Most women first suspect they are pregnant when they miss their period. This can be confirmed by taking a pregnancy test. You can get pregnancy test at your chemist or supermarket that you can do at home. The test identifies traces of pregnancy hormones in your urine. You can also contact a midwife, your GP or family planning. They may do a urine test or a blood test to confirm you are pregnant.
Early signs of pregnancy may or may not include swollen, tender breasts, darkened nipples, tiredness, bloating and a need to pass urine frequently.
Many women feel “morning sickness” by the 6th week of their pregnancy. You may be sensitive to smells and tastes and you may not feel like eating. It’s a good idea to eat small, healthy meals, drink plenty of water, avoid fatty or sugary food and get plenty of sleep.
Not sure I want to be pregnant
When you find out you are pregnant there are 3 options:
Option one is to continue on with your pregnancy
Option two is to continue with the pregnancy and adopt the baby out
Option three is to undergo a termination of pregnancy. If you would like a termination of pregnancy you need to see your GP for a referral.
Find a Lead Maternity Carer
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 you can arrange the tests you will need during your pregnancy.
There aretwo choices of an LMC in the Hutt Valley. Your LMC can be a midwife or a private obstetrician. Your LMC will be responsible for your care throughout your pregnancy, birth and for up to 4-6 weeks after your baby is born.
Your LMC will care for you and your baby’s health through pregnancy and after your baby is born. At any point in time your LMC will refer you to other health professionals that you may need.
For more information on what to look for in an LMC click here: https://www.midwife.org.nz/women-in-new-zealand/what-to-look-for-in-a-midwife
Maternity care is free for New Zealand citizens, women with permanent residency and women who have a work permit and are able to stay for two years. The Ministry of Health’s website has information on eligibility criteria.
If you are interested in having your baby at home ask the LMC if they provide this
service as not all LMC’s do.
More information on Home Birth and home birth courses can be found at www.homebirth.org.nz
BirthEd also run home birth courses click here for further information http://www.birthed.co.nz/
What a Lead Maternity Carer does
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 an on-going care plan that includes the choices you need to make during your pregnancy, labour and birth - and after your baby is born. They are available during business hours to provide advice and provide emergency care 24/7. They will also arrange backup support in case they are unavailable.
Your LMC will attend your labour and the birth of your baby. 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.
If your LMC is a private obstetrician a hospital midwife will care for you during labour and your LMC will arrange postnatal care by a midwife for you and your baby when you go home.
Contact your LMC if you:
- have vaginal bleeding
- are in pain
- think your water has broken
- are concerned about your baby’s movement
- think you are starting labour, or
- have any other concerns during your pregnancy
For an excellent guide to being pregnant and childbirth in New Zealand, see Your Pregnancy/Tō Hapūtanga on the HealthEd website.