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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 are two choices of an LMC in the Hutt Valley. Your LMC can be a midwife or a private obstetrician. 

For more information on what to look for in an LMC click here:

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.

Home birth

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

BirthEd also run home birth courses click here for further information

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 care for you and your baby’s health through pregnancy, birth for up to 4-6 weeks after your baby is born. At any point in time your LMC will refer you to other health professionals that you may need.

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:

  • Feel your baby's movements have changed
  • Notice spotting or light bleeding
  • Have any flu like symptoms
  • Have persistent headaches, blurred vision, flashing lights
  • Feel any contractions or cramping
  • Are constantly vomiting
  • Have sharp or severe abdominal pain that continues
  • Notice your hands and feet are itching

For an excellent guide to being pregnant and childbirth in New Zealand, see Your Pregnancy/Tō Hapūtanga on the HealthEd website.

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