I have a new baby – what now?
Page last updated: 04/08/2022
The Ministry of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding until baby is around six months old. Following this, breastfeeding is still recommended alongside the appropriate complementary foods until they are at least one year old.
There is specialist breastfeeding support available for wahine Māori through Te Piki Oranga’s Well Child Tamariki Ora service.
Nelson and Wairau hospital maternity units are proud to be part of the international Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. This means that breastfeeding is encouraged and core midwives will advise and support you. However, should you choose not to breastfeed you will be equally supported.
It’s important that you join up with Plunket, Te Piki Oranga, or another Well Child Tamariki Ora service as soon as your baby is born, so that they can see your baby when your midwife finishes visiting you.
The free Well Child Tamariki Ora visits cover:
check that your baby is healthy and well
measure your baby’s weight and head size
check your baby body: heart, lungs, pulses, nerve responses, sex, hips, eyes and ears
give your baby Vitamin K to prevent bleeding problems, if you agree to this being given
check your baby’s development
help you to start breastfeeding your baby
support you and your whānau looking after your new baby
explain the screening tests for rare problems in your baby and, after your baby is 48 hours old (2 days old), take a spot of blood from baby’s heel to send for testing.
Your Lead Maternity Carer, GP or hospital specialist will refer your newborn baby for a hearing test.
This may occur before you go home with your baby, and should be completed by the time your baby is one month old.
The test is simple, safe, quick and won't cause your baby any discomfort.
Most newborn babies are checked for 'clicky hips' and hip dysplasia. This service is available at Nelson and Wairau hospitals.
SmartStart provides step-by-step information and support to help you access the right services for you and your baby. It covers:
what you need to do and when you need to do it
creating your own ‘to do’ list and helping you keep track of your progress
tips on keeping you and your baby healthy and safe
ensuring you are not missing out on financial help
information on people and services who can help you
creating your baby’s own official record.
The free Well Child app helps New Zealand parents create a health record for their child (0-5 years). By entering your child's date of birth, the app uses the device calendar to automatically set reminders for important dates like Well Child checkups and immunisations.
The Well Child app was developed as part of the Maternal and Child Health Integration project.
The Well Child app does not replace the Well Child Tamariki Ora, My Health Book (also known as the Plunket book), but has been designed to sit alongside it.
Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) was one of three DHB’s in New Zealand that received Ministry of Health support to develop systems and processes to demonstrate how maternal and child health services can be better integrated and coordinated.
NMH worked in collaboration with consumers and a number of providers across the district on a number of components to improve our system and processes.
The project was also supported by the Iwi Health Board and they gifted a phrase to support the concept:
Kia korowaitia aku mokopuna kit e korowaitanga hauora
We want to wrap our future generations in a cloak of health and wellness
To better understand why accessing our health services can sometimes be difficult the project team gathered feedback from consumers and clients of our services.
A consumer advisory panel was established to help us understand what is really important to families when accessing a service.
For a copy of the consumer feedback report Collating Consumer Voices email: [email protected] .
A key initiative of the project was the development of the free Well Child app for mobile devices.
A wallet card for 0-6 year olds and a fridge magnet were also developed.