Baby is on its way

The time is getting closer for you to meet your little one (or ones!).  In preparation for baby’s birth and to guide you safely through your pregnancy journey, some key points are highlighted below to assist you; minimising any undue stress.


Contact your Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) OR The Labour & Birthing Unit IMMEDIATELY should you experience any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Constant abdominal pain, cramps or contractions before the baby is due
  • Any vaginal bleeding
  • Leaking  of fluid from the vagina
  • Slowing down of baby’s movements or an obvious change in the pattern of movements (IMPORTANT: Click here to see what your baby movements are and what they mean)
  • Severe vomiting
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Vaginal discharge which becomes itchy or smelly
  • You develop high blood pressure and/or protein in your urine which can be signs of pre-eclampsia.

Other signs also include:

  • Persistent or severe headaches
  • Problems with vision such as blurring, flashing or spots before the eyes
  • Bad pain just below the ribs on your right side or upper central abdomen
  • Unexplained or severe vomiting
  • Sudden swelling of your face, hands and feet/ankles (especially in the morning)
  • Becoming hot and cold with chills and fevers, or unwell with flu like symptoms


Preparing for labour

Knowing where you will be giving birth is important so that you can plan for this.  Many options are available which include giving birth at home, in the hospital or at a community birthing unit.  This forms part of your birth plan.  Please talk to your midwife or lead maternity carer (LMC) in ensuring the best outcome for you and your baby. 

Some hospitals or community birthing units invite families to attend a tour of their centres.  Other centres will provide a virtual tour of birthing units on their websites.  Please ask your midwife or LMC for more information as this helps you to find the Labour & Delivery suites in advance as well as become familiar with car parking arrangements. 
Click on the links below to view some of these centres:


National Women’s Birthing Unit Tour

Counties Manukau Health Maternity Services

Waitemata DHB Maternity services

Waikato Region:

Waikato District Health Board

Wellington Region:

Capital & Coast Maternity Facilities

Hutt Valley Region:

Hutt Maternity

Canterbury Region:

Canterbury District Health Board Area

Southern Region:

Southern District Health Board Area

West Coast:

West Coast Maternity Services


Once you have a fair idea of where you will give birth, preparing for ‘baby’s arrival’ includes having:

  • Bags packed in advance for you and baby (see checklist)
  • Transport organised
  • Support people organised
  • Care for additional children organised
  • Having a relaxed environment to labour in e.g. dim lights, soothing music, quiet safe space; and
  • A baby car seat already installed in the car (hospitals and birthing units will not allow you to leave unless they have viewed your car seat or capsule).  Click on the link to see where you can hire or purchase carseats – e.g. plunket


Signs of labour

If you think you are in labour, contact your lead maternity carer or the Labour & Birthing suite and let them know what is happening.  They will guide and advise you on what to do.


  • Constant abdominal pain, cramping or contractions
  • Vaginal bleeding/mucus show
  • Leaking of fluid from the vagina

 PREPARING FOR BABY – Click here to see a list of suggested items

Content provided by Mary Matagi

Mary Matagi currently works as a midwife.  She is also one of two National Pasifika representatives on the New Zealand College of Midwives.  Having worked previously for more than 10 years within the Plunket Society as a Registered Comprehensive Nurse, then qualifying as a Midwife since 1997, Mary brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise which spans more than 20 years within the Health profession.  Mary's passion and commitment has always been to serving the Pasifika communities to the best of her ability; especially the mothers, babies and vulnerable families - in an effort to improving health literacy, raise awareness and prompting early engagement with health services.  ‘The work we do is multi-faceted, requiring a multi-pronged approach – the only way forward to improving health outcomes for all, is through working collectively as a unified group if we are to make a significant difference.’