A safe sleep space is considered

    •    Free from other people who might overlay the infant and that the infant will always be able to breathe easily with clear airways nose and mouth. The soft nose and face tissue of baby means that even very small amounts of pressure can stop baby from breathing.
    •    Free of gaps that could trap or wedge an infant, making breathing hard or impossible.
    •    Firm surface so the infant’s neck does not flex and block breathing, and the face cannot get buried in the surface.
    •    Flat with feet at the bottom of the baby bed, so the infant does not suffer compromise to the airway of breathing by moving down under blankets, rolling over, tipping out, the sleep space turning over or becoming wedged.
    •    Free from objects that might cover the face – nothing should be put near baby that could cover the face during sleep. I.e. pillow, soft toys, pets especially cats.

Blood group and Rhesus factor

Your blood is tested to find out or confirm your blood group – A, B, O or AB. It is also tested to see if you are Rhesus Factor (Rh) Positive or Negative. Rhesus factor is a substance most people have in their blood. Around 85% of the population has the rhesus factor and the remaining 15% do not. If you do not, you are Rhesus Negative.

If you are Rhesus Negative and your first baby is Rhesus Positive it will not be a problem for your first baby, but it may result in severe anaemia for other Rhesus positive babies in subsequent pregnancies. This happens if some of the first baby’s Rhesus positive blood gets into your blood stream during pregnancy or labour and your blood creates antibodies. Treatment is needed to prevent the antibodies in your blood from crossing the placenta and attacking and destroying the next Rhesus positive baby’s red blood cells, leading to haemolytic anaemia. The treatment is an injection of Anti-D given after the birth of your first baby, or after a miscarriage or a termination of pregnancy (abortion).

If you experience any bleeding from the vagina during pregnancy it is important to tell your Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) as soon as possible.

If you are Rhesus Negative you will be offered a second blood test at around 28 weeks of pregnancy in order to check on whether or not your blood contains antibodies.


The infant has received liquid or infant formula from a bottle with a nipple/teat.


Is when baby receives breastmilk.


A surgical operation for delivering a child by cutting through the wall of the mother's abdomen.


Commonly referred to as "baby's first milk," it is a sticky white or yellow fluid secreted by the breasts during the second half of pregnancy and for a few days after birth, before breast milk comes in. It is high in protective antibodies that boost the newborn's immune system.

Combined Screening (Down Syndrome and other conditions)

Screening can provide some information about the chance of your baby having Down syndrome or another condition. The new screening options available improve the quality and safety of screening services for pregnant women who choose to have screening. There are two screening options available:

First Trimester Combined Screening: This new option combines the results from a blood test taken in the first three months of pregnancy and a nuchal translucency (NT) scan with other information, such as your age and weight, to give a risk result.

Second Trimester Maternal Serum Screening: This improved option combines the results from a blood test taken in the second three months of pregnancy, with other information, such as your age and weight, to give a risk result. This screen is more accurate than the older MSS2 test as it measures four chemicals in the blood instead of three.


Your body's means of pushing your baby down the birth canal and out into the world.


Is a disease where your body cannot control its blood sugar levels properly either because your body doesn’t make enough (or any) insulin, or because your cells have become resistant to insulin.


An unborn human baby, esp. in the first eight weeks from conception, after implantation but before all the organs are developed.

Exclusive Breastfeeding

The infant has received only breastmilk from the mother, or expressed breast milk for 6 months; and no other liquids or solids with the exception of drops or syrups consisting of vitamins, mineral supplements, or medicines.


An unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception.

First Blood Test

At one of your first visits with your midwife or doctor, they will give you a form to go to a medical laboratory for your first blood tests.  Six different tests are carried out on the first blood sample you agree to give.  The tests are: your blood group and Rhesus factor, Full blood count, Hepatitis B, Rubella, Syphilis and HIV.  It is your decision on whether you choose to have the tests done.

Full Breastfeeding

Exclusive breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding together create full breastfeeding.

General/Practitioner Doctor

Is a medical practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education for all ages and all sexes.

Hepatitis B

Your blood will be tested to see if the Hepatitis B virus is present. Hepatitis B is a virus that can cause inflammation of the liver. Most infected people are carriers of Hepatitis B and do not have any symptoms of illness. Mothers who have the virus or are carriers are likely to pass the infection on to their newborn baby. Babies who become infected risk dying of liver-related diseases.

If you have Hepatitis B your baby will be offered a course of vaccinations that start within two hours of birth. Most babies who are vaccinated will not become infected with the Hepatitis B virus.

HIV Screening

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that affects the body’s ability to fight infection. It can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) if left undetected and untreated. The number of people with HIV in New Zealand is low. However that number is increasing and so all pregnant women are being offered an HIV test as part of their antenatal care. A woman with HIV can pass the virus on to others including her baby during pregnancy, birth or through breastmilk. The HIV test will be done at the same time as other routine antenatal blood tests (blood group and Rhesus factor, full blood count, hepatitis B, rubella and syphilis). One sample of blood can be used for all the tests. All of these tests are free to most women.

La Leche League

A non-profit breastfeeding support group.

Lactation Consultant

A health professional who provides breastfeeding support and education.  They can be found in hospital settings, or in some community health providers.  Ask your midwife and Well Child Nurse as they will be aware of how to access them.

Lead Maternity Carer (LMC)

Means a person who provides personal maternity care and support throughout pregnancy, labour and the first weeks (4-6weeks) of baby’s life. They could be midwives, GP’s with a diploma in obstetrics or obstetricians.


Listeria is a bacteria that can be found in foods such as deli meats and salads, cooked poultry (chicken) products, smoked seafood’s, soft cheeses and foods which have been in the fridge for a while.  This can make you sick.  Infection with listeria bacteria is called listeriosis.  Pregnant women and the unborn child are one of the high risk groups of developing listeriosis.

There are two forms of foodborne listeriosis: non-invasive and invasive.

Non-invasive: symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, muscle pain, headache, occasional abdominal cramps and vomiting. Most people recover fully.

Invasive: for people at risk, listeriosis causes ‘flu-like’ symptoms of fever, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting. In a small number of cases symptoms may progress to more serious forms of the illness, such as meningitis and blood poisoning. In pregnant women symptoms may be mild but can result in miscarriage, premature birth, or in rare cases, stillbirth.

If you think you might have listeriosis, consult a doctor immediately. The illness can usually be diagnosed through a blood test.

Symptoms usually appear within two to 30 days of eating contaminated food, but it can take up to 70 days before people experience symptoms.


Is a person who is a specialist in pregnancy and birth and has successfully completed a recognised prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the required qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery.



Loss of an embryo or fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy.  Most miscarriages happen during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Newborn hearing screening

Newborn hearing screening checks whether your baby hears well. All eligible babies can have newborn hearing screening free of charge.

If your baby has a hearing loss, finding it early will help their language, learning and social development.

Newborn hearing screening has become the expected standard of care internationally. Programmes have been established in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and a growing number of other countries.

Newborn Metabolic Screening (Heel prick)

This is where a blood sample is taken from your baby’s heel at or as soon as possible after 48 hours of age (the ‘heel prick’ or ‘Guthrie’ test). If a disorder is found, early treatment can prevent permanent damage or death. It assists with finding rare but potentially serious disorders such as phenylketonuria (PKU), cystic fibrosis, and congenital hypothyroidism.


Medical specialist dealing with the care of all women’s reproductive tracts and their children during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.

Partial/Predominant Breastfeeding

The infant’s predominant source of nourishment is breastmilk. However, the infant may also have received water and water-based drinks (sweetened and flavoured water, teas, infusions, etc.), fruit juice; oral rehydration salts solution (ORS), and ritual fluids (in limited quantities). With the exception of fruit juice and sugar water, no food-based fluid is allowed under this definition or formula.

Pre eclampsia

Is a medical condition characterised by high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein in the urine of a pregnant woman. If left untreated, it can develop into eclampsia, the life threatening occurrence of seizures during pregnancy.

Rubella (German measles)

This test is done to see if you have antibodies to rubella. If you catch rubella during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or severe problems such as deafness, brain damage, and heart defects in your baby. If you have no rubella antibodies in your blood you will need to stay away from anyone who has rubella while you are pregnant and you will be offered a rubella vaccination after you have given birth.

Second trimester maternal serum screening

Second trimester screening combines the results from a blood test with other information, such as your age, weight, and how far through your pregnancy you are, to calculate your screening result.

Sudden and Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI)

Is the sudden death of an infant under one year of age that is unexpected by caregivers. Although unexpected, it is vital to support families in understanding that the risk of this occurring can be reduced.


The division of pregnancy into 3 month sections.

Well Child/Tamariki Ora Provider

Provides specific child health assessments according to the National Well Child schedule from 4 weeks of age to just before school checks. Providers include: GP’s, Plunket, Māori provider, Pacific provider, or Public Health Service.