Lumsden Maternity Hub unequipped for latest birth outside hospital, midwife says

The Lumsden Maternity Hub was not properly equipped for a birth that recently took place there, a midwife says.

The expectant mother wasn't able to make it to Invercargill Hospital and instead had to use the hub for her birth on Wednesday.

But midwife Nicky Pealing, who was assisting, said it wasn't ready for the job.

"When she arrived she... thought we had nitrous oxide, but actually it was just a big tank of oxygen so that wasn't what she hoped."

On top of that the tank was empty and the centre's linen was dirty. Pealing said it's upsetting to work under such circumstances.

"It's just not a good feeling when it's not clean properly, it just makes me cry really."

It's the fourth time an emergency birth has taken place without making it to a primary birthing unit since Lumsden was downgraded from a primary birthing unit in April.

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker said it's not good enough and called for it to be reinstated.

"How many more need to occur before the Government reinstates Lumsden as a primary birthing unit?"

Southland woman Amanda McIvor gave birth to her son Levi in the back of an ambulance just outside Lumsden in May, and in June a woman was forced to give birth in Lumsden's emergency birthing facility and then immediately travel for an hour to the nearest primary birthing facility.

A baby was born in the car park of the maternity hub last Friday, prompting refreshed calls to reopen the centre.

"It's starting to get quite difficult and to have those three really reinforces the fact that there are people birthing in that area and the area is actually increasing not decreasing in population," Southland Mayor Gary Tong said.