Every mum needs support. Whether you are doing this all on your own or whether you have a large support network or whānau already in place, there are many additional resources in the community available to you. Below you will find a discussion of topics which may cause added burden to your pregnancy experience.

Work/Finances

Most maternity care is provided free to New Zealand Residents and Citizens. This includes:

  • Antenatal care provided by midwives and General Practice physicians
  • Your stay in a public hospital or birthing centre
  • Referrals to a hospital or specialist obstetrician for necessary pregnancy care
  • Postnatal home visits from a midwife to look after you and your new baby

What is NOT covered:

  • Consultations scheduled with a private obstetrician
  • Maternal care provided by a private obstetrician
  • Elective ultrasound scans and other tests undertaken by private facilities
  • Elective Caesarian Section
  • Maternity care for non-New Zealand residents or citizens (except in certain cases)

For more information on the coverage of pregnancy services, see the MOH website or talk to your LMC.

A primary carer (the person who takes permanent responsibility for the care of a child) is eligible for up to 18 weeks primary carer leave and an additional 18 weeks parental leave which she may share with her spouse or partner. Specific criteria apply to qualify for these benefits. Please see Employment New Zealand for more information.

Budgeting the increased expenses involved with having a child can be daunting. From nappies to school fees, you may be feeling overwhelmed! New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services can offer fast and free advice to help you manage your finances in this next phase of your life. And don’t forget you may be eligible for Tax Credits with the new addition to your family.

Single Mums

Even if you don’t have a partner in this pregnancy, you are not alone. There are many community service organisations which can help you out. Birthright NZ works with single-parent families to offer practical assistance and help them effectively use community resources to achieve long-term stability in their homes. The House of Grace  is a home for pregnant teens that gives them a place to live and helps them prepare for childbirth and their roles and responsibilities as a parent. VIBE works with youth ages 10-24 to provide health and counselling services and can help you get your life on track. Here you can meet other young mums and and share experiences during a Chill’n Chat,  Presbyterian Support, and Greenstone Doors  can help you obtain baby clothing and equipment and provide additional pregnancy support. All of these organisations provide services free of charge, and are happy to help when you need them. For additional services, see Useful Links.

Family Violence

Your LMC is a safe person you can trust to advise you in any violent situations. There are also numerous support groups which can offer help in times of crisis–seeking help should be your number one priority for you and your baby. For more information on the programs in your area, see:

Family Violence comes in many forms, but it is NEVER OK. This beautiful video starring Tina Cross and a South Auckland police choir gives the important advice to “walk away” from family violence. Whether you are the abuser or you are the one being abused, it is better to remove yourself from a violent situation than to stay in it for the sake of “being a family.”

Miscarriage/Stillbirth

Children without parents are called “orphans,” a person who loses their spouse is called a “widow” or a “widower,” but there is no word to describe a person who has lost a child. Miscarriage is defined as the natural death of a foetus or embryo before it is viable to survive outside the womb (up to about 20 weeks). After that time the loss is considered a stillbirth. It is estimated that 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage, usually within the first trimester. The sadness, anxiety, and guilt that can accompany the loss of pregnancy may seem insurmountable! You are not alone. Though your grieving is unique, it is sometimes helpful to share it with others who know what you are going through. Wellington Miscarriage Support Group  meets monthly, and additional resources can be found at www.miscarriage.org.nz

There is actual, physical pain associated with miscarriage, and the hormonal and emotional shifts in your body can amplify and intensify that pain. It is important to seek out support to help you heal and grieve if you or your partner are not able to cope with the loss on your own.

Multiple Babies

Congratulations! It is estimated that multiples account for around 1.4% of births in New Zealand so you are joining a very unique group of parents. If you have no idea what to expect, never fear! There are many resources available for you! Multiples NZ is a great place to start. In addition to providing emotional and community support, the website outlines several financial support opportunities to help you cope with the increased financial burden on your family.

It is important that you have selected a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) who is trained to deal with multiple births—in general this will be an obstetrician at a public hospital. For more information about selecting an LMC, see our page

Childbirth and Early Parenting Education

Pregnancies and babies do not come with instruction manuals, but fortunately you can take a class! birthEd offers a range of childbirth, breastfeeding, and early parenting classes to suit your needs and most of these classes are free! Head on over to our Courses page to find out more.

For a comprehensive list of other support organisations in the Wellington and Hutt Valley areas, click HERE.