Blood Tests

When 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
  • syphilis

You will also be offered Antenatal HIV Screening.

Where can i get a blood test done?

Blood tests are usually done at Medlab in the Wairarapa, you can choose where you get the test done.

Wairarapa Hospital 06 946 9836

Masterton Medical 06 370 0595

Carterton 06 379 8683

Greytown 06 304 7068

Featherston 06 308 9220

Martinborough 06 306 9501

Blood tests are free for New Zealand residents.


There 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)

Where can i get my ultrasounds done?

Wairarapa DHB

Te Ore Ore Road



5 Park Street, Masterton


Note: There is a small cost involved

Pacific Radiology

Hutt Valley and Wellington Clinics

Note: There may be a charge - check their website beforehand

Horizon Radiology

For clinic locations see their website


Immunisation for Influenza and Whooping Cough during pregnancy can protect the woman, her unborn baby and her newborn.

Influenza vaccine can be given during any stage in pregnancy, and is free from 1st April to 31st December each year.  Whooping cough vaccine can be given between 13 to 38 weeks.  Both vaccines are recommended and free for every pregnancy.

For more information please contact your medical centre, or visit the Immunisation Advisory Centre website



When 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.


Smoking 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 Mama

Is 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.


Info pending

Once you have confirmed you are pregnant the first thing you need to do is find a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC). Ideally, see them before you are 10 weeks pregnant so they can arrange the tests you may need during your pregnancy.

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

Click to find a midwife

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.

Learn about:

  • Health in pregnancy
  • Labour and birth
  • Coping with labour and the birth
  • Breastfeeding
  • 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.

Happy Birth Day and Spinning babies


Classes are taught by Carole Wheeler, Midwife and HBCE

Talk to your midwife or GP: Either can activate a referral to the Maternal Mental Health service who offer skilled follow up by a mental health team member who can then liaise with your GP or midwife.

The link below shares the emotional changes that occur with pregnancy and having a newborn, what is normal and some common concerns  https://pada.nz/


Tapuaki Pacific Pregnancy and Parenting Education

A vibrant and informative website about pregnancy and parenting education for Pasifika


Pregnancy and birth


Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te whānau tamariki – pregnancy and birth

Māori women traditionally gave birth in specially built shelters. There were rituals to observe and karakia to recite. Mothers sang oriori to their babies – lullabies which told whakapapa, legends and tribal history.

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 and Crisis Pregnancy support https://www.crisispregnancysupport.org.nz/

Please see this website for information and support.

Check out Health Navigator: an excellent source of information on health topics and early pregnancy questions you may have plus more: https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/p/pregnancy-screening-tests-and-checks/

Healthy Kai and drink choices: link to download a digital booklet for yourself or scroll down the page for more info online including food safety advice: https://www.healthed.govt.nz/resource/eating-healthy-pregnant-women

Nutrient information for a healthy pregnancy: https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/healthy-living/s/supplements-pregnancy/

Affordable healthy kai food ideas/ recipes can be found at these websites: 5+aday.co.nz ; www.vegetables.co.nz ; https://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/wellbeing/healthy-recipes

Fruit and Vege Co-op info: https://www.facebook.com/wairarapafruitandvegecoop/

Local Foodbanks information: https://www.foodbank.co.nz/mastertonfoodbank

Healthy activity advice: keep it simple a little every day or atleast 5 days a week of something you enjoy- walking, being in water, dancing, yoga; https://www.healthed.govt.nz/resource/eating-healthy-pregnant-women

Did you know that you can self-refer to the Green Prescription programme while pregnant or as a new mum for nutrition and healthy lifestyle support? Link to self-refer: https://www.sportwellington.org.nz/active-health-and-wellness/green-prescription/

Link to local yoga provider for pregnancy classes: https://www.karinaflowyoga.com/class-schedule

Link to Trust House pool for aqua activity while pregnant: https://www.sportwellington.org.nz/active-health-and-wellness/green-prescription/ Did you know that summer pools in Greytown/ Martinborough / Carterton and Featherston are free Between Labour weekend and Easter?

If you’re are a teen and pregnant call the principal at the Teen Parent Unit at Makoura college as you are welcome to join in with their antenatal education classes at Makoura college and maybe if you wanted get some NZCEA credits too: http://www.mc.school.nz/learn/teen-parent-unit

Women’s’ Centre Masterton- https://www.facebook.com/Wairarapa-Womens-Centre-141256559335827/

Community Centres and Church groups often run pre-school play groups and encourage mums to come whenever they want even with a little babies if they want the company- ask your well child provider for more information as she will know a lot about what’s happening in her area for parents of 0-5 year old children.

Family Start programmes run by Whaiora –check their page out and if it seems like the support you might really benefit from, ask your GP/ or midwife to refer you or after baby is born ask your well child provider:  https://whaiora.org.nz/content/family-start:

Online Facebook groups and web pages for mums and or dads e.g: 

Wairarapa Mums: https://www.facebook.com/groups/713050005484695/

Local community pages for your suburb/ town are common on Facebook or look out for information at your local library and community centre

Gestational Diabetes NZ: an online forum of mums supporting mums https://www.facebook.com/groups/1740126849597193

Men’s Group Wairarapa: a new group based in Carterton https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2020/mens-group-wairarapa-monthly-indoor-meeting/carterton

Great fathers Trust: some great little videos and tips for dads like the tool box http://www.greatfathers.org.nz/greatfathers


Also, there is the Ruth project which you can get in touch with for home help support:



When your labour starts you will need to contact your named LMC who will then either visit you at home or advise you to meet them at the hospital if you are birthing your baby there. If you have planned a home birth your LMC will provide labour and birth care at your home.

Travelling with your baby

By 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.

In the Wairarapa we have a number of LMC's who support homebirthing and in 2017 30 babies were born at home, 5.6% of our birthing population.

For more information on Home Birth see
Home Birth Aotearoa


Plan 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 Booking

If 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.

Many families/whanau take the placenta/Whenua home with them to bury it and return it to the earth.

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 & Mama

(Baby & Mum)

Breast milk is the best food for your baby.

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 breastfeeding

If 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 Hospital

Wairarapa 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

Up to 60 babies die from Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (or ‘SUDI’) in New Zealand each year. This includes both explained and unexplained deaths. Common causes include suffocation by bedding or by an adult or child who is sleeping with the baby.

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

It’s safest not to sleep in the same bed as your baby. Keep them in a cot, bassinette, wahakura or pepipod and sleep in the same room. Your midwife will check where you baby will sleep and give you advice when they visit.

For more information see the HealthEd website

Wairarapa DHB supports all pepe having their own sleep space and so offer pepi pods to anyone that does not have a bassinette or cot, Maori, Pacifika, smokers or those that may choose to bed share.  Your midwife can request this and it can be collected from the maternity unit.



Enrolment onto the free health services  available to all babies born in the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Wellington regions has been made easier as parents/guardians only need to complete one form following the birth.

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.

Birth Registration

Every birth in New Zealand must be registered by law. It's free to register your baby, but there's a charge if you want to order a birth certificate. Visit Smartstart to register online.

Check out Little Shadow a group for families experiencing distress in pregnancy or post baby’s arrival: https://www.littleshadow.org.nz/

Also, there is the Ruth project which you can get in touch with for home help support: https://www.facebook.com/theruthprojectwai/

Need help to get safe or to make a safety plan: https://wairarapawomensrefuge.org.nz/

She is not your Rehab: https://www.sheisnotyourrehab.com/about

Family Works: https://familyworkscentral.org.nz/help-centre/


Well Wairarapa - Better health for all

Pēpe Ora provides information to help you find the right services for you and your baby in the Wairarapa, from pregnancy to before school.

PlunketLine 0800 933 922

SmartStart provides step-by-step information and support to help you access the right services for you and your baby.

The Well Child Tamariki Ora team works with families and whānau to help give children/tamariki aged 0-3 years the very best start in life

Health Ed is a catalogue of free health resources brought to you by the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) and the Ministry of Health.

Annual Reports

Wairarapa Maternity Unit Video Tour

Wairarapa Maternity Unit Education Channel Video