New Zealand Guidelines and workforce tools


The following resources for the maternity and child health workforce have been published by the New Zealand Ministry of Health (MOH), Health Promotion Agency, Sport NZ and other agencies.  They provide an important, consistent information base to refer to when recommending specific healthy lifestyle advice to women and families. They explain the national guidelines for recommended food group servings, safe exercise levels and weight management in pregnancy, as well as the background to today's recommendations on the introduction of solids.


These same organisations have also published companion brochures and website pages for women and families to take home or read in their own time. All of these family resources can be found in the Family resources section of this website.


The Ministy of Health, Health Promotion Agency and Sport New Zealand have all developed a series of resources about nutrition during pregnancy and breast feeding.

Food and Nutrition Guidelines: 

The Ministry of Health has published a series of five population age group background papers which include specific healthy eating guidelines for each age and stage group. The background papers provide the evidence base for the Ministry's nutrition advice, and are an important tool for health professionals who work with women and families to be familiar with. The current structures of the background papers are under review but until then the papers most important to maternity and child health professionals keen to support healthy choices in pregnancy and the early years are: 

There are also several short information brochures based on the guidelines' key points that are available for women and families to take home. You can view these in our Family resources section of this website or order them to give to families on the Ministry's HeathEd website.   

Physical activity recommendations in pregnancy: 

The Ministry of Health recommendations for physical activity in pregnancy are the same as for healthy adults: 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most if not all days a week. 

There is also a short information brochure specifically produced for pregnant women to take home published by Sport NZ. You can view it in our Family Resources section of this website. 

Guidance for Weight Gain in Pregnancy 2014: 

This Guidance published by the Ministry of Health in 2014 updates and replaces earlier weight gain advice included in the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women (Ministry of Health 2006) to align with the Institute of Medicine‚Äôs (IOM) 2009 updated guidelines. 

The Guidance for Weight Gain in Pregnancy 2014 has been written to inform a health professional's practice and recommends specific practice points for pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and postpartum. The series includes a background paper and a range of resources that can used in practice such as an LMC's Quick Reference Guide, a Record Card to give to a women, and a poster.

Information for health professionals to give women and families to read at home has also been produced. View it in the Family resources section of this website or refer your families to the Your Health section on the Ministry of Health's website. 

Other tools:

Health 4 Life has produced a useful and easy-to-understand guide about being healthy and active in pregnancy and in early childhood.  The guide, Loving Pepe for Life, can be used to discuss positive lifestyle choices for immediate and long-term health with clients.

It also comes with a wellness plan which can be used to plan and track lifestyle behaviour changes.  

Other workforce education options:


Many maternity and child health workforce organisations offer specific maternal and infant nutrition and physical activity training as part of their professional development frameworks. In addition to this health practitioners can choose to enrol in programmes including:

Many DHB and community organisations around New Zealand also offer training opportunities. Contact your local organisations for more information.