Mum & Baby New mums checklist Here's a simple checklist to help guide you through the first months of parenthood. Download Register the birth In most states, you’ll need to register your baby’s birth within 60 days. If your hospital or birthing centre doesn’t give you the form, grab one from your local post office. Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement If you’re breastfeeding, you may need help to ensure you’re getting enough of the important nutrients for both you and your baby. Try a multivitamin and mineral supplement designed for women who are breastfeeding, such as Elevit Breastfeeding. Send out birth announcements Welcome your new arrival with cards or emails to friends and relatives! If you want to be traditional, you can put an announcement in the local paper. Claim Government financial benefits The Government has a number of financial benefits you may be able to claim. Check your eligibility for Paid Parental Leave on the New Zealand Government Website. Add your baby to your Medicare card and private health insurance Register your baby with Plunket as soon as possible. This will automatically put them on the National Childhood Immunisation Register and you’ll be reminded when vaccination shots are due. Contact your private health insurance company to include your baby in your cover. Arrange your postnatal health check Book a health check-up with your doctor about 6 weeks after the birth to make sure everything’s going back to normal. It’s a good time to chat about your feelings and any problems you’re having. Arrange your baby's checkups and vaccinations. Your baby’s regular check-ups should be booked between 1 to 4 weeks, 6 to 8 weeks, and 6 to 8 months. First-year vaccinations are due at 3, 5, 12 & 15 months. Check childcare & education options Confirm your childcare arrangements if you’re heading back to work. If you’re considering a private education for your child, start making enquiries now. The waiting lists for some private schools fill up years in advance. Start postnatal exercises Your pelvic floor and tummy muscles will need toning up after birth. Why not join other new mums in a postnatal exercise class at your hospital or local gym. Consider contraception If you’re not planning another pregnancy, consider contraception. Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding is not an adequate contraceptive. Check the methods that won’t affect your breast milk with your doctor. Look after your own emotional health It’s quite normal to feel a bit down in the first weeks following birth as you juggle the demands of a new baby. These feelings usually ease of their own accord, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed or sad more than 2 weeks after baby has arrived, speak to your midwife or doctor. Breastfeeding Familiarise yourself with various breastfeeding positions Breastfeeding is not a breeze for everyone, so it’s great to have a few extra positions up your sleeve if your baby is refusing to latch on. Invest in some extra physical support Many new mums swear by their breastfeeding pillows or breastfeeding chairs. Your comfort while breastfeeding is very important, so don’t dismiss it as a luxury if you think it will make feeding time a lot more pleasant. Take a breastfeeding multivitamin A healthy diet is important and it’s especially important to have a diet that supplies the increased nutrients you need during breastfeeding. Consider Elevit Breastfeeding to ensure you’re getting enough of the important nutrients, such as betacarotene, omega 3, B-group vitamins, folate and vitamins C and D, calcium, iron and zinc. Pick up some breastfeeding clothes Whether you end up going the whole way with breastfeeding tops and dresses, or simply invest in a few maternity bras is completely up to you. Breastfeeding PJs are also available for those first few weeks when you often stay at home. Get a breastfeeding blanket or muslin If you’re not 100% comfortable breastfeeding in public or breastfeeding in front of other people, a breastfeeding blanket or muslin will make you feel a whole lot better. Not all babies will enjoy being covered, but it’s worth a try. Buy or hire a breast pump It is possible to express breast milk by hand, but a pump definitely makes life easier. You can hire them to start, if you’re not totally convinced yet. Don’t forget to also buy some bottles and airtight containers for storage. Breast milk storage bags and breast pads to help manage any leakage are another option to consider. Stock your fridge with healthy food Healthy eating and finding the right nutrient rich food for breastfeeding requires planning ahead, so try to have a fully stocked fridge at all times. Frozen vegetables, fruits, and meats are a great way to ensure you always have something on hand. Find more breastfeeding dietary information in our nutrition page. Download a breastfeeding app With all the new things going on, it’s hard to keep track of all the feedings and progress you and your baby are making. Breastfeeding apps come with handy timers and daily journals, which are great for keeping up with milestones. Organise some breastfeeding entertainment It’s not uncommon to be feeding for up to 45 minutes at a time. Yes, a lot of this is precious bonding time, but there will be moments where you need a little something to keep you entertained. Download some of your favourite TV shows, buy some audio books, or create a breastfeeding playlist to pass the time pleasantly. Join a parenting group If you’re new to motherhood it’s important to take all the emotional and practical support you can get. Locate a parenting group on Facebook, Gumtree, or a parenting website and start meeting fellow breastfeeding mums or mums who have breastfed before. You can even start off in online parenting groups if you’re not ready for public outings yet. Attend a breastfeeding class If you have questions about breastfeeding, breastfeeding classes can provide answers and advice to give you the confidence you need to successfully breastfeed. You can contact your midwife, early childhood nurse or find a local lactation consultant who can advise you of your nearest class, or search online parenting sites for more details.