Midwife visits for the first 6 weeks

From birth to 6 weeks of age, your midwife will visit regularly to make sure you and pēpi are both healthy and well.

What the visits are for

These visits provide you with the help and support that you need. The midwife will also check on your baby’s development and arrange for extra support if this is needed.

When your pēpi is around 6 weeks old, you are returned to the care of your healthcare provider or GP. Your midwife will transfer your notes to them. You will need to enrol your pēpi with a general practice.

General practices (internal link)

Your baby’s care will be transferred to a Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse at around 6 weeks. They will get free regular health checks from the nurse up to 5 years of age. 

Well Child Tamariki Ora visits — Ministry of Health (external link)

How often you will have visits

At your first visit after pēpi is born, you and your midwife will work out the schedule of visits for the next 4 to 6 weeks. This will be based on your needs and their way of working.

If you need more visits in this time than you have agreed, contact your midwife for an extra visit.

The first week visit

At one of the visits when your pēpi is around a week old your midwife will check your baby’s health and development again. Your midwife will also check that you are healthy and well.

What your midwife will do

At your baby’s first week check, your midwife will:

  • check that your pēpi is healthy and well, and measure their length, weight and head size
  • check that your pēpi can see and hear well
  • check your baby’s development
  • ask about where your pēpi sleeps
  • talk about how you are and how you are getting on, including your experience of the birth, being a new parent, your mood, your whānau, smoking, drinking and drugs, money worries, and family.

Things to talk about at midwife visits

These visits are a good time to talk with your midwife about your pēpi and being a parent. You could talk about:

  • your baby’s feeding and breastfeeding
  • safe sleeping for your pēpi
  • what your baby’s behaviour means, for example crying
  • immunisation
  • knowing when your pēpi is sick and what to do about it
  • being smokefree
  • car seats and car safety
  • how to enrol your baby with a Well Child Tamariki Ora provider, a general practice, and the Community Oral Health Service
  • keeping yourself healthy and well, and where to ask for help when you need it

whānau relationships.

The last visit

The last visit with your midwife is when your pēpi is 4 to 6 weeks old. Remember to have your baby's My Health Book with you.

Well Child Tamariki Ora My Health Book — HealthEd (external link)

What your midwife will do

During the visit the midwife will:

  • ask about breastfeeding and offer help if you need it
  • ask you about the birth if you do not bring it up
  • ask what you would like to change for the next birth
  • check how you are feeling and ask questions to check that you are well
  • revisit earlier discussions about contraception and, if you wish, give you a prescription
  • check that your pēpi is healthy and well, and measure their length, weight and head size
  • check that your pēpi can see and hear well
  • check your baby’s development
  • ask questions about your health and wellbeing, including about family violence
  • hand your baby’s care to your Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse
  • refer your pēpi to your healthcare provider, GP or practice nurse for their 6-week immunisations — National Immunisation Schedule (external link)
  • give or link you to an anonymous feedback form for you to fill in about the midwife's care — Feedback — New Zealand College of Midwives (external link)

Handover to Well Child Tamariki Ora

Your midwife refers you to Well Child Tamariki Ora services at about 3 weeks, so there is a handover period from maternity care to your Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse between 4 and 6 weeks. The nurse will ring you to make a time to visit you. This handover to the nurse will be discussed and decided between you and your midwife.