Maternity & Newborn

We aim to provide high quality care to all women during pregnancy, ensuring that we assist them to have the best outcomes possible.

Learn more about what to do when you think you may be pregnant at HealthInfo.

You are encouraged to chose and register with your Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) as early as possible in your pregnancy; ideally at 6 - 8 weeks gestation. Options for pregnancy/maternity care include:

  • Aoraki Midwives
  • South Canterbury Midwives
  • MAMA Midwives

You may change your LMC at any stage of your pregnancy or after your baby is born.

Jean Todd Maternity Unit at Timaru Hospital provides primary and secondary care to families across South Canterbury. Husbands and partners are able to be with their wife/partner during labour and birth. At all other times husbands/partners (or other support persons) are not able to stay in the unit overnight. The Whanau room may be available by arrangement with the Duty Nurse Manager.

Jean Todd Maternity Unit includes:

  • 9 single rooms with ensuite facilities
  • 2 birthing rooms
  • 1 birthing lounge
  • 1 common kitchen/dining area

The unit is staffed by midwives who provide 24/7 midwifery care. When labour occurs prior to 34 weeks we transfer care to the nearest tertiary hospital, usually Christchurch Womens Hospital.

Midwifery care provided in the unit includes women admitted antenatally, during labour or postnatally. We offer obstetric services for women who require specialist care.

Other funded services we provide include:

  • Pregnancy and parenting education classes
  • Monthly breast feeding classes
  • Newborn hearing screening for all babies

We also work in collaboration with other services at Te Whatu Ora South Canterbury such as:

  • Physiotherapists,
  • Dieticians,
  • Diabetic Specialist Nurses,
  • Paediatricians,
  • Anesthetics,
  • Social Workers,
  • Mental Health Well-being Team,
  • Medical staff - when the mother has a pre-existing medical condition.

We work with a number of services outside the South Canterbury DHB including Arowhenua Whanau Services, Plunket, Public Health Nurses, Women's Refuge and GPs.

We have a number of initiatives committed to ensuring we provide the highest quality maternal care for the people of South Canterbury.

Maternity Quality and Safety Programme

The Ministry of Health launched the Maternity Quality and Safety Programme in 2011. The initiative includes:

  • A national quality and safety programme for maternity services, including maternity standards and clinical indicators.
  • Revised Maternity Referral Guidelines, which set out processes for transfers of clinical responsibility for care including in an emergency.
  • Standardised, electronic maternity information management to improve communication and sharing of health information among health practitioners.
  • Improved maternity information systems and analysis, so there is better reporting and monitoring of maternity services.

See the 'quick links' on the right-hand navigation menu to view our 'Maternity Quality and Safety Programme Annual Report' that sets out how SCDHB performs against the maternity standards and clinical indicators.

Pregnancy and parenting education classes

For information about or to register for pregnancy and parenting education classes, please contact the Jean Todd Maternity Unit receptionist on 03 687 2140.


Jean Todd Maternity Unit
Level 2, Timaru Hospital
Queen Street, Parkside
Timaru, 7910


Timaru Hospital: 03 687 2100