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Whanganui Regional Health Network - Pregnancy and Parenting

 Here you will find information and support that will help you prepare for pregnancy and how to care for your new arrival. Learn about the benefits of healthy pregnancy and how to maintain it by connecting to community services who will support whānau/families.

Pregnancy and parenting classes are facilitated by qualified childbirth educators. These are available for all pregnant women and their support person.

We have Monday and Thursday evening classes or Sunday day classes, which run in Whanganui. Classes are also available in Taihape and depending on demand, may run in Waimarino and Marton.

Topics include:


  • Being healthy and well – avoiding smoking, alcohol and drugs; keeping up immunisation during pregnancy
  • Eating well and being active
  • Scans and screening during pregnancy
  • Pregnancy discomforts – which are common and which are warning signs
  • Preparing to be a parent
  • Preparing your home for baby – what clothing, furniture and bedding you need for baby
  • Preparing for labour and birth – including healthy exercise and what to pack for the hospital or preparing for a home birth.

Labour and birth

  • Options for where to give birth
  • The stages of labour – the signs and stages of labour
  • Labour coping skills
  • Role of the father/support person during labour
  • Managing pain
  • Possible complications and how these might be managed.

The first few weeks after baby is born

  • Skin-to-skin contact straight after the birth
  • Your body after the birth
  • Vitamin K and newborn screening
  • Caring for your baby – bonding with them, settling them to sleep, responding to their cries
  • Safe sleep
  • Postnatal depression
  • Enrolling baby with a General Practice (doctor and practice nurse) and a Well Child Tamariki Ora service
  • Immunisation and the National Immunisation Register.

Learning about being a parent

Other classes and services are available to help you learn about being a parent.

  • Family Start
  • Plunket.

For further information please contact the Pregnancy & Parenting Coordinator on 06 348 0109, extn 733 or 029 771 1677 or email reception@wrhn.org.nz.