Blood TestsWhen you first see your LMC you will be asked to give a blood sample to test for:
- your blood group
- iron content in your blood
- any harmful antibodies
- immunity to rubella
- hepatitis B
UltrasoundsThere are times in the pregnancy where an ultrasound scan may be requested. This is sometimes done:
- as part of the Maternal Serum Screening First Trimester Combined test
- at around 20 weeks to check your baby’s physical features such as heart, lungs, brain, spine, etc
- if it is medically required (such as checking your baby’s growth)
AlcoholWhen you are pregnant if you drink alcohol it will be carried to your baby through your bloodstream. Drinking during pregnancy increases the risk of problems for your baby including learning disorders, and behavioural or social problems. You should avoid alcohol if you're planning to get pregnant.
SmokingSmoking during pregnancy is linked to health risks for both the mother and the baby. It is better to stop smoking before you get pregnant but even quitting while you are pregnant will help. It’s okay for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use nicotine patches, gum and/or lozenges. Information on how to quit smoking is in The Quit Book. Support is also available from: Quitline 0800 778 778 Whaiora 06 370 0818 Linda Spence Wairarapa Smokefree Coordinator 0276294302
Hapu MamaIs a quit smoking programme for wahine hapu (Pregnant women) and their support people. It is formed as a 12 week rewards programme, gift vouchers are offered as an incentive to stay smokefree and are given as rewards when certain milestones are achieved. You and your named support people can enrol through your LMC, or phone 0800 494246.
Lead Maternity Carer (LMC)Your LMC will be responsible for your care throughout your pregnancy, birth and for up to 4-6 weeks after your baby is born.
What does a LMC do?
Your LMC will make sure you get the care you need including assistance for managing medical conditions. They will provide any forms you need for blood tests and an ultrasound scan.
Your LMC will see you regularly during your pregnancy. They will provide care and refer you to specialists for any tests or treatments needed.
They will help you develop a care plan that includes the choices you need to make during your pregnancy, labour and birth - and after your baby is born. (This can be updated throughout your pregnancy). They are available during business hours to provide advice and provide emergency care 24/7.
They will attend your labour and the birth of your baby. They will also arrange backup support in case they are unavailable. Your LMC will make sure you have postnatal care visits while you are in hospital and during the 4-6 weeks after you give birth.
Home Birth Options
Not all LMCs offer home birth. If you are interested in having your baby at home ask the LMC if they provide this service.
For more information on Home Birth see http://www.homebirth.org.nz/.
LMC options in the Wairarapa
For contact details for Wairarapa based LMC midwives and to check their availability click the image below
Please Note: GPs do not offer LMC maternity services in the Wairarapa
Pregnancy and Parenting' classes give you an opportunity to find out what you need to know when expecting a baby. They are a great way to make new friends, and meet others who will be sharing the same joys and concerns that you may have. Time and again, women tell us how important this is both during pregnancy, and in the early years of your child's life.
- Health in pregnancy
- Labour and birth
- Coping with labour and the birth
- Life with a new baby
- Relaxation techniques
- Where to find help when you need it
- Tour of the maternity unit
FREE Antenatal Classes at Wairarapa Hospital
Wairarapa residents can enrol in a free antenatal course held at Wairarapa Hospital in Masterton.
The classes are facilitated by an experienced midwife.
The course is run in 6 week blocks on Thursday evenings from 6.30pm - 9.00pm at the Hospital (Lecture Room of the CSSB buiding behind the new hospital on Blair Street)
All welcome. Come by yourself or bring your partner, friend or whanau member.
For more information use our online enquiry form.
Teen Pregnancy Unit Classes
These are drop in classes and are held at the local teen pregnancy unit at Makoura College, Makora Rd, Masterton. They are every Thursday 1.50-2.50pm in term times and are for women under 20 years of age. You do not need to be a student at TPU.
Parent Centre Wairarapa
Parent Centre also provide antenatal education and parenting classes.
Antenatal classes for “Preparation for Birth without Fear”, using HypnoBirthing®, the Mongan Method.
This is a 5 week course, 5 classes of 2.5 hours. The aim of the classes is a calm, gentle birth for your baby and a positive birth experience for the parents/whanau.
The course teaches: Anatomy and physiology for labour and birth, how amazing a woman’s body is during the journey through pregnancy and birth, and how she and her baby are perfectly designed to birth.
Breathing techniques to assist and “go with” the uterine surges (contractions) instead of fighting them, enabling the uterus to thin and open the cervix with less discomfort.
Deep relaxation (self-hypnosis), and ways the birth companion can assist in deepening the Mother’s relaxation through techniques and light touch massage.
Visualisation and affirmations are taught for replacing negative thoughts and fears with positive thoughts and aspirations.
Release of fear during deep relaxation, releasing fears from previous births or the negative birth stories we hear as we grow up.
The Birth companion’s role which is so important during labour and birth, planning and creating the best environment for labour and birth either at the hospital or at home, knowing and using the practised techniques to remind and support the birthing Mother to enable instinctive birth to progress as nature intended.
Classes allow time set aside for parents to bond with their unborn baby, to think and plan for the birth they would choose, learn how to nurture each other with relaxation time spent together in what are often very busy lives. Connections are made with likeminded people, which often go forward into early parenthood friendships, and the skills learned go on from HypnoBirthing® to HypnoLiving.
Classes are taught by Carole Wheeler, Midwife and HBCE
Visit Wairarapa HypnoBirthing® for more information.
or check the Facebook page.
One in five women have a miscarriage during the first 10 weeks of their pregnancy. After 10 weeks the risk of miscarriage drops significantly.
The most common symptoms are cramping and/or bleeding. If you are concerned, contact your midwife or doctor for advice. Often a scan will confirm there has been a miscarriage. However sometimes further tests are needed.
Most women recover physically soon after a miscarriage, but it can be very upsetting and a grieving period is normal.
For support following a miscarriage contact the Miscarriage Support Group www.miscarriage.org.nz
Travelling with your babyBy law you must use a child car restraint for all children under 5 every time they travel by car.
Holly from Road Safety at the Wairarapa District Council checks car seats on the first Friday of the month, 10-12 at the Plunket rooms, or alternatively call her on (06) 377 1379.
Wairarapa Road Safety Council has some useful information.
The New Zealand Transport Association also has information regarding child restraints.
For more information on Home Birth see
PlansPlan for your home birth by considering what you need. Wairarapa Maternity Unit offers a birthing pool hire option. These are inflatable in a matter of minutes, easy to fill and empty. They come with a disposable liner.
Pool BookingIf you need to book a pool for use at home. Use our online booking form and to check availability. The cost is $150 and they can be booked out for one week.
Around 500 babies are born at Wairarapa Hospital every year. Lead Maternity Carers use our facility for hospital births and we have a hospital-based team made up of obstetricians, doctors, midwives and nurses.
If you have opted to birth your baby in the hospital you do not need to “book in”.
Your LMC will make arrangements with the hospital on your behalf.
For a virtual tour of the maternity unit click here
The maternity ward has single rooms, some with shared bathrooms.
Our services include a Birthing Suite, Maternity Ward, Obstetric Clinic. The Special Care Baby Unit is next to Maternity Ward.
Our midwives operate in shifts, so you will be looked after by more than one midwife when you have had your baby.
We do not have a ‘nursery’: your baby stays with you to help breastfeeding and to let you get to know each other.
Where do I go?
You can get to the Birthing Suite through the main entrance from 6.30am to 8.30pm. Outside those hours please enter through the Maternity Door at side of hospital or through the Emergency Department.
If you need to contact the Wairarapa Hospital Birthing Suite urgently call 06 946 9815 or dial 111 in an Emergency.
If you wish to do this we will provide an Ipu Whenua which is totally biodegradable and made out of natural materials; it is ready to be buried and will gradually breakdown over time.
Please discuss this with your LMC midwife if you wish to find out more.
Thank you for being earth friendly at this special time in your life.
Pēpe & You
Lactation Consultants can help with breastfeeding difficulties that cannot be solved by your LMC.
The Wairarapa DHB Hospital provides a free Lactation Consultant service.
There are a number of other organisations in the Wairarapa region which provide support with breastfeeding.
Many are free of charge, such as Breastfriends for mum-to-mum breastfeeding support
Follow Breastfriends on Facebook.
Download a list of Parent Support Services
Alcohol and breastfeedingIf you drink alcohol while breastfeeding it will be passed to your child and may affect the baby’s growth and development.
Breast milk is the best, safest and most nutritious food for babies. The best advice is to avoid alcohol while breastfeeding, for the first few weeks. Remember that if you have one standard drink it takes up to two hours to for your body to process the alcohol in it.
Baby Friendly HospitalWairarapa Hospital has been accredited by the NZ Breastfeeding Authority (NZBA) as part of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI).This means we are required to support new mothers feeding their babies, regardless of their choice. For those wishing to breastfeed we follow the Ten Step principles of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.
For more information on the initiative visit
Immunisations work by making your baby’s immune system respond to the vaccine the same way it would to these diseases, but without the serious effects of the actual diseases.
Immunisations are offered free from your GP doctor. They help protect against 11 serious diseases.
Ask Plunket staff or your doctor for an immunisation schedule if you do not have one. The first immunisations are usually given when your baby is 6 weeks old, then at 3, 5 and 15 months and 4 years. Having all the immunisations is important for the best chance of strong protection.
For more information see
or the Ministry of Health website
To protect your baby:
- Make sure they sleep on their back (with their face up)
- Make sure bedding and pillows are kept away from your baby’s face as they sleep
- Make sure there are no gaps between the cot and their mattress
- Don’t smoke - and make sure others don’t smoke around baby
For more information see the HealthEd website
Your LMC midwife will provide you with information and discuss the free services available to you before your baby is born.
These services include:
GP services- provide free healthcare to children under 6yrs.
Well Child - will support you to ensure your child grows to their full potentail.
Hearing screening- your baby will be offered a safe, simple hearing check.
National Immunisataion Register- this register records the immunisation of all children living in New Zealand
BCG- Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs, your baby will be referred to BCG services if there is a high risk of them getting the infection
Oral Health- dental services will contact you confirming enrolment and contact you when their first visit is due.