Motherwise Labour & Birth

OH Baby Book Cover International Edition

OH BABY - Birth, Babies & Motherhood Uncensored

Some Mums call it their “Bible” – others say they refer to it “religiously” – but either way it’s a phenomenally informative book, written by a Kiwi mother for soon-to-be mothers, and researched alongside leading Obstetricians, Midwives, Paediatricians & Holistic Healers.

Motherwise Day 1 baby heirloom layetee

Day-1-Baby Heirloom Layette

So MANY new Parents bring the wrong clothing to Birthing Suit for their Brand New Baby, thinking they’ve bought the right thing. DON’T BE ONE OF THEM! MotherWise in conjunction with Roots & Wings 100% Merino-wool have created this absolutely unique and perfect first clothing for a Day-1-Baby.

Your child is going to wear special outfits for special events its entire life, from their 1st Birthday to their 21st Birthday, and from their School Ball to their Wedding Day. And on this MOST IMPORTANT DAY of their entire Life(!), when they are at their most vulnerable to cold-stress, this Day-1-Baby Layette will ensure your brand new Baby is purring’ly content with the perfect core temperature.

BACK-STORY: While catching hundreds and hundreds of babies as a senior Midwife, I found myself repeatedly frustrated at how dreadfully inappropriate the “Newborn” clothing oftentimes is that caring loving Parents would bring to Birthing Suite … not enough layers, ill-fitting hats, synthetic fibres, outfits the newborn is “swimming” in. You see, most new parents never realise “Newborn”-sized clothing is actually designed to fit a baby who is around 4-8 weeks of age who have typically put on weight and height. What fits a Day-1-Baby is VERY different to what fits a thriving 2-month old … even though 0-3 Month-Old clothing is all sold as one ‘Newborn’ size … but Babies are not ONE size for 3 months!

We strongly recommend investing in your precious Newborn having the correct clothing to wear on their Birth-Day, and for
their first 1-3 weeks of life. The Heirloom Layette consists of:

• 1 specially-designed Day-1-Baby long-sleeved singlet-bodysuit (to keep their vital organs warm)
• 1 specially-designed Day-1-Baby jumpsuit onesie-romper (to keep the rest of their body warm)
• 1 Beanie-Hat (to prevent rapid head-loss)
Then, for a personal touch, add on your favourite Cardy/Jumper/Jacket (especially in autumn, winter & spring).
These multiple layers of 100% finest-quality Merino wool are perfect to enable your Baby’s skin to breath naturally.

AND REMEMBER, THIS IS AN HEIRLOOM PRODUCT: That means, it is specifically designed to be handed down in your family – from sibling to sibling, from grandparent to grandbaby, over generations. Like a traditional baptismal-gown, the Day-1-Bay Layette becomes the very first clothing ALL your family’s Newborns will wear. This heirloom product becomes an Inherited family treasure, and a cherished bequeathed gift of tradition for many decades to come. (We provide a bespoke calico bagfor long-term storage).

Ina Mays Guide To Childbirth

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Best described as the Godmother to midwifery in the USA, Ina May Gaskin is an amazing woman who has achieved extraordinary things in her lifetime, and this is her Bible to empowering women to understand their pending labour and birth. If you think of my OH BABY’s Childbirth chapter as your undergraduate Degree, then reading this book is like getting your Masters. I recommend this book for all first-timers, and all second-timers striving for a more natural, normal and empowering birth.

Active Birth Cover

New Active Birth- A Concise Guide to Natural Childbirth

Alongside Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, this New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas has always been the other go-to book I would recommend for women striving to achieve a natural labour and normal birth. Reading them both is incredibly empowering. One point of note to Kiwi readers: Because NZ is a midwifery-led maternity healthcare system (meaning that women generally only see Obstetricians when complications have meant that things are no longer ‘normal’) this means that our country’s birth statistics are some of the world’s best, and in general terms you should not need your Midwife to ‘protect’ you from unnecessary Obstetric intervention. In NZ, the Doctors respect Midwives are the more experienced expert on ‘normal’.​

Unmentionables disposable briefs undies

Unmentionable Disposable Briefs

Called ‘unmentionables’ because they’re often something we don’t talk about that much, but disposable undies can be an absolute godsend after birth, as gosh, we mums can have a few bleeding discharge ‘accidents’. And frankly it’s so great not to have to think about pre-soaking panties for the washing-machine. They come in 5-packs in two different sizes, are strong, soft, and easily fit and hold a maternity sanitary pad in place. I recommend having a couple in your Childbirth bag, and the rest in your Postnatal bag. Just brilliant!



I have always strongly advocated that all first-timers hire a TENS machine to assist with managing the pain of Labour. But if you’ve never heard of it, you have to ask what the heck it is! TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.

I always explain it like this: There is something called the Gate Theory in physiology, which hypothesises that only one message at a time of pain can travel up the spinal column to the brain. And that is why, when you stub your toe, your instinct is to vigorously massage the toe, because the rubbing then becomes the dominant signal. And using a TENS machine during Labour is a similar strategy, equivalent to hours of vigorous back massage to dominate over the message of contractions. TENS is especially fantastic for helping manage the pain of active labour at home (and during the drive to the birth facility) – but my advice is: Don’t put it on too early. WAIT until you absolutely feel you really, really need it (save it in reserve) for when the contractions become so strong you can’t talk through them, and are all nearly a minute long, and are starting every 3-4 minutes. [Anything before that is still only Latent Labour which may or may not successfully establish into Active Labour.]

Jane of Natal Care has been one of NZ’s pioneers hiring out TENS machines for childbirth. NB: Many hirers of TENS machines state that the earlier the machine is used the better “to build up endorphins”. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that point. As a Midwife, I have found it is better for the woman to build up endorphins with simply using breathing techniques until she is close to establishing into strong Active Labour, then she starts to use the TENS. And then, between the TENS, and alternating with the hydrotherapy of soaking in a Labour Pool, (plus homeopathy and aromatherapy), and perhaps with a bit of nitrous gas added in during the advance labour period of Transition, I have subsequently witnessed hundreds of women experience stunning, empowering and beautiful natural births.