Pēpi says

My brain, nerves, my heart, lungs, bones and muscles have developed by the 1st trimester. My brain is growing so well that my head is nearly as big as my whole body. I’ve been growing for three months now and I’m beginning to make hormones.  My brain and body need hormones to help me grow.

You can see the two halves of my brain. My lungs are getting ready to help me breathe after I’m born. I can hear and recognise familiar voices.

My brain is the only organ that is not fully developed by the time I’m born – that’s because I need more good experiences with whānau and the outside world for my brain to continue its development.

Eat well, māmā
Drink lots of wai māori
Make sure we get plenty of rest māmā!

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Whānau says

We are excited and a little bit worried. There’s so much to think about and decide on like... Homebirth, or hospital? Traditional Māori birthing? Midwife or doctor? Water birth? What things should māmā avoid to keep pēpi safe? 

Kei te pai te tipu a pēpi?  Our regular checks with our midwife or doctor will let us know if our baby is growing well.

We enjoy learning from stories about what happens in our whānau when someone is hapū.

We have been thinking about names for pēpi. We’ve been asking friends and whānau for ideas. 

It’s better to be ready and prepared a few weeks earlier than the due date.

Kia maumahara whānau.
No question is silly.
Ask our midwife or doctor anything we need to know about being hapū.
Keep talking to friends and whānau. Don’t be scared to ask for help, ’ahakoa he iti, he pounamu’.

The legend of Tānemahuta and the creation of the first woman.

Tānemahuta, the god of the forest and birds, decided one day that he wanted to create people to walk on this earth. He searched both land and sea, and then finally Tānemahuta went to his mother, Papatūānuku, for her advice and knowledge.

Papatūānuku told Tānemahuta to go to a place called Kurawaka, for it was there that her blood had flowed into the ground when she and Ranginui were torn apart. There he would find the earth that would be essential to creating a woman.

Tānemahuta journeyed to Kurawaka and here he found the red clay that Papatūānuku had spoken of. From the clay he shaped a female body, then Tāne took her in his arms, pressed his nose to her nose and breathed life into her nostrils. Her eyes opened and she sneezed. Tihei Mauriora! Let there be life!

This is one version of the creation story of the first woman, Hine-ahu-one, the Woman of the Earth.

This pakiwaitara reminds us that:

  • Learning is a life-long journey.
  • Belonging and the importance of whānau and being part of a group is a human need.
  • Asking for advice from people with experience and knowledge that you trust can help.
  • At times we may need to search for knowledge 
  • We should value and respect our mothers and female role models.
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Pomarie - Maisey Rika

Kaitiaki Pēpi
Keeping māma and pēpi safe during pregnancy

Some iwi have special tikanga for a pregnant wahine. Pregnancy is about care and awhi for māma and the unborn pēpi.  Some whānau and iwi provide māma with special kai and relieve her from stressful or hard work to safeguard her health and the development of pēpi at this time.

Find out some of your own whānau tikanga around keeping māma and pēpi safe during pregnancy.

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Ngā mahi a whānau
Waka Huia

A waka huia is a traditional Māori treasure container used to store a person’s most precious taonga. Highly prized and carefully treasured waka huia were often given as gifts.  They could be passed between individuals, whānau or hapū to acknowledge relationships, friendships and other significant social events. 

Make a waka huia to hold treasures for pēpi. This could become the first heirloom for pēpi. Let’s get creative! All you need is:

  • A container or shoe box
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Cellotape
  • Coloured paper
  • Shells, natural resources
  • A range of art supplies and anything you would like to use to decorate your waka huia.
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Your baby’s brain

Some brain cells are being programmed for specific jobs, like getting the heart beating at the right pace, activating their reflexes and preparing their lungs to breathe outside of the whare tangata.

During the second trimester areas in their brain are making connections for what they hear. So when you sing your oriori, waiata or when you kōrero to your puku, pēpi can hear.

Pēpi can also sense and respond to bright lights even though they aren’t born yet. If you shine a torch on your puku, pēpi will turn their head away. If you get a fright, so will they.

Waiata Kohungahunga
Aue māmā, aue pāpā

Waiata mai!

Aue māmā

Aue pāpā

Hōmai te aroha

E tangitangi ana ahau

E pouri ana ahau

I tō kōrua haerenga

Whakarere ana ahau

Māturuturu ngā roimata e

Tips for parents
Pēpi shares ways you can connect together

Waiata ki ahau – sing to me

Tango whakaahua – take photos of us

Mirimiri i ahau – massage me

Whakanuia – celebrate our news

Kōrero ki ahau – talk to me, share stories with me.

Waiata Kohungahunga
Tīrama, tīrama ngā whetu

Come along let’s sing!

Tīrama, tīrama ngā whetu

Kei te pēhea rā koutou

Kei runga ake rā

Te taimana tōrite

Tīrama, tīrama ngā whetu

Kei te pēhea rā koutou

The wisdom of past generations

Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu.
Although small, it is precious like a greenstone.

Nā tō rourou, nā tōku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi.
With your knowledge and my knowledge we will thrive.

Me aro koe ki te hā o Hineahuone.
Pay homage to the essence of womankind.

Ngā mahi a whānau
Listen, learn or even write your own oriori

Try and write an oriori using the kōrero whakaniko technique. Or just listen to one to relax (get some oil or cream and give yourself a mirimiri too).

Here's some inspiration: Maisey Rika singing her lullaby ‘Pomarie’.  Maisey says this lullaby is about a relationship between a mother and her unborn baby. It describes the range of emotions an expectant mother might experience - excitement, delight, exasperation and dismay. The words also describe how the pëpi responds to and becomes familiar with the mother's voice and touch. 



Wharetangata - a place of protection?

Remember that everything that mama eats, drinks or breathes is shared with pēpi.


Take your kids on a journey

Maui and his first journey is perfect for story time.

Available as an iphone app or at whakatipu.org.nz/maui