Kia takatū mō te taenga mai o tō pēpi Getting ready for your pēpi

Whether you are planning to have your pēpi at home, in a birthing centre or in hospital, there are things you should think about before your pēpi is born. You and your whānau should also think about what you need to do to get your home ready for baby’s arrival.

Your birth plan

As part of planning for your care, your midwife or healthcare provider will help make a birth plan with you. 

The plan describes your wishes for the labour and birth. It is also useful if your midwife or healthcare provider cannot be with you during your labour and birth for any reason. It will let the backup midwife or healthcare provider know what your wishes are.

Things to think about

  • Where you want to give birth — at home, in a birthing centre or in hospital.
  • Who you want with you during the birth.
  • How you would like the place of birth to be set up, such as with your own pillow, music and lighting.
  • What pain relief you may want, if any, such as water, acupressure, gas and air (a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen sometimes called Entonox), morphine or fentanyl injection, or an epidural.
  • What you would like to do with the whenua (known as the afterbirth or placenta).

How to make a birth plan — NHS UK (external link)

If you are worried

You may be excited to meet your pēpi but worried about labour and birth. Labour and giving birth is a natural, normal process that some people look forward to experiencing. Others worry that they may do a poo (tuutae) as they push. Some worry about the safety of their pēpi during labour. Talk with your midwife or doctor about any worries you may have.

If things do not go to plan

Remember that sometimes things do not go to plan. If there are complications during labour or birth, your midwife or doctor will be making sure that you and your pēpi are safe.

Some people like to talk about potential complications before the labour starts, and others prefer to wait and see what happens at the time.

Preparing for the birth

Whether you are planning to have your pēpi at home, in a birthing centre or in hospital, you should get a few things ready at least 2 weeks before your due date. 

  • Organise transport to the birthing centre or hospital if you are planning to give birth away from home.
  • Have hospital bags packed for you and pēpi. Your midwife may give you a list of things to pack.
  • Think about what you need if you are having a home or water birth. Talk about your plans and what you need to prepare with your midwife. 
  • Know who your support people will be and how to contact them.
  • Have childcare organised for other tamariki.
  • Have a car seat installed in the car. Hospitals and birthing centres will not allow you to leave unless they have seen your car seat or capsule.
  • Know what the signs of labour are.
  • Think about which general practice you would like to enrol your pēpi with once they are born.

  • Your home birth — Home Birth Aotearoa Trust (external link)
  • Car seats — Whānau Āwhina Plunket (external link)
  • Signs of labour
  • Enrol with a general practice

Antenatal classes

Classes about pregnancy, giving birth and parenting (sometimes called childbirth or antenatal classes) can help you to learn more about pregnancy, how to prepare for labour, birth and the first few weeks after your pēpi is born.

Antenatal classes

Getting your home ready

Safe sleeping

Your pēpi needs a safe place to sleep. They need to be in their own cot, bassinet, wahakura, pēpi pod, or other baby bed for every sleep.

Keeping your pēpi safe in bed

Financial support

If you need financial support to help with your costs, visit the Work and Income website. 

Having a baby — Work and Income (external link)

Stocking up

After your pēpi is born you will not want to do much more than rest and care for them Make sure you do as much preparing as you can before you give birth.

Stock up on basics, such as toilet paper, sanitary pads and nappies.

If you have a freezer, cook some meals in advance and freeze them. Ask your partner, whānau and friends to help you.

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