Do I need to see my GP first prior to meeting with a midwife?

No, your midwife is able to arrange all tests and scans that are needed. It is best to meet with your Midwife prior to 11 weeks so that any pregnancy screening tests can be arranged in a timely manner.

How often will I see my Midwife?

Your Midwife will meet you for an initial consultation lasting approx 45mins.  Each subsequent appointment will last  about 20mins.  You will be seen on a monthly basis until 32 weeks then seen fortnightly till 36 weeks, then weekly till your baby arrives.

When do I need to contact my Midwife during pregnancy?

Your Midwife is happy for you to call her in between your next appointments for general questions, during the day. Your Midwife is available 24/7 for emergencies and labour. Phone your Midwife night or day if you have any of the following

  • heavy bleeding soaking through underwear/clothes
  • constant and severe abdominal pain 
  • preterm (<36 weeks) contractions 

Will my Midwife be at my birth?

Your Midwife or her Back-up Midwife is always available for Labour care.  Occasionally babies come early so their is a small chance your Midwife may not be available. Our Midwives work in pairs so that we are able to have weekends off with our own families. 

When do I call  my Midwife if I am in labour?

Your Midwife will discuss this with you towards the end of your pregnancy.  Generally we like all our woman to be in establsihed labour prior to going into hospital/birthing unit.

Established Labour is defined as having regular, painful contractions that last at least a minute and are approx 3mins apart. You may pass a mucousy show that may be clear, brown or red.  If your waters go and it is clear or pink in colour - this is normal, please let your Midwife know in the morning.  If it is green please call your Midwife to tell her.

Do I have to stay in hospital after the baby is born?

If everything is normal with you and your baby you can either stay at hospital, transfer to a birthing unit (Warkworth or Helensville)  or go straight home. North Shore Hospital gives all women a 24 hour stay after a normal birth. If you have a Caesarean you are able to stay in hospital for 3-4 days or can transfer to a Birthing Unit after 24 hours.

How long will my Midwife see me after my baby is born?

Your Midwife will see you at home until your baby is 4-5 weeks old.  The Plunket Nurse will take over your babies care once your Midwife has discharged you. She will organise a referral to them direct.

How much bleeding will there be after my baby is born?

It will be red and heavy for the first 12 hours and then settle to darker red for the next 2-3 weeks. It is normal to pass some small clots as well.  Most woman find their bleeding is very light or has stopped by 4-5 weeks postnatal.  If your bleeding becomes heavy again after it has settled or you are passing large clots (small orange size), contact your Midwife.  Once your bleeding has stopped most woman who fully breastfeed their babies do not get their periods for 6 months or more!

What are Afterpains?

These are cramps or pains in your lower abdomen and can vary from a mild period pain to something similar to labour contractions. They are caused by an increase in hormones that help your uterus (or womb) to contract.  Breastfeeding also makes your uterus contract.  They occur  in the first few days and are less common in woman having their first baby.  You can take panadol  if required.

How do I increase my chances of successfully breastfeeding my baby?

Having your baby skin to skin from birth and encouraging an early breastfeed within the first hour will get things off to a great start.  We encourage mums to feed their babies on demand and not to offer any alternative method of feeding.  Some babies require extra feeding and your Midwife will show your how to hand express breast milk.