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exploding myths

– about racial stereotyping

a dangerous ADDICTION – One mum’s secret battle with the bottle

I’ve got an itch to


– Eczema under the microscope

can I eat that? – Pregnancy nutrition

making sense of it all – Understanding immunisation

I didn’t fit in

anywhere – Baby Loss Awareness Week


The magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc

Parenting tips • Childbirth • Family finances • Breastfeeding • Lifestyle • Family health


the worlds most compact, all-terrain side-by-side just got even better! Not only introducing innovation to new products, Mountain Buggy looks to enhance what is already the leading side-by-side in the market. Holding true to Mountain Buggy’s DNA of adaptability, manoeuvrability, simplicity and durability, duet™ has proven itself to be a firm favourite for families of one or two children. These enhancements take an already popular model into an exciting new direction including a new one hand fast fold, plus enhanced accessories such as our carrycot plus and our new and stronger joey.™ joey™ – the clip-on tote bag, easily transforms duet to a single buggy with loads of storage, making this the perfect convertible for first time parents.

more tips for choosing the best buggy… Size DOES matter Whoever said that size doesn’t matter has obviously never pushed around a buggy! Selecting the size of buggy that suits your lifestyle is key. For example, if you live in the city, regularly catch public transport, plan to do a lot of shopping or have limited storage space, you will want something that is compact and slimline. You also need to consider the size of your car boot. There’s nothing worse than struggling to get your buggy in your boot while a car sits impatiently behind you waiting for you to vacate your parking spot. We recommend testing the ‘boot fit’ at your local retailer to make sure it fits in with ease. If you plan to travel a lot, consider getting a compact buggy that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your car and doesn’t feel too cumbersome to deal with at an airport.

Stow it! As all new parents soon discover, babies have a lot of gear! Storage quickly becomes a big issue. A decent sized parcel tray that is easily accessible is essential for popping in your chocka baby bag and your shopping.

TLC for your buggy Anything with moving parts needs some tender loving care to keep it in good working order and buggies are no exception. Read the instructions to find out how to keep your buggy in the best working condition. It’s as simple as keeping the

tyres pumped (essential for a smooth ride, but don’t over inflate them) and lubricate the brakes every so often. Some buggies now come with solid wheels that don’t require air. This type of wheel is low maintenance and puncture-proof.

Beauty is in the eye… It’s easy to get carried away with the look of a buggy however you need to ensure it can handle your environment. For example something that looks like it just hopped off a fashion runway (with tiny wheels) may not fare well on a farm. Many buggies offer a simple foundation with accessories available to personalise and create something that represents your style. Retaining a sense of self with a new baby is important however being practical will make your buggy experience much more enjoyable. Colour matching your baby bag and buggy may be fun but it shouldn’t be at the top of your list of ‘must have’ features.

Find the perfect fold All buggies fold differently and some are more intuitive than others. Try it instore with the help of a shop assistant. The key thing is to practise before you take your buggy out for the first time so you don’t get stuck with a buggy that you can’t fold. Buggy brands will often have instructional videos on their websites to guide you as you practice. Encourage your partner to learn as well! �

Melissa Zgomba, Phil&Teds

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Photo Credit: Jo Frances Photography

Amy Shannon, Henry Fa'afili & Baby Harper

Special Features


Exploding myths about racial stereotyping

Letters to the Editor............................................................. 4–5­­

Kerstin Kramar............................................................................. 8–12

Product information page................................................ 6–7

A dangerous addiction Eleanor Cater................................................................................ 16–19

Mind the gap Karen Shead................................................................................. 20–22

Irreverent fun with Dawn McMillan ................................................................. 26–27

I’ve got an itch to scratch Penny Jorgensen......................................................................... 46–50

Make bath time fun Johnson’s Baby............................................................................. 14

Exercising during pregnancy.......................................... 24–25 Tastes great and is good for you Nadia Lim...................................................................................... 28–29

Breastfeeding, a cents-ible choice Mama-Licious............................................................................... 30–31

Latched on and loving it!................................................. 32 Eat, drink and be elsewhere Stephanie Matuku....................................................................... 34–35

More tips for choosing the best buggy..................... 36 Talking about toilet training

Knowledge is power

Helpful strategies from SKIP.................................................... 38

Preparing for a trip to hospital................................................ 52–53

Parents Centre pages........................................................... 39–45

Can I eat that? Pregnancy nutrition.................................................................... 54–56

Curbing that cough Judy Coldicott................................................................................ 58–59

Spring clean your budget Kate van Praagh.......................................................................... 60–61

I didn’t fit in anywhere Jenny Douché............................................................................... 62–65

Understanding immunisation Nikki Turner................................................................................... 66–69

An EGGcellent option Sarah Hanrahan .......................................................................... 72

Winners from our last issue............................................ 73 Find a Centre........................................................................... 74 Directory page......................................................................... 75

Have your cake and eat it

Shopping cart........................................................................... 76–79

Eileen Harrison............................................................................. 70–72

Giveaways.................................................................................. 80


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years




We’re all in the same boat

Exploding myths about racial stereotyping There is a myth in popular culture that young children are ‘colour-blind’ or do not notice race. But current research demonstrates that children not only recognise race from a very young age, but also develop racial biases by ages three to five. Although race and racism can be difficult topics it is important to educate ourselves and discuss them with children in an ageappropriate way.

A dangerous addiction Are you familiar with ‘the slide’? One evening drink at the end of the day sliding to two, possibly three? How a weekend habit can sometimes creep into Thursday, possibly even Wednesday? Courageous stay-at-home Mum Lotta Dann talks publicly about her battle with alcoholism.

Understanding immunisation During childhood, children are exposed to thousands of germs, some of which are potentially harmful to their health. Immunisation is the most effective way to actively protect your child from many preventable diseases, but how does it work and what are the risks?

Kiwiparent – Since 1954 the magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Editor

Leigh Bredenkamp Ph (04) 472 1193 Fax (04) 938 6242 Mobile (0274) 572 821 leighb@e– PO Box 28 115, Kelburn, 6150

Editorial Enquiries Ph (04) 233 2022 or (04) 472 1193 info@e–

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Taslim Parsons Ph (04) 233 2022 x8804 Mo 021 1860 323


Rainbow Creative


PMP (NZ) Limited


Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Phone (04) 233 2022 Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher. Advertising in this magazine does not imply endorsement by Parents Centres. Generally material in this publication may be reproduced provided it is used for non–commercial purposes and the source is acknowledged. However, written permission must be sought from the editor. Kiwiparent is proud to support the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981.

I grew up in South Africa when racial segregation was entrenched by law and pervaded every aspect of our lives. The colour of your skin dictated where you lived, what level of education you would receive and whether or not you could vote. It also meant that your skin tone decided what access you had to basic services – like health care, education and even emergency services. One ambulance for whites, another for blacks. It was more insidious than that. On a day to day level, I grew up knowing that there was one entrance into the post office for whites and another for blacks. Park benches were marked for whites or blacks only, as were bus stops. Sitting in the wrong place could lead to arrest and imprisonment. Beaches were segregated so whites would swim in one place while blacks were relegated to another. We were raised to think that people whose skin colour was not the same ours were different, alien and likely a threat. As a child, I remember being aware of the injustice. My beloved nanny could not travel in the car with us on holiday as it was not allowed – she had to go by train. A blacks only train, of course. And when we got to the hotel, she was housed in servants-quarters which were nowhere near as comfortable as our suites. She wasn’t allowed to eat with us or to go into the lounges or dining rooms. She could supervise us on the beach but was not allowed in the water. It was madness and I knew it. When our first child was born we knew we wanted something different for our family, and so we migrated to New Zealand. The only country we knew that had a treaty that enshrined the rights of the indigenous people. Our children grew up free from the racial bias that invaded every aspect of our childhood, but prejudice is a sneaky thing and can creep in under the guise of fear and ignorance. Every day I am thankful that we live in a place where our children and grandchildren mix with friends of all cultures. Their role models come from the vast rainbow aspect of humanity and they know that worth comes from lives well lived not from appearance. This is arguably one of the most important lessons we pass on to the next generation even if the subjects of racial inequality and stereotyping are hard to broach and discuss. But silence does not shield the young, information and knowledge are much better protection against racism and prejudice. In the words of the great Martin Luther King:

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

ISSN 1173–7638

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letters to the editor

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Keeping it clear

Top letter

I am a big fan of Kiwiparent magazine and have read every copy since having my first baby 3 years ago. I also have a one year old and as a Mum and a dietitian, I always find articles on starting solids and nutrition for children interesting. I was disappointed with the article in issue 260 (June/July 2014) titled "Getting a Solid Start". First time parents are subject to so much information and I would hope that information published in reputable magazines would be based on evidence rather than personal experience. There are very clear guidelines from the MOH regarding starting solids and the following quote is from the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (Aged 0-2) - A background paper.

"An infant’s nutritional needs influence the age at which complementary foods should be introduced. After around six months of age, it becomes increasingly difficult to meet nutrient requirements from breast milk alone (WHO and UNICEF 1998; Butte et al 2000). Stores of iron and zinc are likely to be depleted by six months of age, so iron and zinc must be supplied by complementary food." The final paragraph of the article seems to dismiss the above and would cause unnecessary worry regarding feeding babies too much iron. I just wanted to comment because nutrition is an area of confusion already and to try and keep it clear for new parents it would be great if the information they receive from all sources was based on fact.

Alisa McKenzie, email

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0800 600 998

o ur ow Y Circle r G Accurate information needed The recent news surrounding the abandonment by an Australian couple of a surrogate baby with Down syndrome has caused a stir in the Down Syndrome community. The discrimination against people with Down syndrome, even in developed nations, is profound. The abandonment of a surrogate twin boy with Down Syndrome to life or death in Thailand clearly underscores this. The reality is the condition is almost completely different from what it was just 20 years ago. For example, the lifespan of a person with Down syndrome in the 1980s was 28 years old and today it is nearly 60.

would have steered this headline-making Australian couple towards a different, if not educated decision.

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Michelle Sie, Executive Director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation


Find out more from the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association

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As a mother of a child with Down syndrome, I would hope that accurate information about Down syndrome

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product information page My Family Farm cards My Food Bag’s youngest food critics are in for a special treat this month as a limited edition range of farmyard collectible character cards launch into selected My Food Bag bags. My Family Farm is a series of 40 cards designed to help connect children to New Zealand’s favourite farmyard animals. For the next six months three My Family Farm cards are being distributed free with each Family Bag and Classic Bag weekly delivery. Every card features a fun character profile or a catchy rhyme about the featured animal. My Food Bag New Zealand CEO Theresa Gattung says the cards help youngsters appreciate the farm environment where good food comes from. “The cards feature a range of farm animals, from pigs to pukekos, all designed to help children understand a little more about the New Zealand farmyard. We believe it’s important for children to grow up knowing about the land that feeds us and we think that the cards are a really great way to do this.” Giggles Goat, Lucy Goosey, Elvis Alpaca and Bonnie Border Collie are just four of the 40 featured animals. Beautifully rendered characterisations of each animal are complemented on the reverse side with information about each one’s “favourite food”, “best friend”, “likes” and either a “fun fact” or rhyme.

The new toddler feeding range We’ve worked closely with a leading child psychologist and nutrition expert to create a new range of Philips Avent bowls, cutlery and matching cups. The range features fun, storytelling designs to keep your child engaged as they take that important step from milk to solids. Check out the range from the customisable Learning Spoon to the Travel Set on our website or in store and online at Babycity.

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kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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exploding myths… about racial stereotyping When my son was in his first year at primary school, one morning I was called into the office together with him by his somewhat pale and serious looking teacher. She had received an email from an offended mother of another child because my son had called her daughter a “nigger”. I felt surprised, ashamed, and utterly confused as our family is ethnically very diverse, and saying something like that or calling people names was very much out of his nature. I was certain that that expression had not been used in our environment. When I looked at him he admitted to calling her that name with a look of naivety and an expression on his face that matched my confusion. We took the confusion home and discussed it as a family in order to understand. It turns out that he had seen the trailer of the movie “Django Unchained” where he had heard that comment being made towards a person of colour but had no understanding of the connotation the word had. Him having used the word in a derogatory way really did not make sense, especially as he had said it to a girl in his class who was his friend. But as parents we wondered how could we have prevented this situation, both for us and for the family of the little girl, who were feeling hurt and offended.

There is a myth in popular culture that young children are “colour-blind” or do not notice race. By this logic, children are blank slates who cannot develop racial prejudices until they are explicitly taught to do so. This leads many adults to argue that we do not need to discuss race with preschoolers because they are “too young”, or we might even put ideas in their heads. However, one day most of us face a situation such as our toddler seeing a dark-skinned person saying “Mummy why is that person so dirty,” to which we might then respond by shooshing them and saying “We don’t say things like that”. We should wonder what conclusions that leaves our toddler to draw. Current research demonstrates that children not only recognise race from a very young age, but also develop racial biases by ages three to five that do not necessarily resemble the racial attitudes of adults in their lives.

What do children learn, and when? From the age of about six months infants start to be able to nonverbally categorise people by race especially if the faces they look at are a different race to them. Toddlers as young as two years use racial categories to reason about people’s behaviours and numerous studies show that threeto five-year-olds not only categorise people by race, but express bias based on race. So the foundation for racial stereotyping is laid well before they enter school the point at which we might first think about including this topic in discussions.

Continued overleaf...

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How and why does this happen? Research has disproved the popular belief that children only have racial biases if they are directly taught them. We now know that children’s racial beliefs are not reliably related to those of their parents. Now this might initially seem strange, but it may not be that surprising. Children do not only learn from their parents but from the whole community around them about cultural and social norms. This is similar to learning to speak. We notice children may not always speak in the same accent their parents do for example. So why do children form racial biases so early in life, even if no one around

them is teaching them to do so? And how do they attach meaning to their observations? It seems that this is the result of the interplay between internal factors of the child and external factors that stem from their environment. First up as an internal factor: Our little ones have very immature cognitive structures so they make narrow conclusions really quickly due to that limited brain capacity. That means when they see people who are alike in one dimension (eg, skin colour), they presume they are alike in other dimensions as well (eg, what they like eating or playing, what type of clothes they wear or food they eat, how their parents talk to them, what

10 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

car their family drives). Prejudice may seem inescapable, but scientists now report they have identified the first group of people who seem unable to form racial stereotypes. Researchers in Germany have found that children with a neurodevelopmental disorder called Williams syndrome (WS) are overly friendly because they do not fear strangers. These children also do not develop negative attitudes about other ethnic groups, even though they show patterns of gender stereotyping found in other children. It appears that this lack of fear is related to abnormal activity in a brain structure called the amygdala, which is involved in responding to social threats and triggering unconscious negative emotional reactions to

other races. Children without WS, favoured positive characteristics for the light-skinned children and negative features for dark-skinned individuals whereas children with WS lack any bias. Thinking about the environmental factors, our society teaches children that race is a social category of significance. Children then attach meaning to those social categories on their own, without adult instruction. For example, children are likely to notice that the people in their families or neighbourhoods are all different heights and have different hairstyles, but perhaps almost all have the same skin colour. Therefore, children may assume that they should avoid or dislike people with different skin colours than their own, even if no adult ever says this to them. Similarly, children may notice when going to the doctor’s surgery or the supermarket or the playground that height and hairstyle do not seem related to a person’s job or neighbourhood, but skin colour does. When children notice these patterns, they often infer that these are norms or rules and that the patterns must come about from differences between groups of people that mean something. What does this mean? Consciously or unconsciously as a society, family, or community we teach children about the norm. These messages are often reinforced in the form of picture books, children’s movies, television, and children’s songs which may communicate messages that whiteness or blondness or being male is preferable. Just think about the traditional Grimm’s fairy tales or Walt Disney movies. Only in the last 20 years have we seen animated movies in which the main character is not white, in which the dark haired character is not always the bad one. Even if this is the case these stories still often portray a certain racial stereotype. As children become more aware of societal norms that favour certain groups over others, they will often show a bias toward the perceived privileged group. Researchers have found that white children rarely exhibit anything other than a pro-white bias while children of colour as young as five years old show evidence of being aware

of, and negatively impacted by, by stereotypes about their racial group. So, if parents are aware of these stereotypes, are they more likely to discuss this topic with their children? Interestingly, parents often think that preschoolers are too young to have discussions about race and ethnicity. In America for example, black parents are more likely to talk about racial identity with their preschoolers than are white parents, neither black nor white parents are likely to discuss racial differences their children see in media, on playgrounds, or in the supermarket. Some researchers now argue that all children should be actively taught to recognise and critically think about racial stereotypes. We know that if anti-bias education is a topic in our kids’ school curriculum at all, it usually tends to be too little, too late.

What should caregivers do? Sometimes parents are silent on the issue of race, prejudice, and racial inequity because we are not comfortable talking about them. Sometimes we give no information or inaccurate information because we ourselves do not fully understand how racism works, or why racial inequity still exists in our society so many years after the various anti-racism movements, or what we can do about it. I think it is important to remember, our generation who are now becoming first-time parents have also been socialised into society with certain norms that were around us at the time. Although race and racism can be difficult topics – just as sexuality, gender, or disability – it is important to educate ourselves and discuss them with children in an age-appropriate way, and that is relevant to them at their stage of development. So, what can caregivers of young children do?

it. Those moments when we feel tempted to shush our child because we feel embarrassed are often great teaching opportunities – and if the person heard the comment they would probably be grateful for an accurate explanation. Children who have been silenced often enough learn not to talk about race publicly. Their questions do not go away, they just go unasked. The lesson for caregivers of young children is: Do not shut down the conversation. Instead, engage in open, honest, frequent, and age-appropriate conversation about race, racial differences – and even racial inequity and racism. Research has shown that such conversations are associated with lower levels of bias in young children. Let go of the notion that you are “putting ideas in their heads” by talking about race because we know young children notice everything and draw conclusions about difference on their own. There is also the risk that avoiding conversations about race only encourages prevalent stereotypes.

Be accurate and age-appropriate Children should be presented with appropriate and accurate information on race and identity. For example, if we pass by a dishevelled person who makes a racist comment towards another person, we should not encourage our children to believe that negative racial talk is conducted by only “sick” individuals or that it indicates a character flaw or “bad” behaviour in certain people. Talk about the fact that the social world we live in is often unfair to some ethnic groups simply because they are different. Also add that ethnic inequalities are unfair and morally wrong.

Take it seriously

Talk about it! When adults think that very young children do not notice or cannot understand race and racism, they avoid talking about it in a meaningful way. This silence does not keep children from noticing race and developing biases and prejudices, it just keeps them from talking about

If we believe that children cannot be prejudiced, we are more likely to ignore or brush off incidences in which young children express bias. However, this can be the seed for developing prejudices. We should not

Continued overleaf...

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presume that children have to exhibit strong, hatefully racist attitudes in order to harbour racial prejudice. Actually, pre-schoolers raise issues of race within their own peer groups more frequently than their adult caregivers know. If name-calling or other discrimination happens at preschool and then goes either unnoticed or is not discussed by adults, children infer that the behaviour is widely accepted. This means that your role is critical: Be alert, and when incidents do arise, avoid using vague scolding about “hurting feelings” or “being mean”, but rather discuss the issue in a specific way. This is an important issue especially in educational settings or in a community where there is little racial or ethnic diversity.

Encourage complex thinking! Just providing information is not enough because young children sometimes reject information that goes against their existing biases. So what can we do? Teaching young children to think critically can be effective in reducing prejudice. When children are taught to pay attention to multiple attributes of a person at once (eg, not just race), it reduces the levels of bias. As your children grow older find programmes that counter stereotypes. As much as television can create stereotypes, it can also help to break down barriers. Look for shows where the cultures and talents of individuals from different races are emphasised in a positive way. Spotting these stereotypes is often difficult for children. To them, the tomahawk-wielding Native American or the Japanese karate expert is a familiar, easily understood and often funny character. So help children understand these images for what they are – oversimplified, generalisations.

Power to the people Perhaps the most important thing we can do is empower our children. Actively seek out a range of models in your community and in the broader society, and tell them about these heroes and what makes them extraordinary. And show children they can help too by commenting on statements their friends make and invite them to offer their opinion. In order to address issues of racial bias and prejudice with children and help them understand race and inequity in our society, we must first be comfortable addressing these issues ourselves. After all, adults have also been socialised into a culture that silences conversations about race and a culture in which subtle racialised images are all around us. We need to remember that educating children about these issues requires us to think in everyday life about the thinking capacity of our children and how important revising such stereotypes is to us. This is difficult but important work, and we as parents, families, and neighbourhood together with early childhood educators play a critical role in this process. And next time you are waiting for the pedestrian crossing to turn green and your child points out very vocally that the little girl at the crossing has such dirty

12 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

skin, instead of shushing them, you might want to try saying: “Honey, that little girl is not dirty. Her skin is as clean as yours. It’s just a different colour. Just like we have different colour hair, people have different skin colours.” But watch your child’s interest and level of understanding because they are probably not interested in hearing about the role of melatonin in the skin when they are only two years old. So do not go overboard either.

So where to start with our littlest ones? � Think about your own way of growing up and what stereotypes you carry. Reflect on what you would like to pass on to your children and what you do not want to pass on. Discuss this with your family. � Immerse your child in a range of music, languages, and books so that they have a broad platform that informs their view of others and the world around them. � Expose your little one to a range of people from different cultures. If this does not happen in your natural environment then take advantage of cultural events that are often organised by city councils or cultural groups. � Once you and your child are ready for them to attend daycare – and, later, school for that matter, if you have a choice you might want to think about the ethnic diversity of the children in the centre. Children learnt most about racial stereotypes from their environments and subsequently it is also there that stereotypes can be disassembled. � Think about the range of toys you have at home, for example the types of dolls or figurines. If all of your child’s dolls are white, blond, and skinny, you might want to add some with coloured skin, dark hair, some that are solidly built and so forth. It does not mean either that you should get rid of the other ones as they are equally part of the racial – and naturally human – continuum.

Kerstin Kramar Kerstin is the clinical director and consulting Psychologist at Mind & Heart Psychology. She has a particular interest in working with families and children who experience anxiety. She has been supporting families to become more resilient from such experiences and parents to raise their children to become confident, responsible and caring young people. Kerstin has worked as a psychologist overseas before moving to New Zealand with her young family. She currently works as a clinical psychologist with children and families in private practice in the Wellington region.

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make bath time

fun time! Bath time can be lots of fun with the right toddler bath tools. To start with, make sure that you have a suction-grip, non-slip mat on the base of your bath to keep your little one safe and secure and then add toys and bubbles for lots of fun! Bath toys are a great way to make bath time fun time: boats, ducks and squirting toys are all lots of fun. You can use these toys to help your little one learn new words by pointing and naming, ”duck” and ”boat” are both nice, easy, early words. Once you have lots of bubbles, you can create fun bath time games. Here are a few of our favourites: Naming Body Parts: Bath time is a great time for your little one to learn about his or her body. Try placing foam on his body parts saying each part as you go (head, shoulder, foot).

Bubbles Beard: Pat bubbles all over your chin and face to create a fun bubbles beard. You can create even more fun for your little one by blowing the bubbles off your face and up into the air. Hairdressers: Take a trip to the bath time barber and massage, style and spike your little one’s hair. Show him a mirror and watch his face light up! �

Johnson’s® baby bubble bath and wash is ideal for making bath time fun time. The all-new formula combines bubbles and fun with a hypoallergenic, extra gentle baby wash. There’s no need to save bubbles for special occasion because this dermatologist and paediatrician tested formula is gentle enough to use everyday, for babies from six months. The trusted No More Tears® formula also means that there will only be smiles at bath time. For more bath time fun tips visit:

14 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

My baby skin is ten times more sensitive than yours, mum. So I like the gentleness of JOHNSON’S® baby TOP-TO-TOE® bath. It’s as mild as pure water, and just right for my brand new skin. Relax, mum. You’re using the gentle stuff.

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a dangerous

addiction – a highly functioning mum’s secret battle with the bottle

Are you familiar with ‘the slide’? One evening drink at the end of the day sliding to two, possibly three? How a weekend habit can sometimes creep into Thursday, possibly even Wednesday? How many parents seek solace or a break from the stresses of their day with a drink – a wine, a beer or other? It’s the New Zealand way, socially accepted, encouraged, joked about even. Yet can we fail to notice when the drinking is starting to get out of control? Eleanor Cater chats to Lotta Dann, successful television producer, hardworking university student, proud mum of three and, today, recovering alcoholic.

Lotta Dann, like any other mum, spent her early parenting years juggling the highs and the mundane lows of parenthood. Married to television journalist Corin Dann, and a former television producer herself, she had enjoyed a fast-paced career and a busy social life before settling down, first in Wellington then in Auckland, to bring up her three boys. A similar journey to most of us, yes, except Lotta had a secret problem that she battled throughout the early years of parenthood; she was an alcoholic, seeking solace at the end of the day in drink. “I grew up in a world where alcohol was treated like a totally harmless thing, to be used freely all the time. Drinking was so normal! I can see why, just think; if someone landed here from another planet they would be led to believe that wine is as harmless as bread and milk – there it is, beside them in the supermarket, treated as a totally harmless substance and available along with other essential items. That’s how I saw booze; just as normal as everything else and totally oblivious to the harm it could cause me without me even noticing.” Lotta had attended Parents Centre antenatal classes and met a great group of mums who eventually became her solid support network. She gave up drinking while pregnant and breastfeeding with no real problem “because I had a job to do”. But the drinking bedded in while she was a stay-at-home mum. She doesn’t, however, believe that motherhood was the trigger to

the problem. “The groundwork was laid well before that but I do think that being at home after having my children helped to make it a more steady, heavy habit.” “Life as a mother, well, you want to feel upbeat. Drinking was a place of escape from what was often a mundane, repetitive life, it was something for me and it made me feel adult. It’s the perfect yet dangerous solution really for the stay-at-home mum because it takes you away without actually taking you away!” So the slide began. “I needed more and more of a quantity to feel full. It progressed quite quickly and it became really hard and a real struggle to have an alcohol free night. No one noticed because outwardly everything looked great, everything looked like it was going fine in my life.” But everything wasn’t fine. In between caring for her small children Lotta’s life became a constant battle of obsessing about drink, waiting for 5pm to roll around, pouring that first drink and then being unable to stop. Soon one bottle was not enough and she would have to nip out to the bottle store for a second one. The next day hangovers would often last for much of the morning, then lunchtime rolled around and she would again plan what she would drink that evening. 5pm came and the cycle would begin again. “It’s awful, I look back at photos of me from throughout my entire life, and so often I think ‘I was hammered there and plastered there’. But the sad thing is I thought it was ok at the time and I kidded myself I could manage it.”

Continued overleaf...

subscribe online at –



Win a copy of Mrs D is Going Without by Lotta Dann � Enter online at Kiwiparent. and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 30 October 2014. Winner will be published in issue 263.

Lotta tried to moderate and manage the habit for quite a few years then came the moment that she realised that it was out of her control. She hid wine from her husband to in an attempt to conceal how much she had been drinking. Realising this “was a step too far“, that she couldn’t control alcohol, it was controlling her, Lotta made a promise to herself to give up the wine. In September 2011 she started a secret blog and over time the blog became the outlet for her struggles to become sober and to rid her life of the drug. To Lotta’s surprise the blog became a sensation, she began to get hits from across the world. It wasn’t long before the blog began to explode with followers and comments. “I was writing it for myself, but slowly I realised it was also helping others. And they were helping me in return.” The growing blog led to a book deal with a publisher and her book Mrs D is Going Without was born. “I was nervous about ‘outing’ myself with the book but I thought that if one person climbs into the online world

18 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

and gets something from this then it will have been worth it.” Interviews on national television and radio followed. “The evening that the Sunday programme screened my story the blog site exploded – 30,000 hits in one night! So many visitors commenting, talking to each other and seeking support.” Lotta could hardly believe the response and the scale of the problem, along with how many people wanted to talk about it. “It is unbelievable really how many hundreds of people have said “I’m just like you,” it blew me away!” “The thing is I think that people’s perceptions of what is an alcoholic are so off the mark. I was very functional, a loving attentive mother, studying and getting involved in my children’s lives. Outwardly everything was so good yet inwardly I had this battle going on.” At the time if a friend or family member had said something would she have listened? “No, I don’t think so. It would have made me angry I think. It’s important to start on the road to recovery by self-identifying I think.”

Today, three years of sobriety on, Lotta enjoys going out and being around people who are drinking, but admits that it took a lot of hard work and practice. “These days alcohol does not have anything to offer me that is not already inherent at a party. Sober fun has become more fun than the boozy fun, but it has taken practice and time to attack my way of thinking. It’s taken a big shift and a lot of hard work.”

you will eventually get to a place where you don’t miss alcohol at all.” �

Is life difficult without alcohol? “No, it’s better. What is difficult now is when I get in a low mood and can’t make it go away fast the way that alcohol used to help me to do. It’s not fun feeling sad or angry. I realise now that I’ve spent all my adult life not being these things, I’ve avoided uncomfortable things through the soothing effects of alcohol. When I was drinking there was no space to reflect, I’d fill up a tough week with booze and yet I had no idea of how much it was influencing my whole experience of life.”

“I am so pleased I’ve given up, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s modelling what is healthy and normal to my kids as they grow up.” Lotta stresses the importance of seeking out likeminded people to help to get sober. “I think it’d be hard to get sober entirely on your own. You need to admit that you have a problem, get informed and find the support of a community of people who understand what your struggle is like. My community was online but others find support through meetings, etc. Do what works for you.” She also found support from books* and says that this support helped her to retrain her attitudes. “It was really hard to challenge my lifelong beliefs that boozing was ok and normal. But I did. Retraining the brain is so empowering; it comes from you. It’s not easy, it definitely takes a lot of hard work but it is so worth it. I look back now and realise that alcohol really added nothing to my life. It was all a fallacy.” It took around four months of sobriety for Lotta to finally admit to herself, and to be able to say that she was an alcoholic. But she says, “I’m not special, heaps of people get sober. Mine’s just a story about a nice middle class housewife married to a guy on the TV and how I started a blog because I knew I had an issue. I found that words, writing it down, was helpful to me but I really had no idea that the blog would take off as it did.” What advice would Lotta give to parents who might be finding a bit of a reprieve or solace through alcohol? “Keep an eye on it. Watch for the slide. I wish I’d been more aware at an earlier age, I don’t think I had a real problem when I became a mum for the first time at age 32. I wish I had been more aware of the dangers of alcohol and how it slips really quietly to becoming addictive over time. If it’s a problem, be honest to yourself, believe that change is possible, go and find your supportive community and know that

References: Lotta now runs a website, which is an online support for those wishing to live a sober life: Other sites for information/support in New Zealand: – 0800 787 797

Recommended reading: Mrs D is Going Without, by Lotta Dann *Kick the Drink… Easily! by Jason Vale

*The Easy Way to Stop Drinking by Alan Carr

Eleanor Cater Eleanor Cater is Brand Manager at Parents Centres New Zealand, a freelance writer and mother of three.


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Photos: Sarah Burton

mind the gap

With the majority of people she knows having a small age gap between their children, Karen Shead wonders what reality will be like with a five-anda-half year gap between her daughter and soon-tobe newborn. It came as quite a shock to family and friends when we announced that we were pregnant with our second child. After having our first daughter, who is now five, we quite categorically said we were done. We were happy with our small family of three, I had never had a strong desire to have a particular number of children, and so, when the decision came to move from the UK to New Zealand a couple of years ago, we decided to give away all of our baby things. We won't need them again, we said to ourselves, we were sure of that. Fast forward two years, our daughter is now at school, I have a big six-month pregnant baby belly, and we remember all that baby stuff with fondness, and, admittedly, slight regret. So, what changed our minds? Mainly, the move to New Zealand. (A couple of friends suggested this might happen. I dismissed it as sheer folly.) With my husband

20 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

no longer doing the three-to-four hour daily commute, which allows us a lot more family time, and a relaxed, family-friendly living environment, we started to think about the idea of having another child. It took a bit longer than expected to fall pregnant and as the months ticked by, I began to think it wouldn't happen. I resigned myself to thinking “what will be, will be” and as my daughter’s first day of school beckoned, I turned my attention to looking for work. Two days after she started school, I found out I was pregnant. This means that the age gap between Anna and her little sister will be five years and eight months. This seems to buck the current age gap trends. It was not a planned gap and who knows if it will be ideal? But there is no changing it now! When most people find out about the age difference, they comment on how nice it will be to have one child at school and so I will have time to focus on the baby. They also say how I will have a little helper. Of this, I am sure. Anna is very keen to help – saying she can carry her sister in a carrier like she does with her doll, feed her, change her, and even share her bedroom. All such a lovely sentiment, but how we will manage this help, making it realistic without discouraging her, will require some thought.

And what impact will such an age gap have on their relationship? Again, friends comment on the positive – how there will be a “lack of competition” as they won't be at same developmental stages or have the same interests. But for me, this also comes with concerns. Will they play together? Will they develop a bond? Or will the gap be just too much of a divide? And perhaps my main worry is how will Anna feel sharing her parents, who she has had to herself for more than five years, with another child who, inevitably, will demand a lot of time and attention? We will need to make sure she has plenty of quality mummy time and daddy time, and no doubt there will be periods of jealousy that we will have to try and deal with with patience and understanding (while surviving on little sleep!) A few people have been very honest and said they would not want to go back to the sleepless nights and nappy days, after having gone through them once, and would rather get it all out of the way at the same time. I realise that, although it must be exhausting to have a baby and a child, or two, under five at the same time, that they make a very valid point. I also look at friends who have two or more children under five, and think how lovely it must be to have the companionship that comes with a closer age gap.

Continued overleaf...


Photos: Sarah Burton

But, I don't for a single moment regret the decision we have made to have another child. I know I am about to lose the precious “me time” I am currently appreciating after five years of being a stay-at-home mum, and it is going to be quite a while before we have two independent children, but, at the end of the day, we are extending out family, bringing another little person into this world, and Anna will, no doubt, be a very proud – and helpful – big sister. And as for how that age gap works out, well, only time will tell. �

22 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Karen Shead Karen is a freelance writer based in Wellington. Originally from the UK, where she worked as a journalist for over ten years, Karen and her family moved to New Zealand a couple of years ago to experience life on the other side of the world!

exercising during


Regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, including during pregnancy. Many women enter pregnancy with an aerobic and strength training programme already in place, and this is a great start. Other women use pregnancy as an opportunity to improve their health by developing good exercise habits. Whatever your situation, it’s beneficial to do some regular exercise if you possibly can.

Exercise will help prevent loss of fitness, too much weight gain and low back pain. It will probably also help prevent such things as pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, diabetes and varicose veins. It will make you feel better in yourself – exercise is proven to have a positive effect on people’s moods. Mild or moderate exercise is best. Nearly all pregnant women (with the possible exception of those with very complex pregnancies or severe heart, lung or high blood pressure problems) can safely manage some exercise. If you have any particular problems, other conditions or concerns, discuss with your LMC how they might affect your ability to exercise. Strenuous exercise is probably best avoided, as it will reduce the blood flow to the placenta. Whether or not this adversely affects the baby depends on a number of other factors related to the placenta. There may be exceptions to this general rule if you were very fit before becoming pregnant, so discuss this with your LMC or GP. You may also want to seek advice from a sports medicine expert if you are involved in top-level competitive sport.

Try these activities while pregnant Walking A wonderful form of exercise. It is certainly the easiest and cheapest, and is available to everyone. Just 15 minutes of brisk walking, building up to 30 minutes three times a week, is helpful. Walking even a kilometre a day will ease aching legs and a sore back, and help maintain a degree of physical fitness. The “talk test” is a good indication of whether your exercise intensity level is too high. If you can maintain a conversation while exercising, keep going; this is considered a comfortable intensity. If you cannot do this, exercise less intensely. Take it slowly, have plenty of rests if you need them, but walk.

Jogging This is less popular than walking, because it is a high-impact exercise, and as pregnancy progresses it puts extra strain on softened pelvic ligaments. If you want to run, take it more easily as your weight increases. Some women find it too uncomfortable as pregnancy

progresses, and urinary incontinence may be a problem. But if you enjoy it, carry on gently as long as it’s comfortable, and then do some other form of exercise such as walking instead.

� The water takes some of the weight off your lower limbs, and is good for increasing the blood circulation in the legs, especially when standing and walking in the water.


� You can exercise quite actively in the water without overheating.

This is excellent for pregnant women and probably the perfect pregnancy exercise. It’s relaxing – provided the water is neither too hot nor too cold – and the buoyancy of the water supports your increasing body weight. It’s quite safe to swim during pregnancy, unless the amniotic sac around the baby has broken, although this is very unusual until late in pregnancy. As your EDD approaches, swimming is also helpful to get your baby into a good position: the “tummy down” position you use doing breaststroke or with a kickboard, for example, can help your baby’s back to move forward rather than lying against your back. This posterior position often causes backache in pregnancy and labour, so anything you can do to relieve it is helpful.

Aquarobics Aquarobics classes are offered by many swimming pool complexes around the country, and involve a range of exercises done in the water. Many pregnant women find them relaxing and fun. Keeping fit in the water has a number of advantages during pregnancy: � Every muscle in the body can be exercised in the water, either gently or more vigorously.

ial specer off

20 off


� Classes are a good way to meet other women who are pregnant, and those who already have children.

Exercise programmes A variety of exercise programmes tailored specifically for pregnant women are available in some centres in New Zealand, and many commercial gyms now offer courses that take pregnancy requirements into account. Check out suitable classes offered in your area – yoga centres and physiotherapists are also worth trying, as some run excellent classes for pregnancy and in preparation for birth. �

Visit The New Zealand Pregnancy Book online at The website includes a searchable preview of the book, fantastic photos and feedback from the NZPB community, links to friends and Facebook and much more!

Detailed pregnancy exercises can be found on pp.126–133 of The New Zealand Pregnancy Book. The New Zealand Pregnancy Book by Sue Pullon and Cheryl Benn, 2008, Bridget Williams Books, $49.99, is great source of information, covering every kind of topic for pregnant women, along with personal stories. Order online from Find out more at

ents Centre all Par r o f $40 the online shop m SPE CIAL OFFER o r ble f members – availa THE New Zealand guide to: + pregnancy + birth + baby’s first 3 months

become a fan of the book follow us


fun… did those undies f


new where they were going … ey k h T

ing. to find someone good at sew

If you have children who have chortled over the popular picture book Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms?, you will be delighted to know that author Dawn McMillan has just produced another book – Dr Grundy’s Undies. Dawn is a much-loved writer of both fiction and nonfiction for children. Many of her books have a focus on animals and evoke her love of New Zealands' natural environment. Although Dawn has written over 15 picture books, not everyone knows that she has published over 140 educational readers, which are used not only in New Zealand schools, but also those in Australia, the United States and Canada. Speaking from her home in Thames on the Coromandel peninsular, the effervescent Dawn talks of the delight she gets from seeing her books being enjoyed by her most ardent fans – and her harshest critics – children. “One of the biggest thrills I get is when I visit a home, school or library and I see one of my books looking all tatty, dog eared... smeared with marmite,” Dawn laughs. “That tells me the story is loved and appreciated over and over.”

26 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

It comes as no surprise that Dawn is a huge advocate of the written word. “I believe the most valuable thing you can do for any child’s education is to read to them – read, read, read and read again. “When parents read to their children they are doing them a huge service. Reading leads to talking about the pictures and stories, and later issues that crop up as children develop their reasoning abilities. By reading you are creating a fabulous base for any child’s education. Dawn gets her inspiration from the beautiful surroundings in which she lives and writes, but also from every day life. “I watch what’s happening around me and I listen to the things people say. Sometimes a joke can give me an idea. But mostly my stories come from my own experiences… happy times, sad times, and from all the special people I’ve known. Dawn’s most successful book, Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms?, illustrated by Auckland artist and graphic designer Ross Kinnaird, won the Children’s Choice Award at the 2003 New Zealand Post Book Awards, and was awarded New Zealand Booksellers Gold in 2005.

Dawn has collaborated with Ross on many books, including Woolly Wally and I Need a New Bum! and is again the illustrator for Dr Grundy’s Undies. ”Ross manages to read my words and create drawings that exactly mirror my imaginings,” Dawn explains. “He seems to know precisely what is in my head. He’s a fantastic artist, and a really funny guy as well, I absolutely love working with Ross.” With her trademark blend of irreverent rhyme and cheeky humour, Dawn’s new book follows the adventures of Dr Grundy’s roomy undies, which fly off the washing line in a stiff breeze and go on a roundthe-world adventure. Fortunately, the undies finally find their way home to Dr Grundy back in New Zealand, needing only a small amount of repair to get them back in order. The cheeky illustrations are sure to appeal to the young and young at heart. �

Dr Grundy’s Undies Dr Grundy’s Undies written by Dawn McMillan, illustrated by Ross Kinnaird Release Date: 25 September 2014

RRP $19.99

Dawn McMillan will be taking part in a “Reading Tour” from late September till late October / early November. If you would like to see Dawn, and possible even get a glimpse of the famous undies (on loan from Dr Grundy) you can find out more from or https://

Breastfeeding help - by mothers for mothers La Leche League is about helping you understand and respond to the unique needs of your baby, and meeting and being supported by a wonderful network of women. It is about learning to a be a mother and cherishing the mother-baby bond. It is the human touch that no book or clinic can offer.


tastes great

and is good for you

My cooking style is seasonally focused. Maintaining a seasonal focus means better choice and quality of produce, and avoids the imported produce that has sat around for months in cool storage. It also means that you’re buying and supporting locally grown New Zealand-made products. I will be creating new recipes every season, ensuring locally grown, nutritious recipes are found in every My Food Bag.

When I talk about good food, I mean food that is both delicious and nutritious. As a cook and dietitian it’s equally important to me that food tastes great and is good for you. I hope you enjoy making – and eating – these lamb pita burgers served with lemon wedges and tomato mint feta salad. With a preparation time of only 15 minutes and a cook time of around half an hour, this meal is perfect for busy families and is a healthy take on an old favourite. — Nadia Lim

Lamb pita burgers, lemon wedges and tomato mint feta salad Lemon wedges

Tomato mint feta salad

600g agria potatoes, cut into 2cm thick wedges

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil Zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves

1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves 100g feta cheese, crumbled

To serve

Lamb pita burgers

1 cup natural yoghurt

450g lamb mince

Juice of lemon

1 g of each; dried oregano, dried parsley, black pepper, cinnamon and chili flakes

1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced

2.5g minced garlic

1 cos lettuce, leaves separated

3g salt Zest of 1 lemon 4–5 mini pita breads


Method Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.

1 2 3

Toss potatoes with olive oil in prepared oven tray. Season well with salt and pepper and bake until golden and cooked through, 30–35 minutes, turning occasionally. Combine mince, herbs, garlic, salt and lemon. Mix well and shape lamb mince mixture into 4–5 patties. Place in the fridge to firm up for a few minutes. To make the salad, place slices of tomato on a plate, scatter over mint leaves and feta. Season with salt and black pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Combine yoghurt, lemon juice and cucumber slices and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4 5

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large fry-pan over medium-high heat. Fry lamb patties until cooked through, about 4 minutes each side. Warm pita breads in the oven for 2 minutes, then split in half. Remove wedges from oven and toss with lemon zest and thyme while still warm.

TO SERVE, place lettuce leaves on the bottom half of each pita. Add a lamb patty, followed by some cucumber yoghurt. Top with top half of each pita. Serve with lemon wedges and tomato mint feta salad on the side. ďż˝ Per Serve ENERGY

2182kJ (515kcal)







ďż˝ Kiwiparent readers who sign up for foodbag will get a free seasonal fruitbag valued at $14.99 on the first order (new members only). Just use the promo code: KIWIPARENT_919 Available from 29 September to November 30, 2014.


a CENTS-ible CHOICE Baby on the way? Chances are the household finances are about to be squeezed. Although they might be buying up big on baby clothes and equipment, many families are also looking at ways to tighten their belts and find savings in their budgets. With little need for financial outlay, breastfeeding is the obvious choice for the thrifty household!

30 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Breastfeeding is cost effective for families To breastfeed their babies, mothers need the all important equipment nature provided – breasts. These fun and functional accessories are free – fantastic! Of course breastfeeding has been latched on to by many stores selling “must-have” accessories to make breastfeeding “easier, more convenient, more fun, more stylish”; you name it they’ve got it! Don’t be fooled, a lot of this is just good marketing not mandatory mother-gear. The two things you probably do need to outlay some money on: Maternity bras – likely you will have changed size during pregnancy, so it is probably a matter of buying a new bra anyway. Some of NZ’s top nursing bra brands can be bought on sale for as little as $20. Breast pads – hard to know how many you will need as it will depend on your level of leakiness, but like nappies, investing in reusable breast pads should save you money. You can buy them for as low as $6 for three pairs. If you need assistance, you can access free support through organisations such as La Leche League and the Plunket Karitane Centres. And skin to skin, that wonderful remedy for many breastfeeding challenges, is the ultimate in free mummy’s magic!

Breastfeeding is also cost effective for hospitals and taxpayers One Australian study showed that by increasing exclusive breastfeeding from 60% to 80%, the total annual cost of illness in certain groups of babies relating to Type 1 diabetes, necrotising enterocolitis, gastro-intestinal disease, and eczema would fall by just over A$8.7 million. Lifetime special educational costs would decrease by A$31.2 million. Based on other research, it has been estimated that in New Zealand alone,

$245 million a year could be saved if 90% of babies were exclusively breastfed. This includes the often high but hidden costs of healthcare, hospitalisation, and treatment for babies that are not breastfed, and are at higher risk of certain types of illness. You can’t deny that those kind of savings in healthcare are good for families and the country in general!

At the end of the day… Although there is clearly a good economic basis for supporting breastfeeding, there are many wonderful reasons why families choose breastfeeding. Maternity bra….$20 on special Breasts by mother nature….free Breastfeeding your precious child, giving them an emotional and physical gift each day…priceless. �

References Bartick M., Reinhold A. “The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding in the US: a paediatric cost analysis. Paediatrics April 2010, 125. Drane D. ”Breastfeeding and formula feeding: a preliminary economic analysis”. Breastfeeding Review 1997, 5(1): 7–15 Smith J. ‘Mothers milk money and markets’. Nature and Society Forum 2001. Smith J. ‘Mothers milk and markets Australian Feminist Studies ’. 19, 2004. P. Hoddinott. et al A breastfeeding clinical review BMJ. 336, 2008.

Find out more: Mama-Licious is a co-operative of three Childbirth Educators (Cara Baddington, Chris Kelly, Deborah Stace) and a Lactation Consultant (Penny Wyatt) who are passionate about breastfeeding and privileged to support NZ women in their parenting journey. Contact us at

" I want my baby to have breast milk for the first six months" mums told us. Our simply intuitive™ electric and manual pumps ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Their soft touch feel mimics the natural action of your baby breastfeeding to encourage fast let down and efficient expressing. Both pump packs come with everything you need to sterilise, express, store and feed.

The result? Breastfeeding for longer has never been easier.

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year's Big Latch On! 1 August 2014 � The totals are: 1,430 at venues and 150 selfies � So a total of 1,580 latches this year!

latched on

and loving it!

Our big win was having the local mall allow us to hold the Big Latch On there. Centre management had been approached at least three times before but had always said no because they didn't want to upset their other customers (!!). This year I sat down with the manager and asked again. Her first comment was, “Well you know this is a very polarising issue. We can’t just have women flopping out their breasts...” So I explained that women don’t generally get naked to feed their babies and that if they do expose their breasts it’s usually unintentional and often because a mum is just learning to feed in public or has large breasts etc. But once baby is latched often no one even knows they’re feeding. After we had a really frank conversation, she gave us her support. She even organised free coffee vouchers for us and put up posters! I invited her to come and welcome the mothers, which she did and then she stayed for the latch. Afterwards she said to me, “When I saw the women with their babies latched on I felt really quite emotional.” Yay for oxytocin! She has welcomed us back for next year.

32 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

On the day women of all ages turned up with their babies, and even mums who are not breastfeeding any longer but came along to support the event. A big thank you to the following businesses who supported us by supplying prizes: � Muffin Break – For giving us a free coffee voucher � Scarecrow Farm – For the Moby Go Carrier � Express the Best – For the Unimom Allegro breast pump and breast milk storage bags � Northern Arena – For the free membership and free group fitness class pass � Bubamigo – For the trolley seat cover � JAC’s Trading Co – For the $50 voucher � Weepals – For the toilet stickers � Ema’s Boutique – For the reusable breast pads and discount voucher � Wee Small Hours – For the henna pamper voucher � Baby Bumps – For the baby goodies

Sarah-Jane Holton is a Childbirth Educator at Hibiscus Coast Parents Centre.



More comfort, more milk

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elsewhere Before I had children, I thought Burnt Chop Syndrome was something that happened at parties when everyone was having too good a time to keep an eye on the barbie. Now I know only too well what Burnt Chop Syndrome is and it’s as hard to swallow as it sounds. In the olden days, dinner meant a casual meal in with one or twenty mates, or a cheap and choice night out at a Thai restaurant, or a fancy two-course meal (first course – a main, second course – wine) at an exclusive candlelit grotto where the chef was always in the paper and sometimes on the telly. Dinner always meant “sitting down”. Nobody shouted and screamed or threw food on the floor and walls unless they’d had one too many and by then it was time to go anyway. And no matter where it was or how many people were there, dinner was always fun.

cloth in hand ready to swoop on faces, hands, floor and table, as small people scream and wail, hit and spit I haven’t had a fun dinner in years. You don’t with little children. There is breastfeeding, which can be soothing and lovely and bonding but which is frequently annoying, sore and boring. There is first foods, a much awaited milestone in which the novelty of hovering over your child to ensure food makes it into their ridiculously inexpert mouths and that they don’t choke on it once it gets there – not to mention wasting half the day chiselling hardened sludge off walls, floor, highchair and baby – wears off all too bloody quickly. Later, there is sitting up at the table with the family and spending most of the meal grabbing forks before they are stabbed into eyes, tabletop or siblings, and swiping food and sauce bottles away from opportunistic, sticky fingers. No convivial dinner conversation either – just the constant nagging refrain of, “Don't spit on the table, get your hands off my plate, vegetables are nice” and “for the last time, will you stop pouring milk on the cat.” There is giving the children a separate, earlier dinner which although very sensible also involves twice as much cooking and cleaning up, and behind all these different meal options for children there’s the ever present Burnt Chop Syndrome – where everyone else gets the nicest bits of everything and Mum makes do

with the leftovers, which she bolts while standing at the kitchen bench, cloth in hand ready to swoop on faces, hands, floor and table, as small people scream and wail, hit and spit. I’m coming for dinner at yours tomorrow, alright? �

Stephanie Matuku Popular blogger, Stephanie Matuku, is an accidental stay-at-home Mum to two busy preschoolers. In a previous life she was a radio creative writer, voiceover artist and occasional actor. She is an award-winning playwright, sporadic exerciser and aspiring novelist. She regrets once being a childless person who liked to dispense parenting advice. Sorry.

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twin success stories How awesome would it be if we could get a scholarship for playing a sport we enjoyed? Twins Rebecca and Jonathan Barnett have university scholarships through playing squash—a sport where they have been NZ Junior champions and played for New Zealand at the World Champs.

And there’s been no stopping Rebecca and Jonathan. They’ve played various tournaments at club, state, national, and international levels. In 2012 both won the New Zealand Junior Open at 17 years of age, which was a first for twins in the Junior Open. But it’s not all sports for this incredible duo. In 2013 and in 2014 Rebecca received a Massey University Sports Academy scholarship. She is studying for a Bachelor of Communications degree. “Since a very young age I have been interested in English, Media, and also PE. I will eventually have to choose whether to specialise in Journalism, Broadcasting, or TV. At the moment, I’m not sure in which direction I will go.” Jonathan received an Emerging Leadership Scholarship (for sport) from Canterbury University in Christchurch. He is in his second year of a Bachelor of Engineering degree. We asked him how he manages to juggle studies and sports. “It’s been a busy 10 years,” said Jonathan. “I have learnt to prioritise: study first, sports second, and socialising last; though I am constantly reminded of the correct order ...”

ASG is helping New Zealand children become clever kids.

And, what do Mr and Mrs Barnett have to say? “We were told about ASG at our squash club when the children were little,” said Mrs Barnett. “It seemed affordable and achievable plan for our children’s future. When we went unicost it was free, but now For more than 20 years, ASG has helped New Zealand families offsettothe of virtually education. Now, we’re it’s very expensive. We know the value of a tertiary also about collaborating with you for the entire education journey. That’s why we are creating an education, and it was something we wanted for the ever-expanding suite of online tools, resources and guides twins.” to help your child reach their full potential

and live their dreams.

“When we received the ASG certificates we framed

So who is ASG? ASG Education Programs New Zealand a member-driven, not-for-profit organisation andishung them in the children’s bedroom. From then and specialist education benefits provider that returns allassumed profits tothat its members. more thanand the they they wouldTogodate to university, that we saved withtheir ASG full will potential. help them. What a 509,000 children in Australia and New Zealand have money been supported to reach great security it has been for them,” she concluded. Now it’s your child’s turn. And, what about future plans for the twins? Rebecca said, “I’d like to combine my degree with my sport—a sports journalist or TV presenter would be awesome.” Jonathan hopes “to complete my Civil Engineering degree and earn enough see more You don’t just have a baby in the back money seat orto toddler in of the world.” Rebecca and Jonathan’s love for squash started your whencar, you have a clever kid on board! they were four-years-old. “Both mum and dad played So who is ASG? ASG Education Programs New Zealand and select your preferred colour. squash, and as we were dragged off to various Simply visit is a member-driven not-for-profit organisation, which by submitting your details we can chat with you about tournaments we decided to give it a go insteadAlso, of being means all profits go to Members. To date more than bored. And it helped that we had each other to how practise ASG can help your child reach their full 500,000 children in Australia andpotential. New Zealand have with,” said the twins. “We played our first tournament been supported to reach their full potential. Now it’s when we were eight years old. By 11 we were in the your child’s turn. Visit for more New Zealand junior development squad. This meant information. � numerous 6am flights for weekend training. Thankfully we were offered a sponsorship with a renowned squash racquet company, and this helped us financially.”


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36 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years KiwiParent[4564].indd 1

27/08/2014 9:40:26 AM

ASG is helping New Zealand children become clever kids. For more than 20 years, ASG has helped New Zealand families offset the cost of education. Now, we’re also about collaborating with you for the entire education journey. That’s why we are creating an ever-expanding suite of online tools, resources and guides to help your child reach their full potential and live their dreams. So who is ASG? ASG Education Programs New Zealand is a member-driven, not-for-profit organisation and specialist education benefits provider that returns all profits to its members. To date more than 509,000 children in Australia and New Zealand have been supported to reach their full potential. Now it’s your child’s turn.


Exclusive offer for Kiwiparent readers You don’t just have a baby in the back seat or toddler in your car, you have a clever kid on board! Simply visit and select your preferred colour. Also, by submitting your details we can chat with you about how ASG can help your child reach their full potential.

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talking about

toilet training Children learn how to use a potty or toilet in their own time. It is a complicated process, so try and be calm and patient and avoid power struggles. Look for signs When they’re getting ready to learn children might: � Stop playing and make noises or faces � Take themselves away and want to be alone � Start having a time of day when they have a dirty nap � Let you know when they are wet or smelly � Show an interest in your visits to the toilet � Want to copy others using the toilet

� Decide on a routine, for example when they wake up, after breakfast, mid-morning, after lunch, mid-afternoon, at bath time and before bed. � Praise the success and keep calm when there are accidents – there will be quite a few. � Dress your child in clothes that are easy to take off quickly. � Don’t be surprised if they want to explore other toilets or become scared and refuse to go anywhere else but home. � Staying dry at night takes longer to achieve than during the day. Don’t feel pressured by other people’s comments. Your child will be dry when they are ready. �

� Prefer to be clean and dry.

You can encourage them by: � Teaching them the words your family uses about going to the toilet � Letting them see that you use the toilet and telling them they will be soon too � Getting them a potty so they can practise on and off – they can still have their nappy on when they do this � Reading picture books about other children learning to use the potty.

Be prepared: � Make sure everyone is ready. Summer is a good time to start.

38 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Remember Getting cross will make your child tense and stressed – and they won’t be able to do anything. Keep them relaxed by staying calm.

Parents Centre Diverse Centres meeting the needs of local communities nationwide. Established in 1952, today Parents Centre has the largest network of parent-based education in the country. Our 50 Centres nationwide are as widespread in their geographical location as they are diverse in their approaches to meeting the needs of their local communities.

In this section Christchurch Parents Centre Rises Again Q&A with Stacey McEvedy, President at Greymouth Parents Centre Tinies to Tots Programme Centre News

We focus on achieving at a local level. Our Centres, from Whangarei to Invercargill, New Plymouth to Napier, Greymouth to Christchurch and every Centre in between, read the unique needs of their local communities and strive to deliver to meet these needs. Over the page we profile a Centre that has faced immense struggles. Yes, our terrific team in Christchurch. Read how, under the leadership of Natasha Campbell, the Centre that has faced more than its fair share of challenges carries on meeting the needs of their community. Also we have a Q&A session with Stacey McEvedy from Greymouth Parents Centre who has found her Parents Centre experience invaluable to her parenting journey and rewarding in her life. Are you interested in becoming part of the passion and proud history that is Parents Centre? Visit our website to find out more about volunteering or becoming a parent educator. It can be surprising what unexpected personal benefits can come from being involved with your local Parents Centre, and how rewarding supporting your local community can be. Go to to find out more.

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Regional focus: Christchurch Parents Centre rises again Christchurch Parents Centre has faced more than its fair share of challenges over the past four years. The Centre’s rooms were destroyed in the February 2011 earthquake and, because Canterbury women were obviously going to continue to have babies, the Centre had to get back on its feet and running again – very quickly. Childbirth Educator Emma Stoddart, while facing her own immense personal challenges, kept antenatal classes going under the national emergency management plan, with support from the National Support Centre. However it proved to be a huge struggle to find new rooms. The committee of the time hunted the length and breadth of a destroyed city to find a venue suitable to hold classes and deliver services again. With a lack of options available eventually the decision was made to move into Parklands Baptist Church, which was less than perfect but met demand in the meantime. It wasn’t until April 2013 that a new venue was found, in Leacroft Street, Bishopdale. At the time the committee was very split on whether they would make the move, which was understandable as there was going to be a 240% increase in expenses, the place was a mess and it had a detached toilet! With no other options available they made the decision to take on the rooms and the increased financial burden. But early in 2014 it became clear that the financial burden had made their situation critical. The President stood down and the situation was looking dire for the small existing committee, most of whom continued to have their own personal ongoing struggles from the earthquakes. On the committee at that time was mum of three Natasha Campbell, who had been a member for less than a year. With the resignation of the President, a little reluctantly, Natasha took over the reins. “There was no one else to step up. Christchurch Parents Centre was in ‘do or die’ mode and someone had Natasha Campbell to take the lead and run with it,” she says. “At that stage the Centre had just $2,000 in the bank account and the rent was due to come out in just 10 days – $2,100 – along with other outstanding

40 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

bills too!” In April Natasha began to apply for every grant available, as well as pulling the committee together and running all manner of fundraisers (including a photo fundraiser, bacon fundraiser and cheese rolls fundraiser). “I started applying for grants and rang around a few to ask if there were emergency grants I could apply for. Canterbury Community Trust quickly gave us $5,000, which was enough to get us out of the hole we were in.” As a result by early August the Centre had an incredible $32,000 in their bank account, already allocated to power, phone, rent and upcoming classes. Natasha says, “If the committee hadn’t backed me we wouldn't be where we are. It's definitely been a lot of team work; we had a fundraising meeting and came up with great money making ideas and grouped up to get them into action.”

Post quake problems The committee still faces significant problems postearthquakes, including the ongoing challenge of hiked rents citywide. “Our rent bill is huge – $22,000 + gst a year! The toilet is outside and committee members need to go through a back alleyway to open up.” The current committee is planning to change that, having sourced a new front door to replace the existing sliding one that can only be opened from the inside. ”So soon we will be able to go in and out the front door; it seems a small thing, but it‘s important to our committee and to members.“ Will they stay in these premises? “There are not many other options out there, appropriate premises are few and far between. Our committee is also still dealing with personal struggles, juggling shifting houses or staying in hotels/motels until their own houses get fixed. They have all of that going on and still managing to function and volunteer for Parents Centre!“ The Centre's services continue to be in huge demand, their antenatal classes are over-subscribed and the Centre has to turn parents away from full courses. Natasha says that many have to go elsewhere and some can‘t access Childbirth Education classes at all in Canterbury. “Between the two Christchurch Centres we have more than 384 couples come through our childbirth classes each year. It‘s not just antenatal but after birth support, breastfeeding support, Baby and You, there is such a huge demand for our services out there.”

So what are the Centre‘s plans for the future? “Looking ahead we want to work more closely with Christchurch South Parents Centre, it seems silly not to as we are all striving for the same thing, with the same goals supporting our Christchurch families.” “We also have to make sure that we don't get into the same dire financial position again. At the moment we are concentrating on getting our ‘Bumps and Bubs’ newsletter going well, so it provides us with an income stream through advertising.”

Earthquake damage at Christchurch Parents Centre.

The Centre will continue to focus closely on their antenatal programmes and post-baby support. “We also want to look at running more seminars and hot topic nights – for example an early pregnancy course for 10-20 week pregnant mums. It‘s a matter of asking the community what they want and supplying those needs.” There‘s ten on the committee at present and they still find it a big challenge keeping all of their services going and fundraising enough money. “We have just started up a ‘Friends of Committee Group’ for those members who can support us but don‘t want to commit to being on committee. It's a great help.” “We wouldn‘t be where we are today without the fantastic backing of our committee (and we’d better not forget our fantastically supportive husbands who hold the fort at home with our children while we are doing our thing) and our members. I’m so grateful to my wonderful committee for sticking by me when they could have quite easily just walked away.” “As awful as the earthquakes have been and the turmoil they have caused, deep down I believe that it has brought our community closer and made us stronger and more grateful for all that we haven’t lost.”

Christchurch Parents Centre rooms today in Bishopdale

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Q&A with Stacey McEvedy Greymouth Parents Centre

Vice-President, Fundraising Coordinator, Newsletter Editor and am now the Centre President!

Stacey McEvedy with daughter Lara

What difference is Parents Centre making in your community? By providing a variety of community projects/events such as Music and Movement, Childbirth Education programmes, Extravaganzas, new parent packs, hot topic sessions and meeting the needs of the parents and children of the West Coast. Did your Parents Centre experience help you further your career or help in other areas of your life? I have gained a lot more confidence in public speaking. Before my Parents Centre life I would never have stood up in front of a room full of people and publicly spoke! Parents Centre has also led me to feel confident enough to join my daughter’s school PTA and help out in other areas. Has your perspective changed since you became a parent? Before having my daughter I trained as a nanny where theory taught me one thing, but having my own child has taught me reality can be quite different and it is a continuous learning curve. If someone was considering volunteering for Parents Centre or joining the committee what would you say to them? Volunteering for Parents Centre can be challenging, but the rewards outweigh this!

Stacey McEvedy, current President at Greymouth Parents Centre, and mum of Lara (8) shares her thoughts on volunteering with Parents Centre. Why did you decide to volunteer for Parents Centre? It all started back in 2008 when I attended my first Music and Movement session with my daughter. I spoke with a committee member who asked if I would like

to go to their AGM. I attended the AGM that week and really liked what I heard about the history and future of Greymouth Parents Centre. I have never looked back since!! Over the years I have held many roles on the committee including Parent Education Co-ordinator, Music and Movement Co-ordinator, Secretary, Childbirth Education Coordinator, Facebook Co-ordinator,

42 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Volunteering is about giving something back to your community, while reaping the rewards; seeing the children’s faces when they see something new, knowing that you have helped to support or produce that community project or event. It is wonderful to be recognised publicly as being a part of such a wellrespected organisation.

Each edition of Kiwiparent profiles one of Parents Centre’s renowned parent education programmes.

This month:

Spotlight on Tinies to Tots The ‘Tinies to Tots’ programme follows on from ‘Moving and Munching’ and is designed for parents whose little ones are growing out of the baby stage and becoming a toddler (from around 10–18 months).

Nutrition is explored including learning about ideal foods and the right time to introduce particular foods to toddlers. The importance of a young child having a balanced diet, the benefits of extending breastfeeding where possible, learning about allergies and introducing new foods is all part of the discussion. Along with nutritional learning comes sound advice on caring for new teeth.

The ‘Tinies to Tots’ programme will introduce you to speakers who are experts in their field, and who can give you some sound information that will help you make important decisions for your child as they grow from a precious ‘tiny’ into an adventurous ‘tot’. Contact your local Centre via our website for details of programmes running in your area. As your baby starts to grow and develop, the type of play and stimulation they need will change. The ‘Tinies to Tots’ programme explores types of play and how they can assist in your baby’s development. Careful consideration is given to age-appropriate toys, games and activities. The programme allows for the sharing of ideas with other parents, which you may find is a supportive way of exploring ways of interacting with your own children. Also covered are safety aspects in and around the home. To the little one who is beginning to explore the world around them there can be many hazards – large and small. Aspects covered include identifying hazards, ensuring baby equipment is safe and understanding ways to prevent injuries.

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PARENTS CENTRE’S NEWS n Happy birthday to two of our wonderful Centres; Dunedin Parents Centre, established in 1964 and Manukau Parents Centre, established in 1984 – now respectively 50 years and 30 years young!

n The Committee of Mana Parents Centre were proud to be selected as runners up in the Education & Child/ Youth Development category for the Porirua section of the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards 2014. The awards recognise the valuable contribution of volunteers to community groups across the Wellington region.

n Our 12 Auckland Centres, along with Taslim Parsons and Eleanor Cater from the National Support Centre, exhibited at the recent Baby Show, on in Auckland at the end of August. Brand Manager Eleanor Cater said “It was an amazing few days meeting our members, lots of new ones and potential partners. Great for our Auckland Centres, great for our national relationships, great networking for our volunteers!” Awesome work team.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett presents the award to Mana Parents Centre Grants Officer Janina Savage.

n West Auckland Parents Centre has started a preschooler playgroup called Outdoor Explorers. They meet on the first Monday of each month to explore different local parks and playgrounds. Jess Williamson said “Our first meet was about 11 of us but the group has been rapidly growing with over 22 of us (including two Dads!). It seems to have resonated well within our local community and is helping to build our Centre’s profile locally.”

Taslim Parsons and Eleanor Cater on the Parents Centre stand at the recent Baby Show in Auckland.

n Napier and Hastings Parents Centres have merged creating one super Hawkes Bay Parent’s Centre. They are proudly delivering antenatal and parent education in Napier and Hastings/Havelock North. The Centre is in very good shape with a Committee of 15 fantastic parents, with lots of energy and a huge range of skills.

West Auckland Parents Centre’s recent walk at Arataki Visitors Centre.


44 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

n Taupo Parents Centre recently received funding for their Baby and You course from Lakes District Health Board, fully funding the course for parents from birth to 3 months of age. Great work Taupo!

n Gore Parents Centre successfully lobbied for a fence around a local playground, which is right on the main state highway, and succeeded in getting it accepted into their Council’s annual plan. Bernadette Hunt from the Gore committee said that one of the local councillors confirmed that the petition Parents Centre started, “was definitely a clincher... gathering 168 signatures in 4 days!”

n Every year, as part of the Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, Cadbury partners with Parents Centres New Zealand and holds the Cadbury Jaffa Race. This year 25,000 giant-bright-blue Jaffas hurtled down Baldwin Street in Dunedin, the steepest street in the world – a fantastic spectacle! Each Jaffa was numbered with a corresponding ticket sold by Parents Centres around the country, co-ordinated by Taieri Parents Centre.

Conscious parenting – want to know more? Check out upcoming programmes at your local Parents Centre: Browse through the resources here: Join ‘Conscious Parenting’ pages and groups on Facebook Research online and read, read, read!

Melissa McLellan and Claire McGowan, with children Nikita Vercoe-Still and Sophie McLellan, at the top of the hill before the Parents Centre Jaffa Race

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I’ve got an

itch to scratch Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become red and itchy when inflamed – known as ‘active eczema’. It is also known as ‘atopic dermatitis’, and is a common condition particularly in childhood but in some cases can persist, present or reoccur in adulthood. Eczema has a high impact on health and quality of life for patients and their families but good management and support can reduce the impact.

The main symptom of eczema that patients experience is itch. The response to this is to scratch the affected area, which might provide temporary relief, however scratching damages the skin even further and increases the risk of infections. It is a difficult condition to manage with flare-ups often happening for no known reason. There is no cure, although most children (and adults) will outgrow it with time.

The skin has an important role as a barrier and can be described as ‘like bricks and mortar’. In eczema, there is a problem with the ‘mortar’ and this allows the skin to leak – losing moisture – and let irritants in that inflame the skin. Because the skin is not able to maintain its barrier function it is also very prone to infections from bacteria on the skin and/or through contact.

i) Maintain treatment to keep the skin under control ii) Avoid irritants eg, the things that irritate the skin, including allergens, where possible (see Eczema and allergies section on page 48)

46 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

The key aspects of good management are

Maintain treatment – three steps There are three main steps to controlling eczema through direct treatment to the skin:

1 2 3

Moisturise the skin with soap/detergent/ fragrance-free moisturisers several times a day or more if possible, to help maintain its barrier function (available on prescription from your doctor). Bathing once a day to clean and hydrate the skin. Antiseptic baths twice a week can help reduce infections (see the Eczema Management Plan and Guidelines for Antiseptic Baths) section below for more information. Apply steroid creams (called ‘topical steroids’) if the skin becomes inflamed and itchy (active eczema), to bring this under control as soon as possible. Most active eczema cannot settle without topical steroids. See your doctor if the inflammation does not get better in two weeks.

It is also important to see your doctor particularly if the skin becomes weeping, angry and red; antibiotics and antiseptic baths may be necessary.

Things to remember

1 2 3 4

Be safety conscious: babies and young children will be very slippery when bathing with moisturisers. Always supervise them in the bath and lift out using a towel. Pat (not rub) dry. Suitable moisturisers, as well as topical steroids and antibiotics, are available on prescription from your doctor. Ask your doctor to write an Eczema Management Plan for you/your child to follow. Note that – depending on the severity of the eczema – some people could need to use a pot of moisturiser or more per week. Avoid skin products with soap, detergent or fragrances. These can dry and irritate the skin. Look for products that state ‘soap-free, fragrance-free, suitable for eczema’. Do not use bubble baths. Often the same cream that you have been prescribed as a moisturiser can be used as a soap substitute.

� Regularly bathing – daily if possible – to keep the skin clean. Moisturiser can be used instead of soap.

5 6 7

No bath? If showering, put moisturiser on first then get in the shower to rinse off. Minimise the risk of scratching and causing more damage to skin by following these golden rules: � Keep nails short (yours and your child’s) but use a nail file instead of clippers or scissors. � Provide cotton gloves/mittens and socks to protect skin against scratching especially at night.

Minimise the risk of skin infections by:

� Babies will often wriggle around until they can rub itchy skin against the side of their basinet or cot. Infant Sleep bags may help.

� Washing hands before applying moisturisers, steroids etc. onto eczema skin. � Using a clean spoon to scoop out the required amount of moisturiser onto a clean plate or paper towel – don’t put your hand in the tub of emollient. Some people put the moisturiser in a pump bottle but make sure the bottle, spoons etc. are clean when doing this.

When shampooing hair try to avoid getting soap on the skin, lean over a handbasin or tub to rinse off or wash the hair at the end of the bath to avoid sitting in the shampoo in the bath water. Hair does not need to be shampooed every day.

� A plastic bag filled with ice cubes next to the skin can help to relieve itching.


Avoid those things that irritate your/your child’s skin as much as possible. More information is in Avoiding triggers section (overleaf).

Continued overleaf...

� Not sharing towels or bedding with other family members.

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Eczema and allergies It was previously thought that eczema was an allergic condition. However it is now thought that it is caused by genetic factors (possibly hereditary) leading to impairment of the skin barrier function. People with eczema are more prone to developing allergies because their skin is porous, letting triggers and allergens ‘in’. The immune system then develops IgE antibodies to protect the body from a possible threat (the allergen), and the person becomes sensitised. However it is important to understand that having IgE antibodies to an allergen does not mean the person is allergic to that allergen. On the other hand eczema skin can be irritated and inflamed by non-allergenic triggers, such as chemicals, heat and stress. For many people there is a process of trial and error to work out what their particular triggers are. However if an allergy is diagnosed by a doctor, such as to house dust-mites or food, then minimising exposure to them will help reduce active eczema. Children with eczema are more likely to develop allergies, and while they may outgrow the eczema, it is possible they might go on to experience hayfever (allergic rhinitis) and asthma symptoms as they grow older.

Food allergy and eczema Up to one in three infants have eczema by 12 months of age. This usually starts with patches on the cheek then moves to parts of the body such as the back, in elbows and behind the knees. The presence of eczema increases the risk of the infant developing allergies, and the risk increases with the severity of eczema. Most infants will only have mild to moderate eczema and 10% to 20% of these may have a food allergy that makes their eczema worse. However up to a third of infants with severe (widespread) eczema are likely to have food allergies.

48 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Testing for allergies in patients with eczema, particularly young children, is difficult for a number of reasons. Infants and children with severe eczema, and/or where there is clinical evidence of food allergies, and/or inflamed or infected eczema not responding to treatment, should be referred to the local (DHB) paediatric service. In adults, food additives are a possible trigger for eczema inflammations, particularly artificial colourings and preservatives. These are not food allergies and can’t be diagnosed through skin prick or blood tests. Consultating a dietitian to try an elimination diet may help.

Avoiding triggers Eczema skin can be triggered (inflamed) by a number of things, some of which may be hard to identify and/ or eliminate exposure to. It is therefore important to maintain good skin care as the first step, and then look at avoiding irritants where possible. Most infants and young children with mild to moderate eczema will not have a food allergy. However those with severe eczema should be referred to a paediatrician (or nurse specialist) and reviewed for possible food allergies. If diagnosed, it will be important to remove the foods concerned from the child’s diet. They should be regularly monitored so that the foods can be re-introduced to the child’s diet as soon as they have outgrown the allergy to them. In adults, sensitivity to food chemicals such as salicylates, sulphites or other food additives can contribute to eczema flare-ups. It is recommended consulting with a dietitian to identify foods to be eliminated in a trial diet to see if this helps reduce inflammation.

Continued overleaf...

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Our Wash & Shampoo gently cleanses while our Daily Moisture Lotion soothes and moisturises your baby’s delicate, dry skin. With exclusive ACTIVE NATURALS® Oat, it’s paediatrician recommended and can be used daily to keep your baby’s skin soft and smooth.

Naturally Beautiful Babies

Eczema skin in children and adults is commonly irritated by things in the environment. These may include:

Allergens, which include such things as house dust-mites, pet fur, grasses, pollens and mulds.

Soap, detergent and fragrances

Overheating eczema affects the ability of the skin to control body temperature; people with eczema often feel hot; and heat can make eczema skin feel itchy. Keep your/your child’s bedroom cool and well ventilated especially in summer and the bedding light-weight.

� Look for products that are soap-/detergent-/ fragrance-/perfume-free. If using a new skin product, try a small amount on a small patch of skin before applying it to the entire body to be sure it will not cause a reaction. � Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about whether a particular product may be suitable for your skin or not. You may need to try more than one product before finding one that does not cause further irritation. � Sun creams can be used if the skin is not broken. Choose one for sensitive skins with an SPF 30 or more. Test on a small area first. � If a food allergy has been diagnosed, check skin products for these as some have ingredients from foods such as peanuts, dairy, wheat and soy. � For infants with eczema it is recommended skin products with food allergens (as above) be avoided, such as nappy-rash creams, wipes, nipple creams etc. as contact with these may increase the risk of the infant developing an allergy to them.

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Rough fibres in clothing and bedding and even carpet can irritate skin with eczema and some people find lanolin in wool can irritate. Find fabrics that work, such as 100% cotton, and use for clothing where possible, particularly if next to the skin; bedding including blankets and bedspreads; and as covers on vinyl or leather car seats, kitchen chairs, sofas and on carpet if the child is going to be sitting or playing on this. Remove name/ brand tags from clothing to prevent irritations to the neck. Chemicals contained in aerosol sprays (eg, insecticides, air fresheners and polishes) paints, resins and varnishes can irritate eczema skin in some people. Avoid using or contact with these as appropriate. Chlorinated swimming pools look for pools with low chlorine levels, or saltwater pools or the sea. Make sure to apply moisturiser before swimming, rinse off in a fresh-water shower after swimming then apply more moisturiser.

Laundry Use a gentle laundry product when washing clothes, bedding and towels, avoid use of bleaches or fabric softeners, and make sure to rinse well to remove any soap, detergent or fragrance. Wash new clothes, bedding and towels before use as these may contain chemicals from the manufacturing process. Hot washing bedding at greater than 55°c can help remove house dust-mites if these are an irritant. Stress and anxiety can also play a role in inflaming eczema skin, particularly in older children and adults. Allergy New Zealand’s booklet “Letting go: teaching your food-allergic child responsibility” may be of help. Constant lack of sleep due to itchy or painful skin can also increase stress for the patient and their family. The use of sedating antihistamines at night might help – discuss this option with your doctor. Eczema skin is prone to infections that will inflame the skin. To avoid infections: � Wash your hands before and after applying creams. � Don’t share towels and bedding with others and wash regularly. � Young children may pick up infections from playing in sandpits. These should be avoided particularly when the skin is inflamed (sand at the beach is cleaner). � Eczema is made worse by infections such as impetigo (school sores); and the cold sore virus. See your doctor urgently if infection from these occurs.

The Allergy Season 2014 Many New Zealanders celebrate Spring as marking the end of a cold, wet and dark winter. For hundreds of thousands of people however – in fact one in five kiwis – Spring brings with it pollen and the misery of hayfever. This is why Allergy New Zealand is launching an annual campaign called The Allergy Season.

Over one-third of New Zealanders suffer from an allergy-related health issue – 1,500,000 people Allergies are a chronic condition caused by the immune system over-reacting to something that is otherwise harmless to most people. A variety of conditions are caused including food allergies, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), insect or drug allergies, skin allergies such as eczema and urticaria, and asthma.

The Growing up in New Zealand’ study (a longitudinal study through the University of Auckland) found nearly 26% of the nearly 7,000 children in the study at age two years had been diagnosed with eczema. The ‘Now We are Two’ report was released in June this year. The prevalence rate identified is in line with a Melbourne study (Martin et al. 2013), which found approximately one in three infants developed eczema by 12 months of age.” Penny Jorgensen, Allergy Advisor, Allergy New Zealand. – Penny

“We have a particularly allergenic environment in New Zealand” says Allergy New Zealand CEO, Mark Dixon. “Our humid, temperate climate is perfect for house dust-mites, and we have a lot of pollen-producing trees, grasses and weeds. Add windy weather patterns to that and life can be very unpleasant for a lot of people.” There are strong arguments for taking allergies seriously. The direct and indirect costs and poorer quality of life have been recently estimated for Australia at $30 billion a year – on a population basis that works out to over $5.5 billion a year for New Zealand. Most of the costs are likely to be incurred by people of working age and their children. Allergy New Zealand is encouraging people to get behind Allergy Season by holding “Inside-Out Picnics” in their communities. The Inside-Out Picnics are based on the idea that when people are affected by allergies their lives are turned inside out.

� Inside-Out Picnics – refer to for ideas and resources

The 2014 Allergy Season campaign will cover three themes: September:

Allergic rhinitis, most commonly known as hay-fever

October: Eczema November:

Holidaying with food allergies

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knowledge is power – preparing for a trip to hospital

Although it is not something you would want to happen, sometimes your child will end up with a trip to hospital. The medical world can be scary – intimidating hospital buildings, complex medical machinery and unfamiliar people can be daunting. This is particularly hard for children when they are ill or in pain, as well as for their parents. The stress on everyone will be eased if you all have some idea of what to expect and what will be expected of you as a parent and the primary advocate for your child.

What to tell your child It is important to give children information simply and truthfully, in words they understand. Tell them that they will be going to hospital and outline what they may expect to happen there. A prepared child will find it easier to cope with their hospital experience. Before being admitted to hospital, find out as much as possible about what will happen. Ask questions such as:

� How long will your child need to stay? � Can a parent be present during procedures such as x-rays and scans? � Can brothers and sisters visit at any time? � What facilities are there for parents? � If an anaesthetic will be needed, can you be with your child when the anaesthetic is given, and in the recovery room afterwards?

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� If your child has special needs, is the hospital aware of these and what support is available? � Is there a pre-admit or play preparation programme to help children understand what will happen?

What to bring It can be a good idea to involve your child in packing a bag to take to hospital, include something familiar and comforting, such as a cuddly, a favourite toy or game, or pictures of the family – children can usually wear their own clothes or nightwear if they wish. Play can help to make something scary feel a bit more familiar and reassuring. In hospital it helps children to learn and develop and to feel less anxious. Play also helps them to express their feelings, understand what is happening and cope with treatment. Many hospitals

have play specialists who can give you suggestions about how best to prepare your child. Remember to include the other children in your family in discussions – they will also need to know what is happening and why and don‘t forget to bring clothing, a book and money for the person who is to stay with the child. If your child has special needs, you will need to bring any mobility aids and any other resources that they normally require or use.

How to make a hospital visit easier for your child It is important to be with your child as much as you are able so that they continue to feel loved and safe. Younger children especially will cope with the hospital experience best if a parent or other trusted person stays with them. If you have to leave, tell

your child that you are going, and leave confidently, even if this causes distress. Make sure your nurse knows that you are leaving and when you will be back.

What to expect once your child is home again When children go home, it is common for them – and for their brothers and sisters – to need extra love, patience and attention until they feel secure again. It is likely that your child’s behaviour may change for a time. They may worry more about things in general and particularly about their health or about minor injuries. They may be more ”clingy or babyish. Eating and sleeping habits may change. They may be fearful in situations that remind them of hospital or of illness. All of these are very common

reactions, and should pass in time. Providing opportunities to share their feelings, to talk about their experience if they want to, and to play ”hospitals“ will help. Older children may also like to draw pictures or make a book about their hospital stay. If you are worried or if your child’s changed behaviour continues beyond a few weeks, you could contact: � The Hospital Play Specialists Association � Your GP � The charge nurse or social worker on the ward to which your child was admitted � PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 � Healthline on 0800 611 116 �

Starship: Inside Our National Children’s Hospital This is a true New Zealand story, warts and all. It was a massive task in the early years just to get the plans for Starship on the drawing board taking 30 years from concept to planning stage. There was strong opposition from both the medical and political communities at the time. But Princess Mary Hospital was dilapidated and needed replacing. Built in 1918 it was only intended to be in use for five years. It was upgraded and added to in 1942, and again in 1949. The original building still stands on the grounds of Auckland City Hospital.

Edited by Dr Lochie Teague ISBN: 9781775534181 Published: 7 March, 2014 RRP: $49.99 Starship: Inside Our National Children’s Hospital is the history of the hospital. The full saga has never really been told – the struggle to get it built, the people who tried to stop it, the people who were determined it would be built, as well as the endless negotiations to ensure it did.

In 1982 New Children’s Hospital Trust was formed and at that point they went to the public for financial support to ensure the hospital that was needed was built. The use of public support to get things moving when it looked like the project could stall (no Facebook or Twitter in those days!) was huge. There is some great historic material of the referendum in the book including a famous ad that ran shouting “Where we send our sick kids is the shame of Auckland”. All this took a great personal toll on those involved, several of whom were taken to task by their own colleagues for pushing ahead with the project. Today Starship provides a world-class facility of medical care, teaching and research for the whole country. 85% of patients come from outside of the ADHB funding area, more than 4,000 admissions come from outside the greater Auckland area each year and over 400 (that’s more than 8 every week) are admitted from the South Island.

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can I eat that? pregnancy nutrition During pregnancy your diet is the main source of nutrients for your body, which is now growing a baby. All the food groups are important when you’re pregnant – especially vegetables, fruit and whole grains. You are likely toneed to take folic acid and iodine supplements (which can be prescribed by your LMC) and be extra careful to avoid unsafe food. Research has shown a well-balanced diet contributes to:

A healthy birth weight for babies � Improved foetal brain development. � Reduced chance of complications such as morning sickness, fatigue, mood swings, anaemia and pre-eclampsia.

it easier to shed any unwanted extra pounds after your baby is born. It is normal for your body to lay down additional fat stores during pregnancy so that your body can later use these stores whilst breastfeeding.

Avoid or cut down on the following:

Aim to eat a healthy diet and be physically active each day (unless advised not to be physically active). Your midwife can provide you with information about a healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

� If using salt, choose iodised salt.

Your food choices need to suit you and your circumstances, including your budget, culture and family circumstances. These are guidelines and your midwife will happily talk to you about the detail you may need to think about when establishing the best diet for you and your family.

� Drink plenty of fluids each day, especially water and reduced- or low-fat milk.

� A speedy recovery after delivery. Don’t worry about putting on weight when you’re pregnant – it goes with the territory.

Eat a variety of healthy foods every day from the four main food groups

You need to up your calorie intake to provide wholesome nutrients for both you and your growing baby, but you don’t need to “eat for two”. Steering clear of junk food during pregnancy will help keep your weight gain within a healthy range, making

� Breads and cereals (wholegrain).

� Vegetables and fruit. � Milk and milk products (reducedor low-fat milk is best). � Lean meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds.

� Limit your intake of foods and drinks that are high in fat (especially saturated fat), salt and/or sugar foods and drinks. � Take care when buying, preparing, cooking and storing food so that the food is as safe as possible to eat. � Avoid alcohol during pregnancy.

Variety is the spice of life You need a variety of healthy foods from the four food groups every day to provide for your growing baby as well as to maintain your own health.

Vegetables and fruit Vegetables and fruit provide carbohydrates (sugar and starch), fibre, vitamins and minerals and are low in fat. � Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. � Enjoy fresh, well-washed vegetables and fruit, or frozen or canned varieties. � Include vegetables and fruit in a variety of colours. � Limit juice and dried fruit intake because these foods have a high sugar content. Eat at least six servings per day of vegetables and fruit – at least four servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit. If you do choose juice or dried fruit, have no more than one serving per day.

Serving size examples � 1 medium piece of potato, kumara, pumpkin, carrot, taro, kamokamo or yam (135 g). � ½ cup cooked vegetables, eg, - a, - watercress, silverbeet, taro puh leaves, bokchoy (50–80 g). � ½ cup salad or sprouts (60 g). � 1 apple, pear, banana or orange (130 g).

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� 2 small apricots or plums (100 g). � 1 cup fruit juice (250 g). � 25 g dried fruit.

Breads and Cereals These provide carbohydrates (sugar and starch), fibre, and nutrients such as B vitamins and minerals. � Eat plenty of breads and cereals, including rice, pasta, breakfast cereals and other grain products. � Choose wholegrain varieties because they provide extra nutrients and fibre. They also help prevent constipation. Choose at least six servings of breads and cereals each day.

Serving size examples � 1 muffin (80 g). � 1 medium slice bread (26 g). � 1 cup cornflakes (30 g). � 1 cup cooked pasta (150 g). � 1 cup cooked rice (150 g).

Milk and milk products Pregnant women need milk and milk products as sources of protein, vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and iodine. � Choose reduced- or low-fat milk, yoghurt and hard cheese. � Milk and milk products provide New Zealanders with most of their calcium. If you do not eat these foods or eat very little of them, ask your LMC about other calcium sources. � Calcium is also found, in lower amounts, in foods such as wholegrain bread, broccoli, canned salmon, sardines, spinach, baked beans and tofu.

Lean meats, chicken, seafood, eggs, cooked or dried beans, peas and lentils, and nuts and seeds These foods give you much needed protein, iron, zinc and other nutrients. Your body needs more iron and zinc during pregnancy.Iron is important for healthy blood and for the development of your baby. During pregnancy, it is important to have a good iron intake to help prevent iron deficiency. Iron which is found in lean meats, chicken and seafood is absorbed well by the body. Eggs, cooked or dried beans, peas and lentils, and nuts and seeds also contain iron, but the iron is not as easily absorbed. Liver is a good source of iron, but eat no more than a small piece (100 g) once a week. Include foods rich in vitamin C with your meals to help absorb iron. Fresh vegetables and fruit, especially taro leaves (cooked), broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, kiwifruit, mangoes and pineapple, are rich sources of vitamin C. This is especially important for vegetarian and vegan women, who may find it hard to get enough iron. Make sure that vegetables, fruit, meat, chicken and seafood are fresh and that cooked food is cooked well, served hot and eaten immediately after cooking. Fish is recommended, because it is an important source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.Seafood and eggs are also useful sources of iodine. Choose at least two servings from this group each day.

� If you are drinking soy milk, choose one that is calciumfortified (check the label).

Serving size examples

� If you are vegan, check that your soy milk has vitamin B12 in it.

� ¾ cup mince (195 g).

Have at least three servings each day of milk or milk products, preferably reduced- or low-fat products.

Serving size examples

� 2 slices cooked meat (100 g). � 1 medium steak (120 g). � 2 drumsticks (110 g). � 1 medium piece of cooked fish (100 g), eg, warehou or eel. � small can of canned fish (90 g).

� 1 large glass milk (250 ml).

� 1 egg (50 g).

� 1 pottle yoghurt (150 g).

� ¾ cup canned or cooked dried beans (135 g).

� 2 slices hard cheese (40 g). � 1 large glass calcium-fortified soy milk (250 ml).

� 1/3 cup nuts or seed. � ¾ cup tofu.

What to bear in mind when choosing seafood High intakes of mercury are unsafe for your baby. Some fish have higher levels of mercury, although there is little concern with canned tuna (check that it is skipjack or albacore tuna), canned salmon, mackerel or sardines, farmed salmon, tarakihi, blue cod, hoki, john dory, monkfish, warehou, whitebait and flat fish like flounder. Some longer-lived and larger fish (eg, uncanned wild-caught [not farmed] salmon, uncanned albacore tuna or mackerel, kahawai, red cod, orange roughy and ling) can contain more mercury, so consumption of these should be limited to three 150 g servings per week. A small number of fish (eg, school shark, southern bluefin tuna, marlin and trout from geothermal regions and Lake Rotomahana) should be eaten only once a fortnight – or not at all if consuming other types of fish or seafood. Limit the amount of Bluff and Pacific oysters and queen scallops because of their high cadmium concentrations. Mercury levels in fish are actively monitored by the Ministry of Primary Industries. Over time, with new findings, the recommendations regarding mercury may change. For the most up-to-date information, check the MPI Food Safety website at www.foodsmart.govt. nz. Alternatively, contact MPI Food Safety (freephone 0800 693 721) or ask your Lead Maternity Carer for more information.

Use your thirst as a guide Aim for nine cups of fluid each day. Extra fluid may be needed during hot weather, after activity, or if you are vomiting or constipated. Water or reduced- or low-fat milk are the best choices. There is evidence that caffeine consumption may affect your baby’s growth during pregnancy. Caffeine occurs naturally in tea, coffee and chocolate and is present in many cola-type drinks. Limit your consumption of caffeinated drinks while pregnant. Have no more than

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six cups of tea or instant coffee (or three ‘single’ espresso-type coffees or one ‘double’ espresso-type coffee) each day. Be cautious about drinking herbal teas. Discuss this with your LMC. Avoid drinking tea with meals. The tannins in tea mean you will not absorb the iron in the meal as well as you could.

always heat until piping hot – then serve them hot to reduce the risk of illness such as listeria. � When cooking, choose to grill, steam, microwave, boil or bake foods, without adding fat. � Eat meals without adding extra salt. � Choose foods with no added sugar.

Always opt for foods low in fat, salt and sugar

Many fast foods, takeaways and processed snacks are high in fat, salt and/or sugar. These include such foods as fish and chips, fried chicken, hamburgers, pies, chocolate bars, muesli bars, chippies, lollies, fruit leathers, cordials and soft/ fizzy drinks. Limit intake of these foods and drinks. Only consider eating foods such as fried chicken, hamburgers and pies if they have just been made, are well cooked and are served piping hot.

The best way to meet your extra needs is to choose foods from the four food groups which are good sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

A healthy weight gain during pregnancy is best for you and baby

Limit soft drinks, flavoured waters, fruit drinks, cordials and diet drinks because these are low in nutrients and may be high in sugar. Energy drinks and energy shots are not recommended because they may contain high levels of caffeine and other ingredients not recommended for pregnant women.

When you are out shopping, read the labels and look for foods that are lower in fat (especially in saturated fat), salt and sugar.

Ways to cut down on fat (especially saturated fat), salt and sugar � Choose polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarine or lower fat table spreads (fortified with vitamin D) rather than butter or dripping, and spread margarine thinly. � Choose foods rich in polyunsaturated fat and omega-3, including green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, oily fish (canned tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel; fresh warehou, eel), and oils (soybean, canola, flaxseed and walnut oils). � Choose lean meats, trim off any fat, remove skin from chicken before or after cooking, skim fat off stews or off the top of boilups and eat more grilled, boiled or steamed fish. � Reduce intake of sausages or processed meats, which can be high in fat. If eating these foods, grill rather than fry them and

While there is no exact healthy weight gain, there is a recommended range of weight gain, which is based on your pre-pregnancy height and weight. Talk to your midwife if you are concerned about your weight gain.

in a smaller and less healthy baby, and it could also affect your health.

Keeping active is important Being physically active each day can help you avoid putting on excess weight, and will strengthen your heart and lungs and give you the extra energy and strength needed for the birth. Unless your midwife advises otherwise, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. Choose activities you enjoy that match your level of fitness. Suitable activities include brisk walking, swimming, aqua-jogging or any activity that is comfortable for you and leaves you with enough breath to hold a conversation. Wear suitable clothes when being physically active, for example, a good support bra, loose clothing and supportive footwear. Take breaks for a drink, food or a rest if you need to. Contact sports and vigorous physical activity are not recommended. Avoid physical activity in extremely hot weather. Don’t start a new sport during pregnancy. You may need more rest. Listen to your body. If you are tired, rest.

The weight you gain during pregnancy results from � the growing baby � the growth of the placenta and the uterus � fluid around the baby � breasts getting bigger for breastfeeding � more blood being made � fat stores, which will be needed as energy for breastfeeding. In early pregnancy, your energy (kilojoule or calorie) needs to increase by a small amount. You can expect to eat more food as the pregnancy progresses, but this does not mean you need to ‘eat for two’. A good appetite and a steady weight gain, especially after the first three months, will usually mean you are eating enough. Dieting during pregnancy is not recommended because it may result

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Prepared with information from the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand College of Midwives.




Homeopathic remedies

Curbing that Cough! Coughs are typically some of the most difficult ailments for children and babies to cope with. Usually, there is an increase in coughs during the winter months when your child’s resistance is at its lowest. Coughs can also occur at times of seasonal change when the variation in temperature, diet and lack of sunlight lowers resistance, making your child more susceptible. Since a cough is the body’s way of ridding mucus from the respiratory tract, it is best not to suppress it but rather assist the body to rid itself of the accumulated toxins and return to a comfortable state of health. Historically, we think of coughs, colds and other illnesses as negative events and something we have ‘caught’ from somewhere or someone. In fact, as humans we harbour a huge range of bacteria in our body and these are activated by our defence systems at times when our body is under stress. Disease symptoms such as coughs and colds are remedial efforts made necessary by the body to get rid of the accumulation of waste and toxins in our cells. Our efficient inner bacteria work hard to carry away this waste in order to preserve our integrity. Having this ‘clean out’ then, is often a good thing as we will surge forward with a boost in energy or development afterwards. A state of internal cleanliness is our best ingredient for health and wellbeing, as inner bacteria cannot multiply without toxins to feed on. Your initial first defence, then, in boosting your child’s health, should be nutrition. When the resources of

the body are consumed with clearing the waste residue, it needs potent, effective nutrition to assist it. Juices: Fresh, homemade juices are simple to make in a juicer and can be inexpensive. Wash all fruit and vegetables being used and stick to simple flavours a young child will like such as apple and carrot, maybe with a touch of ginger. Children can drink small amounts of these during the day. Fresh fruit: Slices of pear, apple, mandarin, orange and kiwi fruit are all high in vitamin C and easy for your child to nibble on and digest. Fluids: It is important to keep up hydration in a body that is cleansing. This helps with excretion of cellular waste and promotes free bowel and urinary function. If your child is not drinking water, try them on honey and apple cider vinegar drink – a tablespoon of each in 1 litre of water makes a palatable, health drink. Herbs: The addition of herbs that promote healthy immunity, such as echinacea, can assist the body to return to balance more quickly. Your local naturopath or health shop will give you guidance as to the best dosage for your child. Lozenges: Although many of these contain sugar, a substance you want to avoid during healing, sucking on a lozenge can provide immense relief to someone with a cough. There are many natural lozenges available on the market. Food: While the body is in its cleansing stage, avoid dairy and wheat-based products (which typically increase mucus in the body). Refined sugars should be avoided and heavy foods such as meat and processed foods. The body

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will do better on lighter foods over this period and usually the patient will feel more like light snacks. Homemade soup is a good choice. Sleep and rest: Resting the body is extremely important as the body is using all its resources to undertake cellular repair and exchange. This is a full-time job. It is important to have early nights and rest during any illness. Homeopathic remedies: A correctly prescribed homeopathic remedy can cut short the expected duration of a cough, giving your child relief from debilitating symptoms. The unique aspects of some of the more commonly used remedies are listed below. A ‘remedy picture’ should be fitted to all the symptoms exhibited by your child especially any symptom changes from the norm.

Aconite � Dry, hard cough, sudden onset, often caused by cold, dry winds. � Early stages of croup, starts early in the night, child gasping, choking and anxious. � May spit up some watery mucus.

Bryonia � Dry and painful cough, patient must hold chest & head if sore. � Worse after eating, drinking, or in warm rooms. � Warm water helps the cough and they may drink a large quantity at once. � Mucus usually absent but may be yellow or streaked with blood.

Phosphorus � Cough with burning in chest and difficulty breathing.

� Varies in type – dry, loose, croupy or deep. � Often some blood streaks in phlegm or it is thick yellowgreen. � Chest pain worse lying left side – sense of weight or constriction. � Cold, cold air and drinks, laughing, talking, eating all worsen the cough. � Laryngitis and hoarseness accompany the cough.

Causticum � Constant desire to clear the throat – feels there is mucus in there. � Hoarseness – worse with almost any cold, worse in morning, from over-use, bending forward, and better from cold drinks.

� Wakens patient from sleep (before midnight) – suffocative constriction of the throat, sense of something in there, or of breathing through something.

� Spasms of coughing may end in gagging and vomiting.

� May be some anxiety about the health.


� Worse from excitement, talking and ice-cold drinks. � Better from drinking warmer fluids and eating.

Hepar Sulph � Cough from every exposure to cold air, worse from draughts, and better in warm rooms � Deep, wet coughing of thick yellow phlegm – smells like old cheese. � May experience a sharp or splinter-like pain on coughing .

� Patient coughs deeper and deeper trying to clear the mucus.

� Worse in the evening before midnight – patient is usually chilly.

� Bronchitis with a hard racking cough. Loss of urine when coughing.


� Raw feeling in chest as if rock were inside.

Rumex � Dry and shallow, set off by tickling in the throat pit (above breastbone). � Worse breathing deeply – causes patient to cough as does cold air, in the evening before midnight and lying down. � They are better in warm air or putting head under the blankets.

Spongia � Croupy or harsh cough, loud, dry and hoarse or rasping (sounds like a saw through a dry log).

� Dry and loose cough, worse lying down, exertion, warm rooms, better in open air. � Often cough dry at night and loose by day.

� Children often cough in their sleep without wakening.

� Dry, spasmodic, croupy cough – barking or ringing sound. � Tickling or roughness excites the cough – can feel as if coming from the abdomen. � Spasms worse after midnight, follow quickly, end in retching or vomiting. � Worse lying, eating, drinking, better supporting chest or abdomen which helps the pain. If none of these remedies seem to fit the symptoms your child is suffering, seek the advice of a qualified homeopath who will be able to select an appropriate remedy from the wide range at their disposal. Distressing coughs such as croup and whooping cough can often be minimised with a series of appropriate prescriptions so that effective improvement takes place in a shorter timeframe. Visit your Doctor if you have any concerns about complicated cough symptoms.

� Child becomes weepy and clingy.

Judy Coldicott RC Hom Judy practices as both a homeopath and reflexologist from Pleasant Point in South Island’s rural heartland. She is a senior staff member for the College of Natural Health and Homeopathy, primarily involved in curriculum matters and student support. Judy’s passion is to make homeopathy userfriendly and accessible to the general public and she loves to inspire people of all ages to feel confident in its use.

spring-clean your budget With winter behind us and summer just over the horizon, spring is a great time to take a look at your family budget. For some people, budgeting can be a bad word because they think they have to do without. In fact, the point of a budget is to help you reach your financial goals – perhaps you could start planning your summer holiday! Thinking about budgeting can be pretty uninspiring but realistically, you can’t gain control of your money if you don’t know where it’s going! You don’t have to watch every single cent, however it’s helpful to get an idea what your family spends money on and what funds are coming in. So where do you start? Like many things, getting started is often the hardest part. It’s easier than you think to take control of your money – here are five simple steps to help get you started:

1. A financial health check If you're keen to better understand your finances, then your first step is to look at where your money is going. Think of it as a financial health check. Go through your receipts and bank statements from last month to see where you’re spending your money. Keeping a spending diary for a week or month can also help to do this. You might be surprised where your money is going – and how small purchases, like a coffee here and there, can really add up!

2. Don’t ignore debt If you have existing debts, there's no better time to deal with them than now. Ignoring debt doesn’t make it go away! List any debts, how much you owe, and the amount of your current monthly repayments, and then prioritise your debt (for example you might prioritise your debt according to interest rate). It’s helpful to have recent

60 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

bank statements, store and credit card bills on hand to see the interest rates charged.

3. Be realistic A budget doesn't have to be complicated. The key is to make it easy to understand and follow – and to be realistic! Write things down, be honest, and try to include everything you spend (yes, including those new shoes!). Remember, a budget can help you to save money, organise debt repayments, and make decisions that can change your finances for the better. You can take a look at our online budget calculator to help you create a personal budget or review your outgoings – find it at

4. Develop good money habits Good habits like knowing when you have money, when you need to pay things off and when you need to be more careful can help you avoid pitfalls and stay on track to achieve your goals.

Here are some tips: Pay bills on time: Set up regular payments to pay your bills when you know you'll have money, like after your payday. If you get paid weekly, spread the payments across the month. Pay yourself: Once you have your debt under control, set aside a portion of your income for savings. This amount should be allocated before paying for any individual wants or needs, and can be as small or as large as you’re comfortable with. Paying yourself first is a great way to build a nest egg for the future and a cash buffer for emergencies that may crop up from time to time. Reassess your situation as needed: If you’re finding things challenging from a financial perspective revisit your budget and make changes where possible.

These practical tips can help make a real difference, and mean you can also enjoy those well deserved treats from time to time!

5. Set financial goals

With these simple steps, budgeting doesn’t have to be a bad word. It requires discipline and a long-term view; however you can reward yourself along the way as you reach individual milestones. So what are you waiting for? Source: Davidson Institute, an education initiative of Westpac Banking Corporation

Think about your financial goals and the timeframe over which you’d like to achieve them. It might be specific, like buying a home, a car or a planning a holiday, or more general, such as building your retirement nest-egg. Whatever your goal is, consider your life and work requirements, your spending and savings habits and decide what you are and aren’t willing to give up to achieve these goals.

Visit and click on the ‘Managing Your Money’ tab for helpful tools

Remember, if you're clear about your destination, you'll have a greater chance of getting there.

including saving and budgeting calculators and online tutorials. You can also check out if there is a workshop coming up near you. There’s even tools

WE S 1 4 4

Kate van Praagh

for kids including some cool online games to get

Kate is a part-time working mum to a busy 18 month old girl. As Senior Sustainability Manager at Westpac, Kate is responsible for programmes relating to financial education, social and affordable 4housing K i w iand _ pdiversity. a r e n t A. p d f Pa ge 1 2 9

on ‘Your Life Stage’ to find out more.

kids thinking about money and how to save – click All opinions, statements and analysis expressed in this article are based on information current at the time of writing from sources which Westpac believes to be authentic and reliable. All information provided is a guide only that does not take into account your personal financial situation or / 0 6 / 1 goals. 2 , 1 1 : 4 4 AM

Getting back to work? We can help it work for you. Now you can balance your career with your family and help them both grow. We’ve got a variety of exciting career opportunities available, including roles with flexible hours to suit your busy lifestyle. With positions available on a casual, part time or full time basis, there’s sure to be something to suit you. If you have the drive and passion to deliver a great customer experience, and want to join a team of people that are passionate about helping Kiwi’s get ahead, then we want to hear from you.

Interested? Check out for all your options.

Westpac New Zealand Limited

Readers birth story Kiwiparent welcomes stories from readers about their births. We recognise every birth is unique and special, and we encourage informed decision making which empowers parents to make choices that are right for them and their families. Liz Pearce, Childbirth Education Manager, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Contact the editor with your submission:


I didn’t fit in –

After I had my son, Matthew, I had this wonderful new life, I had great ‘mother’ friends that I met with weekly. I belonged. The Thursday get-together with my antenatal group was the highlight of my week. We were a bunch of mostly 30-something interesting and clever women who were besotted with our new babies. We talked, ate cake and drank coffee, and it was great. We had all had good careers up until then and were happy with our new place in life. Around October 2007, when Matthew had just turned one, I got pregnant with James. I was excited, but somehow felt it was too soon to celebrate as I’d just had a miscarriage. One other person in our group was also pregnant, and another two got pregnant soon after. It seemed we were in it together. Soon we were all to have two wonderful children. I had recently sold my publishing business and I was really looking forward to being a busy mum of two. The children would have been about 21 months apart, which I thought was ideal. My brother Peter and I were 18 months apart, and although we fought constantly when we were young, it was a strong relationship – we loved each other. Peter had died a few months earlier, on Easter Sunday 2007. He was working under his house installing underfloor insulation and was electrocuted. Matthew was six months old. It was absolutely devastating. Peter had been my buddy all my life, I had not known a day without him being alive, now he was gone. Before Peter died I had always felt that nothing bad would ever happen; there had been lots of close calls, but everything always turned out all right. That all changed after that Easter Sunday. I now felt so vulnerable. The possibility that something could happen to me, my husband, my son or my unborn child was so real. My innocence was extinguished. In February 2008 we went in for the 12-week scan. Soon after, my midwife phoned to say that our baby had a one in 12 chance of having Down syndrome. His nuchal fold was thick, 3.4mm, it should be less than 2mm. I had a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) procedure followed by a nervous wait for the results. The following Thursday, while at my beloved antenatal group, I got the news that all was fine. What a huge relief. We could now carry on with a normal pregnancy.

The test also confirmed what I already instinctively knew, that our baby was a boy. I had two months of being blissfully pregnant. The morning sickness had gone and I was growing. I felt the baby move at about 15 weeks. I was happy. At 20 weeks we had another scan. It showed that his long bones (legs and arms) were on the short side. One of his feet also looked unusual. I was stunned – and in denial. The next scan was an agonising five weeks away. I analysed the previous scans intensely. I compared all of the baby’s measurements with Matthew’s scans from the same gestation and researched incessantly on the internet. I became a bit of an expert on bone length ratios and growth rates. I had hope. Perhaps the sonographer had measured the bones from the wrong points, what if we go to another sonographer to do it instead? The next scan was worse. Both his hands and feet looked funny too. Hope was fading. During this time I was trying to keep myself busy. I would go to the park with Matthew a lot, but found myself being obsessed with the legs and feet of other children. It would be the first thing that I would check out. I would feel so envious when I saw that they were normal. But then I had to remind myself that I too had a child with normal limbs, not that it helped much. It just seemed so unfair. Life was going to be tough, but we were going to be okay. I knew that I would have to start preparing myself early for having a disabled child. I wanted to deal with as much of the grief as I could now, so that when he came I would be able to focus on loving him. I met with CCS and with Parent to Parent, a support group of parents of disabled children. It was very difficult, but I was coping the only way I knew how, to extraprepare – and to cry and cry. I was also deep in grief. I was grieving for the healthy child, one that would run around and play. The future was terrifying, but we, as a family, would be okay – we had no choice. At the next scan the results were worse again. My baby, James, died about a week later. I gave birth to his lifeless body on 23 May 2008. Giving birth is hard enough when you are having a live baby, but at least it is a natural pain and you have something amazing to look forward to. Being induced and giving birth to a dead baby is completely different.

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In the minutes before James was born I absolutely gave up. The contractions were so intense and I was absolutely terrified. My willpower completely vanished and I begged my poor midwife to put an end to it. I just could not go on. For me it was absolutely the worst combination of physical and mental pain imaginable. The next day I went home. I hid inside for about ten days, too terrified to see anyone. My mother stayed, which helped, and my husband took a week off work. I pretty much stayed in bed, read books on baby loss and cried. All this was affecting my son Matthew terribly. He was grumpy and wouldn’t sleep. This made me feel worse; how was I going to cope on my own with a non-sleeping toddler when all I needed was to rest and to withdraw into myself? I knew his behaviour was a direct result of my grief. I had to get my act together and put on a happy face. This seemed nearly impossible – I had lost my brother and then my son, it was so unfair. What I wasn’t ready for was the pain of seeing my ‘mother’ friends again. I could not bear to be around babies, or any younger siblings – no matter whom they belonged to. In my mind I no longer fitted with them, I was broken.

Supportive friends My antenatal group friends were just so wonderful and patient with me. At my insistence, they continued to send me the emails with details of where each weekly meeting was to be. I imagined what it would be like to be there, and longed for the day when I could return with a new baby. I vividly remember the joint second birthday party for our antenatal group firstborns. It was held upstairs at a community hall. I arrived late and sat at the bottom of the stairs, crying, too scared to go in. Eventually I did venture up the stairs and then sat in the corner and cried while my lovely friends brought me food and wine, the latter of which I downed rather quickly. They were so kind to me. I had so much guilt, and so much grief. It was harrowing. I remember seeing some of the fathers lovingly hold their new babies, that was just too much. My husband’s lap was bare. I became obsessed with getting pregnant again. I

64 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

thought about it constantly. However, I was in such a bad state emotionally that I didn’t think it could happen. Why would my body let me bring new life to a mind that was so damaged? Everyone around me seemed to be getting pregnant and I soon realised now that my group of ‘safe’, nonpregnant friends was diminishing fast. I needed to start seeing some people soon and deal with my issues. Otherwise I was going to sink deeper into the dark hole that was surrounding me on all sides. I made myself visit a baby, but it made things worse. About six months after losing James I concluded that I was depressed. I had a big black cloud hanging over me. Everyone I met had to know about my losses – which was not always appropriate. I needed help and so I turned to hypnotherapy, with success. The black cloud disappeared inside an hour, replaced with a lovely vision of my brother cradling James in his arms while standing in a tranquil garden. Soon came the lead-up to the burial of James’ ashes, at his one-year anniversary. I decided early on to try and make it a positive and happy day. My husband and I collected about 25 river stones and had them engraved with James’ name and birthday. With them came a little card asking people if they could take a stone on their travels and leave it somewhere they think a little boy might like to go one day. The immortality of the stones meant that James’ legacy would surpass all our lives, living longer than any of us. In the weeks before the burial I was feeling very anxious. On the day of the burial I actually forgot to take the ashes with us; luckily we remembered once we were about 500 metres down the road. I think I was really worried about letting go – for the past year the ashes had been sitting in what would have been James’ bedroom, surrounded by toys, cards and other mementoes.

One of the best days of my life The burial of the ashes turned out to be one of the best days of my life. This was completely unexpected.

I realised that it was the ultimate sign of respect to my son – to have him buried like everyone else who has died. His ashes were safe forever and immortalised. He had a grave – he was a real person. But perhaps the biggest thing was that he was now in a public place, a place where anyone could go to pay their respects or to just look and wonder about him. He was no longer just ours; he belonged to everyone and the world. I started working again soon after James died. It was a hugely satisfying job and I loved it. However, it involved a lot of public speaking and I’d always found this extremely nerve-wracking – my heart used to thump so vigorously that I was sure everyone could see it. However, whenever I had to present postJames I was as calm as ever, it did not faze me at all. It was an unexpected and totally welcome benefit. My only conclusion is that, with the great trauma I had experienced, that my ‘fear dial’ was turned up so high that nothing as trivial as public speaking even comes close. Several years have passed and we have a beautiful daughter Sarah in our lives. I am a much better person for my losses. I live more in the moment. I am no longer obsessively driven to achieve. I do want to achieve, but only in ways that are truly meaningful. I am very content to be a mum at home and relish time with my family. If we are alive and healthy, then what could possibly be bad? �

9–15 October is Baby Loss Awareness Week Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place from 9th to 15th October every year, ending with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day on 15 October. It provides an opportunity for parents, families and whanau around New Zealand to come together and remember the lives of their babies who have died. We acknowledge the lives and deaths of all babies, no matter what their gestation, length of life or how they died. It is also a chance to highlight the work done by Sands around the country.

Jenny Douché After losing James, Jenny desperately wanted to read stories from other women who had been through something similar. The only books of stories that she could find were either international publications or ones that were written many years ago, and most of the stories tended to end at the funeral, they didn’t talk about life afterwards. What Jenny wanted was a support group in book form, with stories about coping with living with a big whole in our family. The idea for Baby Gone was created. This book has been created to give solace and to educate. Many readers will be able to relate to the stories in the book. It will help them to feel less alone and to see that their grief is valid and the whole range of other emotions that they experience are normal. Book available from

Useful places to go for more information and support Sands New Zealand is a network of parent-run, non-profit groups supporting families who have experienced the death of a baby. TABS (Trauma and Birth Stress) is a charitable trust that serves as an information based website Miscarriage Support website offers support and information to all women who have experienced loss at any stage of their pregnancy and for any reason, particularly miscarriage. The Nurture Foundation for Reproductive Research is committed to helping New Zealanders have families. The New Zealand College of Midwives has a useful list of links and resources for women who are pregnant or who have suffered a pregnancy-related bereavement or trauma.

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Types of immunisation There are two broad classes of immunisation – active or passive. Active immunisation involves the body generating its own specialised cells and antibodies to fight off the infection. This approach takes longer because it needs to generate the right response, but it teaches the immune system to remember how to respond to the germ if it is encountered in the future. This type of immunity lasts a long time.

understanding immunisation During childhood, children are exposed to thousands of germs, some of which are potentially harmful to their health. Immunisation is the most effective way to actively protect your child from many preventable diseases, ranging from whooping cough to meningitis and measles. The body uses specialised immune system cells and generates small molecules (antibodies) to fight infections; in particular very young children’s immune systems don’t have the experience to mount rapid effective responses against germ invaders. The first time we come across a germ, it takes a while for the immune response to get going, so we get sick. The next time we come across the same germ, the body will be able to remember the infection and mount a much faster response. Immunisation works in a similar way. Instead of the dangerous germ, vaccines are made of components of the germ that can’t cause disease, or from weakened versions of viruses. Through the delivery of a vaccine, the immune system is taught to respond

to the harmless version of the germ so that it can respond quickly when faced with a real infection and stop us from getting sick. The vaccine doesn’t cause the disease, but teaches the immune system to recognise the invaders in the future. Teaching the immune system how to respond to germs before we are exposed to them – gives us an advantage when we're faced with the real bug! Some of the diseases that we immunise against are very serious in young children. Some, like measles, are highly contagious and usually fairly mild, but pose a risk of serious complications. The safest and most effective way to ensure the good health of your child is to protect them from getting the diseases at all. The immunisation schedule is structured to provide the best protection for our children when they are most at risk. Starting at six weeks, children can be protected from the potentially dangerous diseases that they may encounter. It is very important to stick to the schedule – not immunising your child increases the risk of them getting the infection, and not keeping up to date reduces the protection that the immunisation can provide.

66 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Passive immunisation involves passing ready-made antibodies directly into the person being immunised, allowing for immediate protection. Antibodies are passed from mothers to children across the placenta or through breast milk, but antibodies that have been made and purified in a laboratory can also be directly injected. Mothers pass antibodies against diseases that they have been exposed to on to their children, protecting their babies for a short time after birth. This type of immunisation is temporary and doesn’t protect against all diseases.

How well does it work? Immunisation typically works very well to prevent a wide range of serious diseases. Sometimes, it isn’t completely successful and it doesn’t protect children completely. In cases like this, children can get the disease, but don’t get as sick as they would if they weren’t immunised. While vaccines can’t provide 100% protection to all people, the more people that are immunised, the less the diseases will spread through the population. The people who are protected against the disease can protect the people who aren’t by reducing the risk of exposure to the germs.

Making an informed decision In New Zealand, parents and caregivers have the right to make informed decisions regarding their children's immunisations. Making

informed decisions means being able to find and understand relevant information, being given the opportunity to discuss it, and making the decision that is right for you and your family. It is best if you can make these decisions before your child is due for their immunisations, so that should you decide to go ahead, they can benefit from the best possible protection the vaccines can provide. Being informed about the benefits and risks of immunisation will mean you fully understand what advantages immunisation provides your family, as well as understanding the risks associated with any given vaccine or disease. The right to make an informed choice and give your informed consent when using a health service is guaranteed under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer Rights. The health professional who will be offering immunisation is obliged to provide you with accurate, objective, relevant and understandable information to help make an informed choice. They need to explain: � that you have a choice � why you are being offered the vaccine � what is involved in what you are being offered � the probable benefits, risks, side effects, failure rates and alternatives � and the risks and benefits of not receiving the treatment or procedure. Every parent or caregiver has different information needs when it comes to immunisation. Some are interested in how easy the diseases are to catch, whether they are treatable, and the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. Others want information about the risks of delaying vaccines and any alternatives. There are many different places to go to gather information on immunisation and vaccine preventable diseases.

The contrary view While the vast majority of New Zealanders are immunised, nearly 20% of parents don't immunise their children on time, according to the Immunisation Health Report released in 2013. This found 96% of parents surveyed had their children vaccinated, while 87% had their children fully vaccinated. It found 17% of parents had not immunised their children on time, with some waiting months beyond the recommended due date to get their child's immunisations up to date. The report found that while New Zealand's immunisation rates were on track to achieve the Government's targets, there was still more work to be done to ensure individuals and the broader community were protected against deadly infectious diseases.

Reasons parents choose not to immunise Most parents are concerned about the risk of side-effects from immunisations. There was a belief expressed that adverse reactions are poorly recorded and underestimated in New Zealand. Parents often mentioned the possible link between immunisation and diseases such as autism, diabetes, Crohn’s disease and asthma. Some thought the risk of side-effects outweighed any possible benefit. Some parents thought that children’s immune systems should be given the opportunity to develop naturally by delaying immunisation or not immunising at all. Many parents thought that immunisations were given too early and that immunisation weakens rather than enhances the immune system. They also thought that if children contracted diseases naturally they would develop better, lifelong immunity and this would strengthen their immune systems. One-third of parents regarded most of the diseases immunised against as rare and not threatening to life. They saw immunisation as an unnecessary risk to take to protect against diseases that,

Making informed decision can be a challenge, there is so much information and advice of variable quality and scientific accuracy that can at times be very confusing. My personal advice is talk with your trusted healthcare provider and share concerns, get confidence in a doctor or practice nurse that you feel can listen and talk with. We also have a national 0800 466863 (IMMUNE) phone line run by the Immunisation Advisory Centre and funded by the Ministry of Health if you need further advice. We do know the effectiveness of vaccines for protection of disease, every country in the world runs a vaccination programme strongly supported by the World Health Organisation. The New Zealand programme has a strong evidence base behind it including the importance of immunising at the schedule times and not delaying. Many people are unaware of the availability and importance of using flu vaccines and whooping cough vaccines in pregnancy – these vaccines give good protection against disease for pregnant women and the fetus, but there is now compelling data that also the pregnant mother will offer protection transferred through the placenta to the newborn child, at a vulnerable period in their lives this will offer more protection to our young infants prior to them being old enough to be fully vaccinated.

Associate Professor Nikki Turner, Director, Immunisation Advisory Centre, University of Auckland

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Making informed decisions means being able to find and understand relevant information about immunisation, being given the opportunity to discuss it, and making the decision that is right for you and your family.

After being pricked by the needle your child may cry, it’s their way of coping. Your job is to comfort, hold, and talk to them supportively. Feeding your baby straight after their immunisation will help them settle. You will need to remain in the clinic for 20 minutes after the immunisation. Use this time to help your child settle, this can help make the next visit easier. While most children experience little or no ill effects after immunisations, some minor effects reported are mild fever, tenderness or swelling and redness at the site of the injection. Here are some ways to make your baby or child more comfortable after their immunisation: � Don’t rub the injection site. � Give your child lots of cuddles and lots of fluids. � If you are breastfeeding, give lots of feeds. � An ice pack wrapped well in a dry cloth or better still a cool cloth, can be held over the injection site if it is sore.

as one mother said, are ‘few and far between’. Parents were more likely to immunise their children against diseases they viewed as an immediate threat, such as tetanus or meningitis.

complementary medicine and healthy living to build up immunity.

� If your child gets hot, undressing them down to a single layer, for example a singlet and pants, can help.

The immunisation visit

� Make sure the room is not too hot or too cold.

A quarter of parents thought that vaccines were not fully effective and did not provide lifelong immunity. Parents often mentioned cases of whooping cough in children they had known to be immunised against this disease. Two participants were parents of children they considered to have been permanently disabled by reactions to a vaccine. Two other mothers’ children had experienced short-term adverse reactions such as convulsions and extensive swelling. Based upon their experience they had chosen not to have any of their other children immunised.

Many children (and parents) find immunisation visits are an easy and relatively pain-free experience. For some however, needles can be scary, especially on the first visit. Here's some basic information to help you manage the visit as well as possible.

Other reasons included the protective effect of breastfeeding, not wanting to see a child in pain, too many vaccines delivered at once, belief in Rudolf Steiner philosophy, a child spending its early months close to its mother therefore lowering risk of disease, and the use of

Children can easily tell when their parents are anxious and, as a parent, you need to be aware that your child will look to you for comfort and reassurance. � Try to remain calm and relaxed, even if your child becomes upset. � Bring along a stuffed toy or blanket for your child to hold during the immunisation, or use it to distract them. � Hold your child firmly during the procedure, talking calmly and gently stroking the child’s arm or back to reassure them.

Continued overleaf...

68 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

� Medication for temperature or pain. If your child is unsettled, miserable because of a fever or seems to be in pain, you might consider giving them paracetamol or ibuprofen to make them feel more comfortable. You must follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. It is dangerous to give more than the recommended dose. Giving babies and children paracetamol before and repeatedly after immunisation just in case they feel unwell is NOT recommended and can interfere with the immune response.

Find out more Internet based resources Although the internet has a vast amount of good information, it also contains websites of dubious quality. The challenge is knowing what to

believe. It is best to identify websites that provide information that comply with good information practices. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reviewed a number of sites for adherence to the credibility and content criteria: The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety has recommended a list of criteria that sites providing information on vaccine safety should adhere to: safety/en/

Ministry of Health immunisation-handbook-2014 The Immunisation Advisory Centre provides a local source of independent, factual information based on international and New Zealand scientific research regarding vaccine-preventable diseases and the benefits and risks of immunisation. The National Influenza Specialist Group (NISG) was formed by the

Ministry of Health to increase public awareness of influenza, its seriousness and the importance of immunisation to prevent the disease.

Printed resources Both the Ministry of Health and IMAC have booklets, brochures and fact sheets that may be of assistance. Call 0800 IMMUNE (466 863), Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm to talk to a qualified nurses with extensive immunisation and vaccinepreventable disease knowledge. They also have access to doctors with specialised knowledge, should that be needed. If you want to talk through the various questions you may have about immunisation, we recommend calling your family doctor to arrange time to talk to them or the practice nurse. Your midwife or Plunket nurse will also be able to help, if you are expecting a baby or they are still looking after you and your child.

Changes to the immunisation schedule Pharmac has announced changes to the National Immunisation Schedule to take effect from 1 July 2014. A vaccine for rotavirus has been added to the schedule of universally funded vaccines. Although the infection is rarely fatal, it can be serious, especially in babies. PHARMAC estimates that, nationwide, up to 1200 hospital admissions per year could be avoided through rotavirus vaccination. The rotavirus vaccine is given while babies are very young – the course of three doses must begin before 15 weeks and finish before eight months of age – and is a liquid oral vaccine that is easy to administer.

have your cake

and eat it

If you have ever felt stressed at the prospect of tackling a dream birthday cake for your child, life just became a lot easier. The ‘what’ and ‘how’ of children’s birthday cakes has been made really simple with the launch of the My Cake Kit website. Auckland mum, Eileen Harrison, recently launched My Cake Kit, an innovative online store providing

busy parents with a quick, practical way to create an amazing cake that will impress the birthday child and the party guests. “Raising two boys, with birthdays just two weeks apart, inevitably resulted in the ‘what’ and ‘how’ for birthday cakes,” Eileen explains. “Often it was not the idea that was lacking, but it wasn’t always easy knowing where to get all the bits and bobs that I would need to make something interesting.” The result was months of baking, planning, researching and

70 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Eileen with her sons Isaac (11) & and Samuel (8)

sourcing all the elements that go to make up a celebration cake. This gave Eileen an idea – to take the stress out of finding all the birthday cake elements and instead provide parents with a kit so they can bypass drudgery and skip straight to the fun of baking, decorating and assembling. She identified a gap in the market between buying a ready-made cake and slaving in the kitchen for hours to provide the dream birthday cake from scratch.

How does it work? All you have to do is select your design from their online store and decide on the type of cake you want – there is a choice of vanilla and chocolate cake both offered as a gluten-free option. After completing your order, your cake kit will be delivered to your door within two working days. Inside your kit you will find just about everything you need to replicate the design; a cake mix (850gm), icing sugar, fondant icing and embellishments such as sugar pearls and edible glitter. To ice your cake, the kit includes a palette

knife, a fondant mat for rolling your icing, food colouring for your icing sugar, food grade gloves to keep it healthy – and of course full colour detailed step-by-step instructions and templates. There are also metal or plunge cutters for the tricky bits, a cake board to display your finished creation, and to cap it off, a disposable baking tray. These trays are made from baking grade cardboard and have been designed and developed in the United States. The cakes are really big – the round cakes are 25cm and the rectangular cakes are an enormous 30cm x 40cm and use 1.7kg of cake mix. The only items not

in included in your kit are eggs or oil for the cake and butter or margarine for the icing. Cake Kits are priced around $60 and can be bought from a secure online store as well as through their Facebook page. At the moment there are only cake kits available, but Eileen has plans to soon add cupcake kits. “I suggest you keep checking the website or Facebook page,” says Eileen. “New designs and ideas are also being added every month.”

1 3

Bake your cake


2 Cut out your templates

Knead and roll your fondant

Cut out your fondant shapes

Embellish your fondant

Buttercream your cake

Place your fondant on your cake

Add the finishing touches



5 8

The first time you introduce your baby to any new foods be sure to watch for signs of allergic reactions including hives, difficulty breathing or asthma-type symptoms, swelling of the mouth or throat, vomiting, diarrhoea and even loss of consciousness. If this occurs seek immediate help and call emergency services to assist.

an EGGcellent option The early years of a child’s life are a time of rapid growth and development. For the first six months of their life, breast milk supplies all the nutrition a baby needs, however from six months, foods need to be introduced to complement milk. After the first year, food becomes an important part of a child’s world as milk intake is reduced and more foods are eaten. Infants and toddlers should be given and encouraged to eat a wide variety of foods to make sure they get the necessary vitamins and minerals to complement the rapid growth occurring in their bodies. A variety of foods also exposes toddlers to different textures and flavours. One food that is a welcome inclusion in a young child’s diet is egg. Plunket recommends including mashed egg in a babies diet from the age of 7–8 months. It is not only an easy food for a young child to eat and digest, but eggs are also the base of many healthy well-balanced meals.

Eggs are very nutritious as they contain a range of nutrients including high quality protein, good fats, vitamins and minerals. It is important to include both the yolk and white in a child’s diet as they provide different nutrients. Egg white contains only protein while egg yolk contains all the fat, some protein and most of the vitamins and minerals. For their weight eggs provide the highest quality protein of all foods. Fat is an important nutrient but like many things it is all about balance. Eggs are sometimes thought to be high in fat, but in reality a large egg contains only about 5 grams of fat and less than half that is saturated fat. The fat in eggs supplies energy and fat-soluble vitamins, both important for growth. Eggs contain a range of minerals including; selenium, iodine, iron, zinc and phosphorous, with each playing an important role in the health and wellbeing of children. They are also a gold mine of vitamins; including most of the B vitamins, vitamin A, D and E. Vitamin D is important as it is not commonly found in food. While the best source of vitamin D is the sun, it is good to include foods containing

72 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

vitamin D in the diet of infants and toddlers as they are often kept out of the sun. As well as offering a range of nutrients, eggs are versatile! Finger food is great for toddlers as they learn to feed themselves. For many young Kiwis egg and soldiers in the highchair is just about a rite of passage, while chopped hardboiled egg on a platter with carrot sticks, bread soldiers and fruit makes for a healthy lunch or snack. And don’t overlook the importance of an easy, nutritious food like eggs in the diet of new mothers. Often when you’re tired, busy and body conscious eating can become another hassle. Eggs are the perfect food in this situation. They can be prepared quickly, easily and in a variety of more adult friendly ways; added to salads, stir fries, toasted sandwiches, and pasta or made into omelettes, quiches, pies and other meals. As they are high in protein, eggs are great nutrition for breastfeeding mothers.

Sarah Hanrahan – Dietician for the NZ Nutrition Foundation


Congratulations to the lucky winners From issue 261

Sheepskin Slippers

Infa Secure Vogue Carseat

Liz Geden Auckland

Bev Watt North Shore

Ashleigh Davenport Wellington

Tommee Tippee Miomee Breastpumps Laura Howard Fielding Rachel Stevens Nelson

EGG Vouchers RRP $119.95 each

Jean Britt Christchurch

Shannon Neho Christchurch

Vicki Olsen New Plymouth

Thermal Food Warmers Kimberly Still Wellington

Liam Burney New Plymouth

Claire McGlinchey Wellington

Nicole Webber Auckland

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Find a Centre near you Parents Centres span the entire country with 50 locations around New Zealand. Contact your local Centre for details of programmes and support available in your area or go to Auckland Region 1 Whangarei Waitemata Bays North Harbour Hibiscus Coast Onewa Auckland Region 2 Auckland East Papakura Manukau Franklin Auckland Region 3 West Auckland Central Auckland East & Bays Waikato Hamilton Cambridge Putaruru Otorohanga Morrinsville Thames–Hauraki Bay of Plenty Tauranga Whakatane Rotorua Taupo Taranaki New Plymouth Stratford South Taranaki East Coast North Island Napier Central Hawkes Bay Central Districts Palmerston North Wairarapa Wellington Kapiti Lower Hutt Mana Upper Hutt Wellington North Wellington South

(09) (09) (09) (09) (09)

438 3003 446 0959 4145394 283 7423 483 9834

(09) (09) (09) (09)

537 297 267 283

0560 7461 1224 8513

(09) 837 8481 (09)625 0065 (09) 575 5998

(07) 8536110 (021) 022 19687 (07) 886 7945 (07) 8731815 (07) 889 4669 (07) 869 0209

(07) (07) (07) (07)

577 1229 3071220 345 3111 378 4995

(06) 759 8244 (06) 765 0441 (06) 278 7782

(06) 835 3743 (06) 858 4114

(06) 358 4289 (06) 370 5070

(04) (04) (04) (04) (04) (04)

902 973 237 939 475 380

2076 5437 6262 8990 7550 8002

South Island

North Island

Northern South Island Nelson Marlborough Greymouth Canterbury Region Ashburton Christchurch Christchurch South Timaru Oamaru Southern Region Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Gore Invercargill Taieri

0800 1 4 BABY (027) 522 3002 (03) 768 7706

(03) (03) (03) (03) (03)

308 2570 383 9009 332 5651 6845348 437 2692

(03) 448 8139 (027) 918 7482 (03) 453 5536 (03) 208 7309 (03) 214 7990 (03) 489 3075

home and family

baby and child

directory supporting Kiwi parents Baby On The Move Specialists in quality, affordable baby products which you can hire or purchase new. Our qualified team can help you select the correct restraint. Plus if you hire or buy from us we will install your car seat for FREE! Stores nationwide. Phone: 0800 222 966

Huggies online pregnancy and parenting The HUGGIES® website is about pregnancy and parenting. Check out features such as special offers, info on sleeping and settling plus hundreds of recipes and kids activity ideas! And it’s all free to HUGGIES® Baby Club members. Phone: 0800 733 703

My Food Bag Every week Nadia and her team of Test Chefs dream up exciting and nutritious dinner recipes just for you. We like to keep things simple, so every week (or fortnight) we deliver the ingredients and recipes right to your door. You just open your food bag and discover what tasty meals you get to cook and enjoy. Simple. Healthy. Delicious

Tommee Tippee Our products have been used by Kiwi parents for over 35 years and we are a market leader in New Zealand. Designed in consultation with experts, the range delivers solutions for each unique stage from newborn to toddler. Phone: 0800 877 876

PORSE PORSE believes that living and learning begins at home and that the best foundation for early learning is the provision of a stable and secure environment where children are able to build secure attachment relationships with their individual carers.

Bio–Oil® specialist skincare This specialist skincare product helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. It contains PurCellin Oil™, and is it highly effective for other skin concerns, including aging skin and dehydrated skin. Phone: 0800 804 711–

College of Natural Health and Homeopathy We are the leading provider of Homeopathic education, attending and distance, in Australasia. We provide: � A friendly, supportive, integrated learning environment � Flexible learning options (attending or distance) � Highly qualified, professional & experienced tutors � Government approved access to student loans & allowances Our commitment: to providing the highest standard of training in homeopathy.

home and family

Philips Avent Choosing Philips AVENT means you have the assurance of superior quality products, designed with you and baby’s needs in mind. Interchangeable design features mean products can be adapted to meet baby’s developing needs. Phone: 0800 104 401

ASG ASG is one of the largest specialist education benefit providers across Australia and New Zealand and their sole focus is on supporting children’s education and as a not-for-profit friendly society. It is uniquely different to any bank or any other provider of education savings plan.

Phone: 0800 023 456

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Shopping cart 21ARS YE

Choose Safety...

Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap



The world’s most flexible babywrap making all kinds of swaddling & sleeping bag use cosier & safer.

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$500 – $4500+ Potential per month full/part time

Full training provided


Children can’t prevent child abuse – but adults can.

Safely lasts two babies aged 0-2 yrs.

NEW HOUDINI STRIP Available at Quality Stockists We support nurturing, positive parenting

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Uniq ue High Quality

That’s what we do on Buddy Day – New Zealand’s only community event aimed at raising awareness and starting conversations about the role every adult plays in preventing child abuse. Everyone, everywhere can show they care and take part in Buddy Day 2014.

KID S & Mater nity

You can be a Buddy Carer and adopt one or more of our 1200 Buddies for a day. It’s free to register, just visit:


And what better way to start conversations about the wellbeing of kids, than to send thousands of life size cardboard 'children' into the community for a day with business people, politicians, Iwi and members of the public!

es Puky BikNZ! Now in

76 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


because home-made is best for your baby


2 compact baby food freezing trays with lids. 1.2L capacity for maximum storage recipe e-guide with 27 recipes for starting solids and beyond The perfect option for your child’s development, a delight for young learners.



Over 1800 products to choose from!

Contact 021663611 or order online today at: Like us on Facebook!

FREE freight for all orders over $100 PLUS 15% discount on all orders (excluding items on special) Put KP15 in coupon area at checkout Offer expires 31 March 2013

Order online:

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Shopping cart Child Restraints


Say Goodbye to Baby Woes!

It's the law that all children under seven must be secured in an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and size. Children aged seven must be secured

Up to 70% of babies suffer the distress of gas and gastric discomfort.

in an approved child restraint if one is available in the vehicle, and if not, in any child restraint or safety belt that is available.

Colic Calm is an all natural allergen free homoeopathic formula that provides rapid and effective relief.

Retailers and other organisations may have certified Child Restraint Technicians who can provide you with advice and assistance.

Proven to work even in the toughest cases! For more information and a stockist near you, visit

Trained Child Restraint Technicians have NZ Qualifications Authority unit standards. For information on how to safely use child restraints and to find your local Child Restraint Technician, visit: childrestraints

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

*Now available Nation-Wide from selected pharmacies TAPS: PP2256

kiwiparent_1third_feb13.indd 1

78 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

25/02/2013 5:06:50 p.m.

Kathy Fray’s

MOTHERWISE 3 Keys to Parenting Sanity

Buy y the ever p popular p book:

MyCakeKit We box it, you bake it you take the credit

o oh baby… Bi Birth, Babies & M Motherhood U Uncensored

5 imprint now 5th iin book stores www.K Buy the

BabyOK™ Babe-Sleeper

The original and best ever attached sleep-bag for 3-30 month olds

Buy the new sequel book:

My Cake Kit offers a simple and innovative solution for baking creative birthday cakes. We box it, you bake it - you take the credit! You do not have to be an expert, our cakes are simple template based designs. In your cake kit, you will find (just about) everything you need - from the baking tray to all the ingredients - to recreate the cake you choose. From your pantry you will need eggs or oil, milk and some butter for the icing. Follow our simple instructions, use our templates and a master piece is yours!

oh grow up… TToddlers od to PreTeens Decoded In book stores now ww

Let your ideas loose all over your walls with Resene Write-on Wall Paint.



Simply apply over your existing light coloured wall paint. Then once dry and cured you can use whiteboard markers to write all over the wall without damaging the surface. And when it’s time to delete an idea just grab a soft cloth or whiteboard eraser, rub out the marker and start again. With Resene Write-on Wall Paint there’s no limit to your ideas.

0800 RESENE (737 363)

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win great giveaways

Enter online at and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm 30 October 2014. Winners will be published in issue 263.

Win one of 5 Minnie Vet sets from Holdson

Win 1 of 3 kits from My Cake Kit

Children will have loads of fun with the NEW Minnie Vet set. Take Figaro wherever you go and make him feel better if he becomes ill. Inject the vaccine he needs, give him his medicine and pamper him. Set includes Minnie’s cat, Figaro, his travel case and accessories.

Birthday cake baking made easy!

Holdson is giving away five Minnie Vet sets, valued at $74.99 each. Available from all leading toy stockists.

All you have to do is select your design from their online store and decide on the type of cake you want – your cake kit will be delivered to your door within two working days. Inside your kit you will find just about everything you need to replicate the design you have selected. Each kit is valued at around $60.

3 Mountain Buggy Pod clip-on highchairs to be won Neat and petite, ready to eat

WIN! 1 of 3 AVEENO® Baby Packs worth $104 each Pediatrician recommended for over 60 years, the AVEENO® Baby range helps nourish, soothe and protect baby‘s sensitive skin. Specially formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal and rich emollients, the formulas work to restore lost moisture to keep baby’s skin healthy and moisturised. Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, the products are gentle enough for daily use on infants and babies with dry, sensitive skin. The range includes the Soothing Relief Creamy Wash, Wash & Shampoo, Soothing Relief Moisture Cream and Daily Moisture Lotion.

Clean, functional and elegant, pod is the ultimate clip-on high chair that is a hygienic table solution when eating out. So convenient and intuitive to use, compact size, ultra light weight and flat size when folded makes it perfect for travelling. Pod also comes with a custom fit, recyclable carry bag for ease of portability.

Available in three colors: lime, flint and black RRP: NZ $89.00

80 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Hold on to these moments.

Baby’s skin is perfect. Help keep it that way with Curash. Have you ever seen or felt anything more amazing than baby’s skin? It’s so soft and perfect. That’s why the makers of Curash developed an expert range of products to help cleanse, soothe, heal and protect baby’s delicate skin from head to toe including: • Moisturising Soap Free Bath, a gentle formula enriched with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera to keep baby’s skin clean and fresh and make bath time fun.

• 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner, a no tears formula with natural Chamomile Extracts and special Silk Proteins for soft, shiny hair and a healthy scalp. So to help keep your little one’s skin perfect, care for it every day with Curash.

Curash. For the love of baby’s skin.

Freecall 0800 380 218. Available from supermarkets, pharmacies and selected stores nationally. Curash ® is a registered trademark of Church & Dwight Australia Pty Ltd. CDC0050/WDNZ

There’s lots of fun to be had at the new

Forest Nursery!



Nursery Double Decker Bus

Nursery Party Set

Nursery Picnic Set

Nursery Play Set

Fun on the go with Playmobil Carry Cases



Range also includes School and Shop

Light Up Ball

Memory Game

230mm Playball

Walkie Talkie © Disney

100pc XL Boxed Puzzle

35pc Frame Trays

To view the Holdson range visit

Hopper Ball

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