Life with a newborn can be absolutely amazing, but it can also be hectic and overwhelming. Thankfully there are a range of services that parents of newborns can access for support. Here’s 51 New Zealand services for new parents.
Arm yourself with information
- Start here to find out what maternity services you qualify for, to find a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) or to find maternity services in your area.
- Mamamaternity.co.nz is another great source of information on LMCs and pre-pregnancy info.
- If you are interested in having a homebirth, check out homebirth.org.nz.
- You can see what services your local District Health Board (DHB) provides.
- The IRD has information on what financial assistance or domestic help you may be entitled to.
- The A-Z of benefits lists support you may qualify for from Work and Income.
- The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has all the information on your entitlements to Paid Parental Leave.
Find an antenatal group
Antenatal classes are a great way to prepare yourself for the birth as well as give you a group of people in the same situation to meet with. There are a variety of organisations around the country which offer antenatal groups.
Most DHBs have antenatal classes, often with a variety for parents of different ages, culture, creed, etc.
Often midwife cooperatives will offer antenatal classes, so you could talk to your midwife about possible options. Otherwise, your best option is just to start with a Google search of antenatal classes in your area.
- La Leche League is a well known organisation that offers support throughout New Zealand.
- You can find a lactation consultant here.
- Breastfeeding New Zealand has an awesome Facebook page that may be useful for quick help. They regularly run live chat sessions for people to get some instant advice.
- Piripoho Aotearoa is a services that links mothers who have excess breastmilk to those who would like some for their babies. This is great for people with feeding issues who would rather not use formula.
Well Child services
Plunket is the largest provider of Well Child services in New Zealand, however parents are able to choose from a range of providers.
Your LMC should give you a list of Well Child Providers, including your GP, Karitane, Tamariki Ora, or your local Family Centre. Most centres have several providers including services catering specifically for Maori and Pasifika.
- Plunket Family Centres offer a space for mothers and babies to go for help. There are beds set up if you need a nap and the staff and volunteers are available to give advice and support.
- There are a number of Māori health provides providing Whānau support services around the country.
- Bellyful.org.nz offers support in the form of meals for families with newborns. They have 20 branches throughout New Zealand that coordinate volunteers to cook and deliver meals.
- Mothering Mentors is a group set up by mothers of older children who want to help out those with younger ones.
- Parents of multiples can get support via the Multiple Birth Association
- Pregnancy Help provides support beyond pregnancy in most branches. They often offer items like bassinets, baby and maternity clothes as well as advice and guidance.
- Raisingchildren.org.nz has information for parents that may be helpful.
- Birthright provides support for single parents.
- Teenage parents can find information and more links for support services in Support for teen parents.
Health and special needs resources
- Parent2parent‘s goal is to inform, educate, inspire and support family’s experiencing a disability.
- Cryingoverspiltmilk is a great site if you think your baby may have reflux.
- This Kids Health website is a great little resource and has more links to health and disability services.
- The Neonatal Trust offers support for parents with sick or premature babies.
- Early Buds provide packs of goodies for families with premature babies.
- You may find this Facebook page useful for support of parents with medically fragile children.
Regional support services
- Parent Aid is useful if you live in Waitakere
- Evolve is a great youth focused service for parents under 25 in Wellington.
Mental Health Support
- Postnatal Depression (PND) is a common issue for mothers with newborns. Check out Post-natal depression for more information. Mothers Matter is a trust that offers support for families experiencing postnatal depression. They also have links to local services that can help.
- The depression helpline offers 24 hour phone support for anyone suffering depression: 0800 111 75
- The baby blues is different to PND, but can also severely affect families. Read our article The baby blues for more information.
- Affinity Services could be useful for Mother’s living in Auckland.
- Most DHBs offer some form of maternal mental health services, see your DHB’s website or ask your doctor for more information.
Things to get you out of the house
- Many libraries run baby song and rhyme sessions. These are really informal, and lots of fun. Check out your local libraries website or go in to find out when they are on.
- Plunket parent groups or PIN (Plunket in Neighbourhood) groups are a good way to make contact with other parents in your neighbourhood.
- Toy libraries are great for giving you a range of toys at low cost.
- Most regional centres have services running toddler gym classes. These are great for building confidence.
New parents’ education classes
- SPACE is a programme for new parents run by the SPACE NZ Trust. It has a once a week group with songs and games and parenting information.
- Plunket parenting education program (PEPE) consists of five courses, aimed at supporting parents through the different stages of their child’s early development.
- Parents’ Centre run six national parenting programmes through 50 centres around the country.
- The Parenting Place is another organisation that provides great parenting courses as well as parenting resources.
- SAGES is a mentoring service pairing up older mentors with new parents.
- Healthline: 0800 611 116
- National Poisons Centre: 0800 764 766
- Parent Help Line: (04) 499 9994 or 0800 568 856
- Plunketline: 0800 933 922. This is a 24 hour phone line that offers on the spot advice to parents about pretty much any non-health issue to do with your child
- Barnardos Parent Help Line: 0800 4 PARENT (0800 472 7368).
If you’re involved in or have experience with an organisation not listed here, please let us know so we can consider adding it to the above information.
For more information, and hundreds of expert articles, you should start here in our Babies section.