The New Zealand Pregnancy Book


The New Zealand Pregnancy Book

3rd Edition

By Sue Pullon and Cheryl Benn

ISBN: 9781877242403

RRP $54.99



The New Zealand Pregnancy Book has been used by thousands of parents since it was first published in 1991.  Its ongoing popularity reflects the demand for a comprehensive book written expressly for New Zealanders.  This new edition offers modern parents and their families a wonderful insight into what pregnancy and childbirth looks like in the twenty-first century.

each step of pregnancy, birth and the baby's first months is set out with detailed information and clear diagrams.  A remarkable set of full colour photographs brings the journey to life, expressing feelings and emotions that are so much part of having a baby.  Contemporary personal stories complement the text, offering readers insights into the joys and delights of this profound experience, and also the risks and difficulties.  Women and men who have recently become parents share here some of life's most intensely private and deeply felt times - making this a very special book for New Zeraland and New Zealanders.

Pregnancy, birth and early parenting are part of a continuous lilfe process.  This book describes not only the amazing physical and emotional changes that take place in a woman's body during pregnancy and birth, but also has advice on pre-pregnancy health, common problems and potential difficulties, pregnancy care and birth choices, and caring for a new baby.  There are practical sections on everything from exercise and nutrition to baby equipment and nappy-changing, not only for women but also for partners and support people.

The authors, GP Sue Pullon and midwife Cheryl Benn, draw on many years' professional and academic experience in general practice and midwifery respectively.  Together, they bring a rare depth and range of evidence-based knowledge to the project.  They have worked closely with a wider group of experts, along with the publishing and design team, to create an accesible, practical and reliable guide for today's new parents.

About the Authors

Sue Pullon, the principal author, trained as a doctor ad then as a GP in the 1970s and early 1980s.  She has worked as a GP ever since, continuing part-time while her own three children were small.  She has postgraduate qualifications in obstetrics, general practice and primary health care.  Since 1994, she has been a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice at the University of Otago, Wellington, where she teaches undergraduate medical students, supervises and teaches postgraduate studies for primary health care professionals, and researches women's health, health promotion and inter-professional learning.

Cheryl Benn, principal co-author, trained as a nurse and midwife in South Africa in the mid-1970s, and has practised as a midwife from that time on.  After the birth of her two children, she moved to New Zealand in the early 1990s and worked as a lecturer in midwifert at Massey Univeristy.  Since 2000 she has practised as a lead maternity carer while continuing her eatching and research into breastfeeding, midwifery practice and the health need of women in New Zealand.  Cheryl has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 1992, and is Midwifery Adviser to the MidCentral District Health Board.

Yvonne Ferguson, physiotherapist adviser and contributor, has post-graduate qualifications in women's health physiotherapy, and has provided expert physiotherapy care for pregnant women in the Nelson area for many years.  She is passionate and knowledgeable about the role of exervice and movement in daily life, especially as part of the active enjoyment and management of pregnancy.

Margot Schwass worked with Sue Pullon and Cheryl Been on the text, providing expert editorial advice for the book as a whole.  margot also worked with all the pregnant women and new parents who shared their stories for this new edition - some by writing, some by being interviewed.  Margot has many years experience as a writer and editor, including working with people from different cultures and faithes to produce Last words: Approaches to death in New Zealand's different cultures and faiths (BWB).  She works regularly with organisations such as the Bioethics Council, the Health and Disability Commissioner, and the Institute of Judicial Studies.

Hope Tupara and Donna Cormack reviewed the book from a Maori perspective, making a range of contributions.  Hope Tupara (Ngai Tamanuhiri, Ngai Te Rangihouhiri, Kai Tahu) is an experience midwife with a background as a midwifery lecturer.  She also served on the Midwifery Council of New Zealand and as a national committee member for the New Zealand College of Midwives.  Donna Cormack (Waitaha, Kati Mamoe, Kai Tahu) is a health researcher at the Eru Pomare Research Unit at the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago.  her research interests are Maori health, ethnic disparities in health, access to health services, and racism.  Donna participated in this project as a new mother, her first child having been born as the book was being written.

Janice Wenn and Lani Wills provided Maori and Pacific Island perspectives.  Janice Wenn (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa) and Lani Wills from Tonga both have extensive nursing backgrounds.  They have shared wise and special reflections from their experience.

Adam Errington has been illustrating for a wide variety of media since 1990, with clients in New Zealand and the UK.  His work ranges from advertising storyboards to corporate logos, from diagrams to woodcuts.  The diagram style used in this book was developed to convey information in the clearest way for a general audience.

Daniel Allen is an independent professional photographer whose work includes commissions for publishers in many fields.  Dan and his wife, Sarah, have three young children and are based in Nelson, part of a large and vibrant community of parents and their children.  Dan has been privileged to meet and get to know the many parents and prospective parents who agreed to be photographed for the book.


During my first pregnancy I wanted to know everything there was to know about pregnancy, childbirth and newborns and collected as many books on the topic I could get my hands on.  I (or should I say our bank account?) was fortunate to have a very good friend of mine lend me a whole pile of books that she had collected 18 months earlier whilst expecting her first child.  The first book I picked up was The New Zealand Pregnancy Book and I must say, all the rest paled into insignificance.  I love the fact that it was a 'one-stop-shop' to answer all my questions and unlike all the rest, it was written by New Zealanders for New Zealanders!

I refered to that book over and over again throughout my journey into parenthood and having returned it to my dear friend many moons ago I still remember how valuable it was and recommend it parents-to-be.

I was pleased to see that Sue Pullon and Cheryl Benn, along with an array of experts, have published an up-dated edition - bringing an already comprehensive text into the twenty-first century.

The New Zealand Pregnancy Book is a must read for all expectant parents.  It will answer all your questions without bogging you down with too many medical jargon.  The diagrams are easy to understand and the photography is heart-warming.  The personal stories of New Zealand families is simply the icing on the cake.

Reviewed by: Franciska


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