Central Otago Midwives

Your friendly, dependable and trustworthy maternity service

Phone now


Every woman wants the best possible experience as she looks forward to the birth of her child. We understand that your confidence – and the ability to give birth, and care for your baby – will also depend on the environment you are in and the standard of midwifery care provided. With the support of Alexandra Family Medical, Central Otago Midwifery brings together three trusted health care professionals; midwife and lactation consultant Charlotte Aarden, family GP Elvira de Jong and gynaecologist/ obstetric specialist Kate van Harselaar. This set up allows midwife Charlotte Aarden to provide you with complete, friendly, dependable and trustworthy maternity care that goes beyond the standard. This and our philosophy in practice is a reflection of our commitment to the safety and well being of women in our community.

When choosing your midwife there are a few important things to consider:

  • Does she work in a safe manner ensuring that all your care needs are met during your pregnancy, labour and birth and during your post natal period?
  • Will she get to know you as a person?
  • Will she continue to keep you informed and will she listen to you?
  • What level of training and how much experience has she got up her sleeve?
  • What happens if specialist care is needed during pregnancy, labour and birth?

You can be confident in knowing that your Central Otago Midwife is experienced, well trained, will listen to you and gets to know you as a person. The midwife –client relationship is based on a professional partnership and care is tailored to meet all your needs right through your pregnancy up until your baby is six weeks of age.

We see each childbirth experience as unique and an achievement. It doesn’t matter whether you had an easy uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery or one that required more intervention. A happy confident family that reflects positively about their choices made and on their experience with Central Otago Midwifery is our aim. To ensure all your needs are met midwife Charlotte works well together with other health care providers such as your GP, obstetrician, lactation consultant or any one that may be involved in your care. Any queries are always welcome! Alternatively, make an appointment for a homevisit to have the first chat about the maternity care that you would like to be provided.

Charlotte Aarden

From a young age it was clear to me that I’m meant to work in the medical field, in a job in which I would be caring for others. Not sure what direction to go in I started with my nurse training at the age of 18 in the Netherlands after a student exchange year to New Zealand. I worked in a large hospital and gained experience over four years in orthopedics, pulmonology, oncology, urology and surgery. When specializing in pediatrics I learned that I loved working within the family environment. So with a nursing degree in the pocket I went over the border to Belgium and in 2008 I graduated there with a bachelor in midwifery.

I’m a country girl at heart and as a health professional am therefor very passionate about providing optimal midwifery service to women and their families. Whether this is in a smaller primary care setting or in hospital environment. I strive for a positive experience for each client we work with. I love working in this great Central Otago Community and the beautiful landscape is a bonus! I also feel motivated because this is an area in which there is a certain degree of isolation and over the past few years since establishing Central Otago Midwives it has been a great pleasure working on overcoming these challenges.

I’m a mother and live with my family in the Alexandra region. Besides seeing me doing my job people also come across me out and about with my family, socializing in Central Otago community groups and enjoying the outdoors.

Maria Stanley

My name is Maria Stanley. I have been a registered midwife for 15 years previously working as a neonatal intensive care nurse in Dunedin. As a midwife I value new life believing birth to be a wonderful natural life event, whilst acknowledging that some pregnancies and birth require additional support.

Together with Charlotte Aarden, I’m therefor very happy when individualizing your midwifery care to work alongside my obstetric colleagues. By working together and when required with the obstetric team, Charlotte and I can support your informed choices throughout your pregnancy, birth and post natal experiences. Believing research informs our practice and is the cornerstone of the care that we provide, I have undertaken a Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Child and Family Health and a Masters Degree focusing on breast feeding. I have a natural interest in the post natal period and supporting breast feeding mothers, as a certified LACTATION CONSULTANT. Good luck with your Journey ahead. Maria.

Dr Pragati Gautama

I welcome the opportunity to introduce myself, and my input to Central Otago Midwives.

I have been practicing for over 20 years - and currently a full time GP with Cromwell Medical Centre, and have lived in Alexandra for 16 years. I completed a Diploma of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Otago University, while working at Wellington Hospital in 1995. My goal at that time was to provide GP level Obstetric care, not only in Rural New Zealand but in Papua New Guinea. I worked as a VSO Volunteer for nearly 2 years in PNG, and not only dealt with Rural Obstetric emergencies, but a huge variety of medical and tropical issues

On return to NZ in 1998, it was evident, certainly in Otago that GP Obstetric care was on the decline, and with a lack of colleagues to support this service, we are now left with very few Doctors who are able to provide Obstetric Care in New Zealand as a whole. While I am not providing advanced intrapartum care, I am supporting Charlotte Aarden as a back up service for consultation, if Charlotte is called away - as part of my commitment to a fellow Rural practitioner. The Cromwell Medical Centre has always provided 24/7 Doctor services : it is literally the Doctor on call who answers the phone call.

My zeal for Rural Generalist medicine has lead to my involvement in a number of services over the last 10 years:

  • Clinical Leader for the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine (Coordinating training for our Regsitrars, in the South Island)
  • Rural General Practice (Fellow RNZCGP)
  • Rural Hospital Medicine (15 years Dunstan Hospital, numerous locums in Rural hospitals in NZ and Australia ) - Fellow DRHMNZ
  • Trainer for courses EMST (Emergency Management of Surgical Trauma) and APLS (Advanced Paediatric Life Support)
  • Community Palliative Care with the Otago Hospice (2007 to 2012)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Ultrasound and Echocardiography - 2010

The personal side of my life, revolves around a busy family life with my two wonderful daughters and a husband also involved as a Rural Hospital Doctor at Dunstan. Access to the most amazing "playground" of New Zealand is the secret to this place, and we are never too far from beautiful walks and bike rides and most important of all, a caring community.

The service Charlotte and I are striving to provide is one based on a collaborative and interdisciplinary level, and team focused. Our skills combined can only benefit our community, and I am very grateful to the Practice I work with, and the Rural Hospital Doctors at Dunstan, who continue to provide emergency back up care for the Community.

Dr Kate van Harselaar

FRANZCOG, PGDipOMG, MBChB, MSc (Distinction), BSc

Kate graduated in medicine from the University of Otago and did her specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Prior to medicine, she taught at the University of Otago and undertook a Masters in Physiology, which had a focus on Reproductive Endocrinology. Her varied background gives her a solid foundation from which to help and support women from all walks of life.

She is involved in all aspects of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, but has a special interest in the management of infertility, recurrent miscarriage, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, advanced laparoscopic surgery and pelvic pain. She is dedicated to finding an optimal management plan that is tailored to a woman’s specific needs.

She realized what a difference she could make in peoples lives around Fertility Medicine and as such pursued it as a sub specialty. Having a baby is one of life’s great experiences, but it can be unpredictable. As an Obstetrician, Kate sees her job as giving couples piece of mind, while providing them with expert medical advice in a collaborative team environment, whilst covering for any eventuality.

Kate undertakes her private Obstetrics and Gynaecology practice out of Fertility Associates Dunedin, where she also has a consulting role. She does outreach clinics in the wider Otago region and performs private Gynaecological surgery at the Mercy in Dunedin. She also practices as a specialist Obstetrician / Gynaecologist in the public sector at Dunedin Hospital.


Below is our availibility chart. Contact us to book your place.



fully booked


fully booked



fully booked


fully booked


fully booked


fully booked


fully booked