Pregnancy support

NZDF Health can provide resources and advice to support your pregnancy.

How NZDF Health can help you

You have just found out you are hapū (pregnant). For some women, this is planned and welcome news. For others, less so, and it can be a real shock. So what do you do now, what decisions need to be made, do I have to tell my boss, who can help me?  It may seem overwhelming at first, but NZDF Health can give you the information and support you will need during this time.

Parenting Booklet

The NZDF Parental Planning Guide provides helpful information for military and civilian members of the NZDF, including on parental leave provisions and returning to work.  You can download the guide here, or reach out to your local Defence Health Centre (DHC) for a printed booklet.  Also available is a supplementary resource - NZDF Manager's Guide to Supporting Parental Leave 

Medical health

Your local Defence Health Centre (DHC) is able to provide an initial consultation to confirm your pregnancy. Following this, you need to engage a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) or private provider for all pregnancy related care. The DHC will continue to provide all non-pregnancy related health care.

Lead Maternity Care

NZDF do not provide lead maternity care for NZDF personnel. Speak with your local Defence Health Centre or Defence Community Facilitator for recommendations of local providers in your area.

Taha hinengaro (emotional & mental health)

Pregnancy can present you with many new challenges that at times can feel overwhelming, this is when you may need to ask for help. There are a number of organisations within the NZDF available to you.

  • NZDF4U Wellness Provider. Over the phone or meeting in person, NZDF4U will be able to provide you with counselling support.
  • Social workers. Located on your base or camp a social worker will be able to meet with you and help provide the counselling and referrals you may require.
  • Chaplains. Reach out to your local chaplain to receive the counselling and spiritual guidance you need.

Community Support

Your local Defence Community Facilitator (DCF) will be a great point of contact to share valuable resources in your area. Please contact your DCF and ask about:

  • Parenting classes
  • Equipment hire/toy library – you may be able to hire car seats, cribs, toys etc
  • Coffee groups for new parents
  • Community Pre/Post natal classes
  • Local events and support groups

Financial Support

To help you make better informed financial decisions, the NZDF has brought together a range of resources for you to use. These are available on the Force Financial Hub.

Career Support

Human Resource Advisors (HRAs) form part of the HR Services Delivery Team and are available to provide advice on HR related matters, including supporting conversations with managers about policy and employment related matters. HR Service Delivery staff contact details are available on the ILP HR Toolkit. You can also speak with your manager to ensure you're familiar with your leave entitlements and to help you form your parental leave plan. 

Pre & Post natal physical care

Physical therapy is an effective way to help you manage any pain and discomfort you may experience during your pregnancy or after birth. The amount of support required will vary between women, and may change during the course of your pregnancy and post natal recovery. 

  • Physiotherapy support. NZDF health will provide you physiotherapist support during the pregnancy, and for as long as required post-delivery.  For more information reach out to your local NZDF Physiotherapist to discuss the best plan for you.
  • Pre & Post natal classes. Your local gymnasium may offer pre/post natal classes, these vary between camps and bases so check their timetable or contact your local Physical Training Instructor (PTI) for more information.
  • Exercise during and after pregnancy. Here is the NZDF Guide to exercise during and after pregnancy 


The NZDF has a breastfeeding policy which enables members to either breastfeed or express milk for their child during work hours. The breastfeeding support period begins from the date of birth of the child, until the child’s first birthday. During the breastfeeding support period you do not need to make up the additional time taken, and your manager is expected to manage your workload to take into account these additional breaks. Applications to extend the breastfeeding support period, can be made to your manager.

Breastfeeding Facilities

The NZDF is endeavoring to provide breast feeding facilities on every base and camp. To locate your nearest parenting rooms, contact your local Defence Services Group (DSG) Service Centre or your local Community Centre.


Public-funded fertility treatment is available within the New Zealand public health system. Defence Health does not fund the provision of fertility services. Defence Health providers may refer you to fertility providers to access publicly or privately funded care, but any associated costs are met by you.
We understand fertility struggles can place a lot of pressure on yourself and your partner and strongly encourage you to reach out for social support - chaplains, marae, social worker and NZDF4U.

Useful resources.

Consult your GP or nearest Defence Health Centre for answers to any further questions or concerns. 

Fertility NZ is a charity dedicated to supporting, advocating for and educating all people who face infertility challenges at all stages of their journey and beyond.
Fertility Associates is New Zealand's leading provider of fertility diagnosis, support and treatment.

The loss of a child

The loss of a pregnancy can take time to recover from, whether that is through abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth.
Having the right support around you will help you to deal with these situations. Speak to your LMC or doctor about your feelings, they will be able to help and may refer you for further support as needed. There are also a number of organisations within the NZDF available to support taha hinengaro (emotional and mental health). These include chaplains, marae, social worker and NZDF4U, who can support you and your partner following the loss of your baby. The NZDF’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is also available to provide confidential counselling.

Bereavement leave support 

As an NZDF employee the law allows you to take three days paid bereavement leave if yourself or your partner experiences a miscarriage or still birth. The leave can be taken at any time and for any purpose relating to the death, miscarriage or still birth. NZDF personnel are not required to produce any proof of the pregnancy, miscarriage or still birth.
Personnel must have worked in NZDF for 6 months to qualify for this form of leave, as it is a form of bereavement leave. 

Useful Resources

Consult your GP or nearest Defence Health Centre for answers to any further questions or concerns. 

Whetūrangitia encapsulates the concept of whānau pani, wrap around support from family and whānau. This site explains financial entitlements, the coronial process, the customs, rules and laws around burials, birth and death certificates and important factors to consider after child loss.
Miscarriage Support offers empathy, emotion support and information for women who have lost their baby by miscarriage.
Pregnancy Loss provides facts about miscarriage, information, hope, and healing. This site includes a bulletin board, memorial and e-cards.


Seeking help early from a medical practitioner when terminating a pregnancy, is very important. The Defence Health Centre can provide you the initial advice and support to seek an appropriate health provider. This procedure is not funded by NZDF.
You do not need to advise your manager unless you choose to. It is recommended that you speak confidentially with an NZDF Medical Practitioner, as you may be provided sick leave, and might need to be on light duties during recovery. This is also the time to seek out support from one of NZDF Health’s many social support providers – chaplains, marae, social worker and NZDF4U.

Useful resources

Consult your GP or nearest Defence Health Centre for answers to any further questions or concerns. 

Abortion Services NZ - provide information and resources.
NZ Family Planning - provide information.
A heart breaking choice - provide support where a medical termination has been recommended, due to a pre-natal fetal abnormality.