Women in Motueka expecting a baby after next April are being told there might no longer be a maternity service in the town.
Nelson Marlborough Health has taken over the town's only service while it decides its future.
Te Whare Whanau handles about 40 births a year, but its managing director, Kirsty Rance, has stepped down.
Nelson Marlborough Health said it would explore all options before announcing its decision in January.
It could not guarantee the service would stay open after April, and advised women to book maternity services in Nelson instead.
Ms Rance said research shows such a facility was vital for mothers and babies considered low-risk.
"Particularly family-friendly units where partners can be easily included and welcomed, and which are really fostering a good start for mothers and babies in a nice, peaceful environment."