratful, from Red Beach, and midwife Sue Wynyard, welcome young Indie-Rose beneath the wooden plaque commemorating the opening of Warkworth’s first maternity hospital in 1917.

A century of specialist maternity provision in Warkworth was celebrated last month and, appropriately enough, the anniversary coincided with the birth of a baby at Warkworth Birthing Centre.

Indie-Rose Stratful unwittingly chose to arrive exactly 100 years to the day after Warkworth’s first maternity cottage hospital was opened in the town, on June 19.

Managing director and midwife Sue Wynyard put together a display showing the history of local maternity services to mark the occasion, from the early days of the cottage hospital, through the war years, when American soldiers had their own hospital where the birthing centre stands today, to when the hospital closed in 1990 and three local midwives took control of their own destiny and began the process of establishing a stand-alone service for the community.

Warkworth Birthing Centre opened in February 2000 with just one birthing room and three postnatal rooms. Since then, the centre has steadily expanded, and now there are two birthing rooms with pools, one assessment room and 10 postnatal rooms for mothers and babies.


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