Te tautoko i tō whanaunga e hapū ana Supporting your pregnant whānau member

Find out about changes in pregnancy, how you can support your pregnant whānau member, and how to be ready for baby’s birth.

Your changing whānau member

During pregnancy, your whānau member will change. Not just their body shape, but how they act around you and other people. 

In early pregnancy (up to around 12 to 14 weeks) they may feel very tired. Certain tastes and smells might make them feel sick, and they might seem grumpy for no reason. This usually goes away mid-pregnancy and they will feel much better again. 

Help around the house

  • Share the housework. 
  • Do the cooking. Some food smells may put your partner off cooking. If you cook, they are more likely to eat what they need to stay healthy and well. 
  • Do the heavy lifting. Do things for your partner like carry the groceries, washing baskets, and any older tamariki. 
  • Help with older tamariki. Take them to school or daycare, get them ready for bed, and take them out of the house so your partner can rest. 

Healthy food and drinks during pregnancy

Stay healthy and well

Both of you need to be healthy and well for the pēpi. This includes getting plenty of sleep, being active, eating well, and being smokefree.

Check-ups during pregnancy

Throughout the pregnancy, your whānau member will have check-ups with your midwife or doctor to make sure they, and the pēpi, are well. Try to get to as many of these checks as you can. You will learn more about the pregnancy, and be supporting them at the same time. 

Pregnancy and newborn screening — National Screening Unit (external link)

Antenatal classes

You can go to classes together to learn about pregnancy, giving birth, and parenting. You will meet other partners or support people, and be able to talk about the pregnancy and birth. The more you know about what happens during labour and birth, and the early days and weeks with a pēpi, the more you will be able to help. 

Issues and complications

Sometimes there are problems during pregnancy that need urgent medical attention. Know what the danger signs are. 

Common issues during pregnancy

Be ready for the birth

Your pregnant whānau member is strong and able to grow a pēpi and give birth. People giving birth often know what they need, so follow their lead in labour. If you are worried about labour, and the birth, make sure you talk about this with the midwife, and have any questions answered. 

What to do before the due month

Babies arrive when they want to. This could be before or after the due date. Here is a list of things to think about or do in the final few weeks before the due date.

  • Make sure that you can be contacted at all times. 
  • Decide how you will get to the hospital or birthing centre when planning a birth away from home. 
  • If you are using your own car, make sure it works and has petrol. Do a trial run at different times of the day or night to see how long it takes you to get there from your house, or place of work. 
  • Know where the hospital bag is, and be ready to take ti when labour starts. 
  • Pack an extra bag with your own things, including snacks, a camera, and your phone and charger. 
  • 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.
  • Think about what you might need for a home or water birth. 
  • Have childcare organised for other tamariki. 
  • Have somewhere safe for pēpi to sleep when they come home. 

Safe sleep for your pēpi

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

Keeping your pēpi safe in bed

If you need financial support

Work and Income may be able to help during pregnancy and after your pēpi is born.

Having a baby — Work and Income (external link)

Stocking up on supplies

Your whānau will be busy with your new pēpi in the first few weeks. Do as much planning as you can in advance.

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 other whānau members and friends to help you.

Time off work for partners

Partner's leave is available to help you support your partner and your new pēpi. If you are eligible, this will be 1 or 2 weeks of unpaid leave. You can find out more about partner's leave on the Employment New Zealand website. 

Types of parental leave — Employment New Zealand (external link)

You can also share parental leave between you and your partner. For more information about parental leave, who can take it, and how to apply, visit the SmartStart website.

SmartStart (external link)


Information for partners and whānau about providing support through a pregnancy and birth.

Inland Revenue

Apply for paid parental leave.

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