Helpful advice for the birth and afterwards

Your baby is nearly here! Here is some helpful advice for you and your partner before, during and after the birth.

Some of our information has moved

The Health Information and Services website (run by Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand) is the new home for this information.

Getting ready for baby

Whether you’re planning to have your baby at home, in a birthing centre or in hospital, there are things that you should think about before your baby is born. Your midwife or specialist doctor will help make a birth plan with you. Find out more about getting ready for baby and who to have with you during the birth. Partners have a role to play too, read our advice for dads.

Looking after yourself

Being a new parent is like nothing else you’ll ever do. It brings joy and surprise as you get to know your new baby, along with sleepless nights and changes to your body and sex life. Find out about looking after yourself and the pelvic floor muscle exercises that will help your body recover too. 

You may feel down after having a baby – known as the ‘baby blues’. These feelings usually only last a day or two. If the blues don’t go away you may be developing postnatal depression. Ask for help. Postnatal depression can be treated.

Sex after having a baby may feel like the last thing you want to do. Some women have sex a few weeks after their baby is born; for others it may be several months later. Having sex again when you are ready is one approach, but sometimes having sex again within 6 weeks actually helps you to realise that your body is back and functioning again.  

Coping with a crying baby

All babies cry. Crying can mean hunger or a dirty or wet nappy, or they may just need a cuddle, a song, a walk or a ride to soothe them. Your baby will cry to tell you what they need; as you get to know them better you will learn what each cry and sound means. How you respond to baby’s crying will make baby feel secure and safe. Read our tips on coping with a crying baby.

In this section

  • Your pelvic floor muscles support your bladder, uterus (womb) and bowel. They often become weaker during pregnancy and childbirth. Find out about the exercises that you can do to strengthen these muscles and help prevent your wetting your pants.  Read more
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