About us

At River Ridge East Birth Centre, our purpose is to provide excellence in maternity care.

We understand that every expectant mum has individual needs. River Ridge East offers a fully equipped facility for both birthing and postnatal care, best suited to meet your needs. Our trained and experienced staff midwives are ready to support your LMC at any time during labour and birth if needed. During your postnatal stay, our staff will ensure the best environment to care for you and your baby as you get to know each other.

The River Ridge East facility was designed to make your pregnancy, your labour and birth experience, and the postnatal care for you and baby, as calm and as comfortable as possible. Our birth rooms are soundproof with adjoining en-suites, and feature dimmable lights to add to the peaceful ambience. We offer a wide choice of birth equipment, such as the birthing pools for water birth or pain relief, birthing slings, birth stools, bean bags, or Swiss balls. 

River Ridge East hosts popular and highly regarded antenatal classes, delivered by experienced midwives right here at River Ridge East Birth Centre. Find more information here.

We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver outstanding maternity care for clients of all cultures, beliefs and backgrounds, making everyone feel welcome and supported at River Ridge East. We offer a range of services and options to cater to the traditions and customs of our clients before, during and after birth. For example, River Ridge East is home to a beautiful traditional pounamu which is available to cut the umbilical cord. We also have a kitchenette and microwave available to use for heating up traditional meals and delicacies for the new parents. We can also arrange a bath to be available for women who wish to have a bath during their postnatal stay.  Speak to your LMC about what you might need so she can make arrangements with us on your behalf.

Our Philosophy

We see midwifery as an art with a solid foundation in science. Mother and baby are the centre of our care. We aim to carefully nurture and protect the physical, emotional, social and spiritual nature of the newborn child in a warm and welcoming environment.

Our staff and LMCs aim to work at all times as a team providing excellence in maternity care. All staff who work at River Ridge East Birth Centre are empowered and encouraged to engage in ongoing personal and professional development.

Our History

River Ridge East Birth Centre, a brand new, purpose-built facility, was opened on Christmas Day 2002. The site in Von Tempsky Street especially chosen for it’s central location, as well as short distance from Waikato Hospital. The original concept for a primary birthing centre was devised back in 1992, following National-led government health reforms – it took three years, but in 1995, the contract to establish a Primary Birthing Facility was approved and signed.

There has been steady growth in the demand for primary birthing in Hamilton. Over the last five years, River Ridge East Birth Centre has supported more than 2,500 primary births, and has provided over 6,000 postnatal stays for new mothers, partners and their newborn baby.

The regulatory requirements for a birth centre are equally as strict as for a public hospital. River Ridge East staff must ensure Health and Disability Sector Standards are met and are regularly audited to check. Infection Control, Health and Safety, and practice guidelines from the District Health Board are also monitored regularly for compliance.

Our Founder :Clare Hutchinson

Clare Hutchinson, whose inspiration founded River Ridge East Birth Centre, was educated in Amsterdam and initially trained as a nurse in a hospital in Holland. Within a short period of time Clare realised the maternity sector, and midwifery, was where her true interest and enthusiasm was, so she trained as a midwife in London.

Arriving in NZ in 1982, Clare observed the maternity system in New Zealand, and experienced its many facets while working in various settings in the Waikato. Having an open mind, a background in the Dutch maternity system, and a desire to enhance services for pregnant women, she looked for ways to improve the local maternity service offering.

Working in partnership with two local midwives, Clare initiated a plan to establish a birth centre that was both a safe environment for babies, and an encouraging, nurturing and informative environment to ease new parents into parenthood. Creating a well-equipped facility, and a safe and supportive working environment for midwives was also important, where they could extend their knowledge, provide collegial support to each other and further grow and develop the art of midwifery.

Says Clare: “We are proud to be able to offer to the pregnant women of Hamilton and the wider Waikato, a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility, that delivers excellence in maternity care, for both birth and the postnatal period, within the free service allowances of the Ministry of Health funding.

“Our clientele is truly multicultural and from all sectors of society. We know the huge impact culturally sensitive and compassionate care can have on women and their recovery post-birth, on establishing healthy feeding patterns for the newborn baby, and on the new parents’ future parenthood journey.

“We take pride in our commitment to remaining the birthplace of choice, and the workplace of choice.”

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Contact Info


River Ridge East Birth Centre offers a warm, comfortable and homely environment for parents to welcome their new baby. Highly skilled midwives and well-equipped facilities ensure you and your family receive safe, comprehensive care and support throughout your maternal journey.

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