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Meet the Huggies Cover star Meet the winners of the Huggies cover star competition


baby blues You are not alone Get help – you matter Dads struggle too Adjusting to change

Wheezy kids

Get childhood asthma under control


and connected

Babywearing – a modern twist on an old practice


The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc

Parenting tips • Childbirth • Dad's Blog • Breastfeeding • Lifestyle • Family health

facebook: youandyourchild or visit

NZ Tr u s t

A fun-filled day for Wellington families

You and Your Child 10am – 6pm, 15 October Westpac Stadium You and Your Child launches at Westpac Stadium this year and brings Wellingtonians a fun-filled day for parents and children to spend together. The event brings well-known speakers such as popular blogger Emily Writes and the informative Brainwave Trust Aotearoa. Topics include early relationships, child development, waste-free parenting and many more. Parents and children of all ages will have opportunities to play and explore the many experiences on offer. These include sensory areas for babies, messy play for toddlers, Children’s Theatre with Capital E, Kids' Gymnastics, the Kidsmart Massive Box city, The Goodtime Music Academy to name a few. There is also a facilitators conference for educators running alongside the event. Speakers for this include Kathryn Berkett from Engage; Rachel Austin on music and babies; Bronwyn Olds (Pikler Theory); and Heather Salmon on advanced facilitation skills. The show will be held at Westpac Stadium on the concourse level, and will also have a range of companies and sponsors exhibiting their products and services for parents with young children from childcare to pre-school, nutrition, books and clothing. Entrance is $10 per adult and tickets will be available from Ticketec. 

The initiative is brought to you by Space NZ Trust for all parents out there… this is about you and your children. Come along to discover and explore together at this awesome family day out.

Space NZ Trust is an organisation that has worked closely with parents and children for over 15 years and is committed to giving children the best start. We work collaboratively with a diverse range of national and local organisations to deliver well-researched parent support and education programme to communities. We believe in parenting today for tomorrow through creating lasting generational change where every parent and child is valued and supported. Follow You and Your Child on Facebook for more information. To book for the facilitators conference contact Tristan –

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Photo Credit: Ogilvy & Mather. Winning photo from the Huggies Coverstar competition: Stacey and Johnny Lene with baby Rosa.

Special Features


There's nothing like a hug – Winning the Huggies cover star competition

Letters to the Editor........................................................................ 4

You simply never know – Stacey Lene..................................... 8–10

Best Baby Show ever!..................................................................... 5

Not just baby blues

Product pages.................................................................................6–7

Anxiety and depression during the perinatal period

You are not alone Leigh Bredenkamp..........................................................12–13

Ben Tafau.........................................................................................30–33

It will be OK

Read the cues

Emily Writes.......................................................................14–16

Pinky McKay...................................................................................34–38

Get help – you matter Emily Writes.......................................................................16–19

Dads can struggle too Brendon Smith..................................................................20–21

Adjusting to change Helping someone with anxiety and depression.....22–23

Answering the call Terri McGuire............................................................................42

Close and connected Babywearing..................................................................................26–29

Easing the burden on landfill Claire Turner....................................................................................46–49

Wheezy kids The Asthma Foundation..............................................................50–52

My journey to homebirth Dr Eva Neely...................................................................................60–65

You be the trendsetter Leila Malthus..................................................................................68–71


Outside the comfort zone

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Parents Centre Pages.............................................................39–43 Find a centre ....................................................................................44 Releasing the Jaffas........................................................................45 Eat smart Early pregnancy nutrition............................................................56–59

Great parents grow great children........................................65 Stop thief! Online fraud and scams..............................................................66–67

The way we were ...........................................................................72 Winners................................................................................................73 Partners.........................................................................................74–75 Shopping Cart...........................................................................76–79 Giveaways...........................................................................................80




If only… When I was a child I knew something was not quite right with my mother. She was beautiful, smart, affectionate and creative. But she was often sad and withdrawn and sort of... shut down.

Beyond baby blues For many mums and dads, the transition from being independent and having a career to parenthood can be difficult. In this issue we look at perinatal anxiety and depression in the build up to Perinatal Awareness Week from 5–12 November. Blogger and author Emily Writes shares her journey to acceptance and healing, and you can read articles about identifying anxiety and depression in families plus ways of supporting those with mental illnesses.

Read the cues Your baby’s cues, or non-verbal language, are their way of trying to tell you what they need. It may take a while to learn to break the code, but responding to your baby's cues – day and night – will help baby develop a sense of trust in their ability to influence their environment. It will also help them form a secure attachment to you.

You be the trendsetter Most children have the most incredible imaginations. Having a space that expresses who your child is and what they love may not always be easy to accomplish if their colour choices and theme ideas are not the current trend. But you can create a room for your precious one that ticks all their boxes with some good old think-outside-the-box Kiwi ingenuity!

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–

Advertising Sales

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



Megan Kelly



Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Ph (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 was the eldest child, and I noticed after each new baby arrived she seemed to get worse. She would get stressed and anxious, obsess about the baby, cry, have trouble sleeping and take little notice of the elder children. She drank more, stopped eating, shrank from going out and wouldn’t want to do anything other than be with the baby. We never spoke about my mum’s condition. We closed ranks to protect her and perpetuate the illusion of the happy home. I remember being angry and defensive when my grandmother tentatively asked me if my mum was coping. Of course she was! She was my mother – how could I not defend and shield her? It felt as though someone had stolen my mother. And I was sure it was my fault. Things would slowly get better, then my mother would fall pregnant and the cycle began again – each time getting worse and taking longer to improve. My father adored my mother, and was bewildered and confused by the change in her and powerless to know how to help. I remember them both putting on a brave face when visitors called or when we occasionally ventured out as a family. But at home, things were not great – for my beautiful mother or for the rest of the family. After my mother passed away, my father told me she had been diagnosed with depression but that she had vehemently rejected the diagnosis and refused treatment. The shame and the guilt for her was unbearable – she would rather suffer and endure than admit that she was mentally unwell. I feel immeasurable sadness at the wasted potential of my beautiful mother and grief for a childhood filled with anxiety and fear. If only she had not felt as though her depression was a sign of failure. If only she had accepted help. If only people were more open in talking about mental health. If only someone had seen what was happening to our family and stepped forward. If only… I sit on the board of Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Aotearoa – we work hard to help break down those old stereotypes and stigmas about mental health that get in the way of parents getting the support they need.

ISSN 1173–7638

If you are in a dark place, speak to someone, get help, be brave. Your children need you to be the best mum or dad you can be – and you are totally worth it.


Leigh Bredenkamp

Image Centre Group subscribe online at –



letters to the editor Top letter

Congratulations to the top letter winner Stacey Lene from Christchurch who will win a prize pack from Natural Instincts.

Huggies Coverstar photo winner I am the proud mum who sent in a photo that won the Huggies Coverstar photo competition. Yes, that is me, with my husband Johnny and baby Rosa on the cover – the youngest of our six daughters. As a result of winning the competition, we had the opportunity to have our story published in our local paper which also covered ongoing issues we are having with earthquake damage to our home. The reality for many Christchurch families, including ours, is that we are still living in an unsafe home and battling our insurance company – our children are still directly affected by the ramifications of the earthquakes every day.

Top letter prize The winning letter receives the complete Natural Instinct face care range, truly natural skincare products with active anti-ageing plant-based ingredients and 100% free from over 400 potentially harmful ingredients to you and the environment. Available from leading pharmacies. RRP $102.

Plus 1720 wipes and seven packs of swimming nappies. All because of our family sharing a hug. The nappies pretty much formed another whole couch and Miss Four and I even created a nappy throne for baby Rosa to perch upon and bask in the glory of her winnings. Someone even suggested we have so many nappies we will need to have another baby to use them all. Ahem. I think first we will just focus on having a healthier, safer house.

Stacey Lene, Christchurch Read more about the Lene family on page 8 of this issue.

A living work of art!

We are certainly not the only ones still struggling. In spite of the worry, we are so thankful for our school friends who have shared their insurance woes with us and encouraged us to persevere; our family friends who have gifted me the very laptop I am using right at this moment to compile and send documents to politicians, engineers and lawyers for our house; as well as our engineer who has diligently reviewed our reports and referred us to our wonderful lawyer. I thought I would write to let you know the second part of our fantastic Coverstar prize has arrived – a very welcome six months' worth of Huggies nappies! All 960 of them. In our little lounge.


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Corey from West Auckland Parent Centre is due in September. Her amazing belly art took an hour to complete but was well worth the effort!

Best Baby Show ever! It was great to see so many of you at the Auckland Baby Show – we spoke to more than 1,350 people over the weekend! Special thanks to our awesome volunteers who did such a wonderful job and helped to make sure that our stand was such a popular place to visit. We never stopped being busy and met so many amazing people.

s Join u and

Taslim Parsons and Cath Short, Parents Centres New Zealand

e r a h S f

lth o rs a e w in a othe h t i w ts benefi e Fre

Connect with parents at your stage, discuss with others, find local babysitting and coffee groups!

Access a wealth of helpful resources – TIPS, INFO, PRODUCT REVIEWS, CONTACTS, NEWS & more

Interact and ask questions, give answers, share your story or knowledge with forums.

Receive entry to prize draws, free product samples, plus relevant info emails through each stage.

Win $2500 over

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product information page Plane Pal is the latest, must-have family travel companion. It's an easy-to-use, custom-designed inflatable cushion that fills the previously wasted space between your child’s seat and the seat in front. It creates a flat surface for your child to lay flat OR to extend their legs in the sitting position. It's made from high-quality nylon, and is lightweight and compact. Plane Pal can also be used for train, bus and car travel. RRP starts from $79.95.

Feast high chair by The Sleep Store $69 The Feast is quick and easy to wipe down and keep clean. It has a clip-on tray which is easy to clean and clips on very securely. You can get baby in and out without taking the tray off. It includes a five point harness. Easy to assemble and small enough to take on holiday, the Feast will help you feed your little one wherever you are. The legs can be used at full height or just use one piece of each leg and have a half height travel high chair. The lower height is ideal for using at picnics, camping or ECE settings where children sit at low tables. You can stack two or more with the tray removed. Use your exclusive Parents Centre coupon code, PARENTS 20, to save 20% on this Sleep Store style and many more.

Mayka Toy Block Tape The original Mayka Toy Block Tape instantly transforms any surface into a base for toy building blocks, figures and accessories. Build around corners and up walls to MAYKA 3D world! Simply cut, shape then stick the reusable tape. Compatible with LEGO® and comes in 9 colours. There’s no limit to what can be built – snip a length of Mayka Tape and mount cannons onto the hull of your pirate ship. Build planets and rocket ships off your ceiling or race that police car right up the wall! Ages 3+. RRP: Small (2 stud, 1m) $9.99, Medium (2 stud, 2m) $14.99, Large (4 stud, 2m) $19.99 Follow on Facebook @MaykaWorld


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Cool Mesh Beco Gemini Baby Carrier RRP $219 The Cool Mesh Beco Gemini is the perfect carrier for active families. Made from a moisture-wicking microfiber fabric, along with a light 3D mesh panel and liner for a fresh take on breathable comfort. Cool Mesh Beco Gemini helps regulate body temperature so baby stays cooler in the heat, and offers SPF 50 protection to defend against the sun. Perfect for the beach!

Nappy Disposal System

The mesh panel and liner promotes airflow and enhances air access for you and baby. Stain resistant, machine washable and fast drying, light but durable, it can be used from newborn up to 15kg without the need for a bulky infant insert and offers many features: Comfortable padded waist with storage pocket and padded straps which can be crossed for comfort. Extra secure buckles. Adjusts from narrow to wider base with easy snaps. Attached, easy-to-use, padded head support and well padded leg supports for baby's comfort.

Just So Festival coming to Kaitoke The iconic Just So Festival from the UK is coming to New Zealand in 2018. This family-focused festival offers an array of literature, art, theatre, dance, music, comedy, circus, and creative adventures in a natural and safe setting. Just So Festival will take place in the stunning natural setting of Kaitoke Regional Park – its tranquil atmosphere, with rivers you can swim in and a pristine natural rainforest, will leave the whole family relaxed and recharged. All the performances and workshops will be accessible and interactive to all to ensure that families have the opportunity to engage together in creative ways and to enjoy communing together as much as possible, in nature, away from the outside world. The Just So Festival NZ runs from 23–25 February 2018 at Kaitoke Regional Park, Waterworks Road, SH2, Upper Hutt. Tickets: $180 for an adult weekend camping ticket, and $60 for a child's weekend camping ticket. Under threes go free.

Proven protection from germs & odours ^

100 times more effective at odour prevention than nappy sacks

Unique twist and lock system wraps each nappy in a fresh portion of film

OMNI 360 carrier from Ecosprout

Multi-layer film provides an exceptional barrier to lock away odour

The all-in-one, birth to toddler carrier, all position, without an infant insert and with an adventure pouch (whoa that's a lot) is the latest baby carrier from Ergobaby. We are so proud to finally share this innovative design from the Ergobaby family after meeting with parents from all over the world. Did you know this carrier even allows you to switch baby from inward to outward and back again without having to take it off? This ultimate carrier is here and we can't wait to see all your adventures, big or small, in Omni 360!

Anti-bacterial protection is present in the film and not the other components of this product.

Commercial size also available For your nearest stockist visit

0800 726 436

You simply

never know… Every parent imagines their child to be the most beautiful, talented and perfect cherub in the whole wide world. And every child truly is beautiful, irrespective of perceived outward beauty, or conformation to societal trends – just because they exist. So when the opportunity to enter a Facebook photo competition promoted by Huggies and Kiwiparent came up, I couldn’t resist. The photo had to show a hug being shared with your baby. There were so many spectacular images of enchanting little ones! I was oohing and aahing over all the special photos of mamas and papas sharing hugs with their perfect little cherubs when I realised I had a really cool photo I could submit. It wasn’t photographically spectacular. I was not immaculately attired: naked actually, but appropriately covered with a glamorous hospital sheet. Nor was I even prepared: I had just given birth to our sixth daughter an hour prior; I was sweaty, sticky and in dire need of a shower. Our precious cherubs had not been


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Winning photo

glammed up for the photo. They had been hurriedly dressed in school uniforms, as my sister swiftly escorted them to meet their beautiful baby sister for the first time at 8am before school (after she arrived at our house at 3am so we could rush to hospital). My sister totally rocks. And baby number six, the star of the show, was not particularly photo-ready either. She had just been boisterously bombarded with loud exclaims of delight and lavishly plastered with juicy kisses, as five big sisters clamoured for her attention. However, the camera sure loved the Lenes that morning, as my photographer sister vividly captured the joy in our faces, as we shared our first family hug with baby Rosa, and celebrated the birth of another darling daughter. So it was an easy decision for me to enter this photo, although I did not consider it could win, compared to the thousands of other magical moments captured on camera. Two days later I received the notification confirming our photo had won a photo shoot for the front cover of the Kiwiparent magazine, plus, every parent’s dream (aside from a full night’s sleep and a moment’s peace and quiet), six months of free Huggies nappies! Just two weeks later Jonny and I were on a plane to Auckland for our photo shoot with our eldest and youngest daughters. I was a bit nervous as my modelling experience was limited to posing with a staunch facial expression for team rugby photos. Despite my nervousness, I took a bit of my own advice which I am continually expounding to our girls: “Be thankful for the body you have, and do not worry about what other people think of you.” The production crew were amazing and I soon relaxed just cuddling Rosa, and laughing at her cheeky smile and roly poly tummy spilling over her nappy. Jonny joined us and immediately began sweating under the bright lights in the room specially heated for baby Rosa. All in all it was an amazing day meeting the awesome Ogilvy crew and Huggies personnel; being pampered and eating yummy Japanese food. I even squeezed in an interview with a journalist from the Christchurch Mail who shared our winning story and publicised our ongoing post-earthquake insurance woes. We arrived home to pick up the rest of our raucous lot from friends and good old Aunty of the year, who had kindly looked after them in our absence. How thankful we are for our children, our family and friends, as well as our new friends at Huggies and Ogilvy, and to have the opportunity to have our story published in Kiwiparent and our local paper. You simply never know, sharing a hug can be very productive: it can lead to nappy-winning, magazine cover photo shoots and unexpected media opportunities.  Stacey Lene Winner of the Huggies Kiwiparent Cover Star competition

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Kita Rangi

Thanks for sharing your hugs with us Nicholas Wong

What an amazing response to our inaugural Huggies Kiwiparent coverstar competition! With around 1,000 entries received, we were so very impressed by the high quality of entries as well as the touching comments that accompanied the photos. A huge thank you to all the parents for sharing their special photos with us.

Annabella Sa


Elise Todd

It was a difficult job, but in the end all the judges agreed that the winning photo was of the Lene family taken just one hour after baby Rosa was born. We thought that image perfectly captured the loving connections between the whole family – a special moment that illustrates closeness and attachment. But there were so many gorgeous photos that we wanted to share some of them with you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did. The judges from Huggies, Ogilvy & Mather and Kiwiparent Here are some of our favourites...

Shannon Scown

Regina Va n

de Velden

Tarin Sheehan

ullane Raquel M

10 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


ell Norto Jody Loz

Whatever touches their skin, should feel as gentle as your hugs.

Every baby is different, but there’s one thing they all have in common. Their skin is up to 10x thinner than adults. That’s why we’ve designed new HUGGIES ULTIMATE® Nappies. It’s our best care for skin, our most breathable and our softest nappy ever. With a unique DRYTOUCH® layer with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E, it’s the hug that looks after their skin while they wear it. HUGGIES ULTIMATE® Nappies are clinically proven to help prevent nappy rash, are endorsed by Plunket and have the same trusted absorbency and protection that you expect from all HUGGIES® Nappies. Also available in Nappy-Pants.

There’s nothing like a hug ® Registered Trademark Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. © KCWW.

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For many mums and dads, the transition from being independent and having a career to parenthood can be quite harsh. While most parents are primed to expect sleepless nights and dirty nappies, no one really tells you about how lonely your days will be and how much time you will spend alone with your baby. Even coffee groups can’t fill the gap – you get to spend an hour or two with other parents during the week, so there’s still a lot of time to be alone. Your days can seem endlessly long when your partner leaves for work in the morning and doesn’t get home till the evening.

You are not alone

This can be extraordinarily isolating for a stay-at-home parent – especially if you’re going through a period where your baby is unsettled. Such isolation – and boredom – is exacerbated by the expectation that it’s meant to be a joyous time. While it is joyous for many, it is also challenging. Perinatal (that’s the period while a woman is pregnant and two years after a baby is born) anxiety and depression affects one in five Kiwi mums and one in ten dads. Even more women experience a sense of overwhelming loneliness and isolation. Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Aotearoa (PADA) would like to see conversations around perinatal mental health become as routine as your blood pressure checks. “Pregnancy should be a time of joy and happiness and should be such a positive period for any family,” explains midwife and PADA Board member Nimisha Waller. “But for many mums and dads, it can also be anxiety-provoking and can be a deeply unhappy period in their lives.” Several factors tend to make the perinatal period difficult. In the workplace, many women are concerned they might not be given the promotion or be seen as less capable because they’re pregnant. Dads don’t always get support as a caregiver and it’s frowned upon if they leave early to pick up their

12 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

child. It leads to enormous stress and when you’re tired, people can struggle. Often if someone is experiencing depression or anxiety, they swallow their feelings for fear of being judged. “Another issue is isolation,” explains Nimisha. “Parents are often stuck at home, feeling tired and sometimes it is just too hard to get the energy to leave the house. They believe they’re supposed to be happy and coping.” The rise of social media can also cause problems because it creates an illusion of connection and perfection. This can make parents feel more alone and less capable. When you see a beautiful Instagram or Facebook shot of a settled and beaming baby, always remember the other 99.9 per cent is a different story completely. Recent research found that social support and connection plays a significant role in positively influencing the mental health and well-being of new parents. Social support consists of hands-on help, emotional support, access to information and affirmation that the mum or dad is doing a good job.

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed It’s common to feel overwhelmed and stressed during pregnancy or when looking after a new baby, so it’s a good idea to talk with a trusted person. Sometimes mums and dads can find help in supportive friends, whanau or health professionals. For many parents, just speaking about their fears and frustrations is all that is needed. “A good listener can be a great help,” says Nimisha. “Talk to someone who might be able to help you work through how you’re really feeling without judging. Sometimes emotional and practical support is all that is needed. “However, if you are worried, talk to your midwife, GP or Plunket nurse as they will have the professional skills to support you or refer you to further help if necessary. You may benefit by being referred to a counselor, psychologist or a psychiatrist.”

Professionals who can help All health professionals who may come into contact with families/ whanau – midwives, obstetricians, GPs, Well Child providers, psychologists and social workers – have the opportunity to inform, engage with and assess parents during pregnancy or after the birth. These health professionals can assess parents for perinatal anxiety and depression and can refer mothers and fathers to specialists if they require further support.

Pathways for supporting families/whanau Contact your local Specialist Mental Health Service for advice about services available in your area. These organisations may also help: Lifeline Aotearoa – 0800 543 354 (available 24/7) Depression helpline – 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

Sometimes parents don’t seek help because: they may not realise they have a problem that can be treated of the stigma associated with mental health problems they hide behind masks, not even sharing their feelings with close friends they are afraid of being labeled a ‘bad mother or father’. Despite the challenge, it is worthwhile persevering and finding the right help.

Research consistently shows that parents who receive timely professional counseling have the best chances of recovering more quickly from antenatal and postnatal anxiety and depression, and going on to be the best mother or father they can be. So, if you feel as though you aren’t coping, remember that you aren’t alone – many other parents feel the same. And ask for help – because you are worth it.  By Leigh Bredenkamp

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It will be

OK and it was

14 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

When I was about six months pregnant with my second child I woke up one day and I couldn’t move. I thought I must have had a stroke or something. My husband asked me if I was OK and I burst into tears. I’m not OK, I said. He said he knew. And he asked if we could call the midwife together. I was terrified. Telling our midwife I needed help was absolutely the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I was sure they would take me away or worse – take my children away. But I had made a promise to myself when we decided to try to start a family – I would be the best mother I could be. I would protect us by protecting myself. My midwife was amazing. Things happened quickly. I was put under the care of maternal mental health. For me, in Wellington, under this service – it saved us. I know this is not the case for everyone, and that in many places mental health support is under-resourced and over-subscribed. I also know I was lucky to have a strong support network around me – including a manager who cared about me so I did not lose my job and a husband who had committed many years before to always care for me so I didn’t lose anything more important than a job. I was never at risk of hurting myself – or my baby. But I needed help to cope. I felt it wasn’t fair for me to let something that I could manage with help steal my quality of life. To steal happiness and joy from me and from my children. Treatment is difficult – finding what works and what doesn’t isn’t easy. Actually, it’s damn hard. It’s work. Hard work. But asking for help was the only way I could begin that journey and my doctor was able to quickly get me on the right track in time for my baby to be born. There’s a lot of talk out there about post-natal depression – and there needs to be. But there isn’t much talk about antenatal and prenatal mental health. I was unwell during my first pregnancy but I put it down to being upset about how physically unwell I was and “mood swings”. I didn’t know it was possible to have antenatal depression or prenatal anxiety or any other pregnancy-related mental health issues. It was only the second time – when my illness became debilitating – that I had a name for what I was going through. I wonder if I’d had a name for what I was going through the first time, I would have been more prepared the second time. I wish I’d known, and I wish I’d sought help sooner. But mostly I’m glad that I could access help and that I did reach out. I’m grateful to my husband for helping me get the help I needed and my friends and manager for supporting me through the process.

I bought a book and I was scared of opening it. I don’t want to curl the pages. Read a book once and it’s read. I wanted to keep it perfect. Even when it meant I would miss out on the wonder in its pages. When I woke the room was dark and silent. I reached over to touch my best friend and lover’s chest. I wanted to feel it rise and fall. I was scared I would not feel it. My heart beat so fast I could feel the blood. I could hear it raging. I felt cold and tried to feel my feet on the ground to bring me back to the earth. But it pulled me down too far and everything went black. I had a dream of a raging river. I filled my pockets with stones. It was romantic. They found my baby safe in a basket by the river. She had flowers in her hair.

While it’s usual to feel blue occasionally or have ups and downs in your pregnancy, it’s not normal to feel overwhelmed most of the time, or to have more bad days than good.

It’s important to know that while it’s usual to feel blue occasionally or have ups and downs in your pregnancy, it’s not normal to feel overwhelmed most of the time, or to have more bad days than good. When I look back, some of the thoughts and feelings I had showed I was unwell really clearly. I was obsessed with counting the movements of my baby because I thought he was dying inside me. I thought sleeping might hurt him so I used to try and stay awake all night. I was convinced he didn’t want me to be his mother. Clearly, they’re not the thoughts of a healthy person. But other thoughts were subtle, and I want to share them with you because I want to suggest you talk to your midwife if you’re having any of these feelings while you’re pregnant. I cried in the shower most days. I put this down to hormones. But actually, you shouldn’t cry that much while you’re pregnant. I put a lot down to hormones when what I was actually experiencing was depression and anxiety – feeling worried every day about finances, how we would manage, what kind of parent I would be with two children.

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If those feelings have a weight too heavy for you to carry, you should talk to someone.

Get help

It is normal to worry a little bit, but it could be a sign of something bigger if you’re constantly worried. I felt emotionally numb a lot and sometimes didn’t even think about being pregnant. I felt it was hard to make a connection with my baby.

You matter

I had a lot of feelings about my upbringing. I think it’s normal to consider how you were raised when you’re about to start a family – but you should be able to process those fairly easily. If those feelings have a weight too heavy for you to carry, you should talk to someone. Don’t let people tell you it’s “just hormones”. Talk to someone who actually knows what they’re talking about – a medical professional. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first pregnancy or your tenth – prenatal depression and anxiety can strike at any time. If you feel like it’s impossible to find joy in being pregnant, talk to the person looking after you, your midwife, obstetrician – anyone with a medical background. They’ll be able to refer you to your GP or someone who can help work out whether what you’re feeling is standard pregnancy stuff or something more serious. And if it’s more serious – that’s OK. I felt like I’d already failed as a mother when I was put under maternal mental health. I thought I was a terrible mother who shouldn’t be allowed to have children. I thought horrible things about myself and actually considered that maybe I should just leave my husband to have both children – as I was so useless they wouldn’t even notice if I wasn’t there. I thought they’d be better off if I wasn’t there. I struggle sometimes still with the guilt of being unwell at a time when I should have been happy, but I was once told by my doctor to imagine how I would view another mother who had sought help for mental health issues. He asked me to write down a message to her. Dear mother, You are brave. You are strong. It is a sign of your love for your children and your partner that you’re getting help so that you can be the best mother you can be. It will be OK. And it was. 

16 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

This is just my journey – everyone has a different journey. It’s scary to share this publicly so please consider that before you comment… to me or to others who may suffer from anxiety or depression. I wanted to write this article because after I wrote about my journey through antenatal depression (also known as prenatal depression) my inbox filled up with emails from parents and the people who love them. Most of the emails I get ask two questions: Do I have antenatal or prenatal depression? and Does my wife or friend have antenatal or prenatal depression? I believe I had mild antenatal depression with my first pregnancy, but I had severe, diagnosed, antenatal depression and anxiety with my second. It was devastating and debilitating, and to this day, even though I know it was an illness that I didn’t cause – a horrible bolt of lightning that I just had the no-good luck of walking under – I feel terrible guilt. And I work

After writing publicly about my experience, I started getting emails and messages. Stories from women who had suffered in silence but also those who were suffering now. And needed help. I read emails from women and their partners talking about how they’re going to get help. And that made me realise it’s important to share. So – I want to answer those questions. And talk about ways you can support pregnant mothers and see early warning signs that could be antenatal depression. I’m not a mental health expert – and I would love to run a campaign with a group with that expertise. But in the absence of that, I thought I’d just write about my experience. And this is JUST my experience – I’m not giving medical advice here. I’m just saying, if you read below and recognise yourself or a friend, reach out to them or a medical professional. Please, please reach out. If you’ve been through it, please share your story with other parents (if it’s not too painful for you) so others can see what depression looked like for you. You could save a life.

really hard to remind myself that this guilt isn’t helping anyone. Antenatal depression is a thief. A thief of joy. While other mothers feel full of hope and wonder and anticipation when they’re pregnant, mothers with antenatal depression often feel a sense of dread, desperation and fear. There is little celebration in your body changing, the swell of pregnancy, every curve and stretch – it feels more like a wake. I wanted to be pregnant more than anything in the world. Yet when I was pregnant I felt out of control, overwhelmed, unable to keep my hormones and emotions in check. After four years of trying to get pregnant with my first I wondered why I felt so dull around the edges. Why I wasn’t more euphoric like I imagined I’d be. My second pregnancy was far worse.

Pregnancy is physically tough and we don’t talk about that enough. But the mental stuff? We don’t talk about that at all. And I think it’s fear – fear that by talking about it we will reveal that we are bad mothers from the outset, before we even get a chance to be mothers. But that’s not true. And it’s not fair. Would you say that to someone you love if they became physically unwell during pregnancy? You wouldn’t. But the stigma in being mentally unwell is strong. When I first published that post on my antenatal depression I felt terrified. I was so anxious. What would my friends and family say to me? Would people attack me? Suggest my children should have been taken away? My fears were unfounded, and something else happened too…

This is what antenatal depression felt and looked like to me: Anxiety I felt really anxious through most of my pregnancy. Often we think of antenatal depression and postnatal depression as just about being ‘sad’ or having ‘the baby blues’. Anxiety is very rarely talked about. It’s a HUGE part of antenatal depression and can also sit on its own outside of depression. If you’re constantly worried and fearful and your mind is racing over possible things that could go wrong – it could be anxiety. It’s normal to worry about labour, or worry about sleep once baby is here, or whether you can breastfeed. It probably isn’t normal to worry about having a stillbirth most days, or worry that you’re going to die in labour a lot. Which leads me to:

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Do you ever say any of the following statements? I’m never going to be a good mum I’m already a bad mum There’s something wrong with the baby There’s something wrong with me My partner is going to leave me I’m going to ruin my family My life is going to be destroyed by having a child I’m terrified of labour I’m terrified of being a mother

Catastrophic thinking If you’re lying in bed till 2am imagining your husband trying to cope with raising your child on his own because you’re convinced you’re going to die and your baby is going to die, that’s a bad sign. Catastrophic thinking is thinking the worst but it is that – magnified. When the baby didn’t kick, he was dead. When he kicked too much, I imagined he was choking, when I had a cramp, I was dying. Not being able to rein yourself in and say “I’m being silly, it’s probably fine” is a sign of catastrophic thinking which is a symptom of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

Anger I felt very angry a lot of the time. I had an incredibly short temper with everyone around me. I felt positively hostile for a lot of my pregnancy. It’s understandable when you’re exhausted and having physical symptoms from pregnancy to get pissed off with people. But rage could be a sign that maybe things aren’t right.

Dulled senses I often felt like I couldn’t feel anything when I was at my worst. I felt like I was in a fog. Like my life was in slow motion. I wasn’t excited about anything. Good news didn’t feel good. Bad news didn’t even feel bad. I just was. I was in a room but I wasn’t present. Numb. I couldn’t feel much of anything. And I didn’t feel particularly connected to the

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baby growing inside me. This was a sign for me that I was unwell.

Guilt Feeling guilty all the time is a sign of depression. Being convinced you’re already a bad parent isn’t healthy. Listen to the voice in your head and if she’s talking rubbish – stop her. There are heaps of normal questions parents might have when their lives are about to change – but it’s the language and weight of those questions that you should keep an eye on. Being a bit scared of labour is normal. Feeling incapacitated because you’re so terrified of labour that you can’t even think about it without getting a racing heart or crying isn’t. Thinking about what kind of parent you want to be is normal – and good (really good)! Knowing you’ll be a bad parent – not good. Because you don’t know. And it’s hard to recognise that. I had a child, and while I don’t think I’m the best parent out there, I do OK. My son (an only child then) was happy, healthy, loved (still is) – so I had no reason to totally believe with all of my heart that my family was better off without me. Antenatal depression is common. There’s nothing wrong with you if you have it. Think about all of the hormonal changes you have during pregnancy – oestrogen and progesterone rise

and rise and rise. Think about the deficiencies in minerals such as iron and zinc that you have – how your midwife is always telling you to take this supplement or that one. Now think about all of the very real things you have to worry about when you’re pregnant – can you afford to raise a child? Do you have support? That’s just the practical stuff before you get into – what kind of parent will I be? When we are pregnant we think about the way we were raised and any baggage from that we might have – of course if you’ve been abused, you can be triggered just by thinking about childhood as a concept. Infertility can trigger depression. Your workplace might be shitty – you might not have job security. When we are pregnant we have everyone giving their opinion on anything. You can’t smell a coffee without someone saying caffeine causes this or that. Did you look at sushi? DON’T YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR UNBORN CHILD? People want to touch you. They tell you horror stories about pregnancy, labour, parenting. Add to this – the physical. I vomited every few hours. My depression was probably caused by (or at least severely exasperated by) lack of sleep. There wasn’t much to enjoy to begin with! Is it any wonder that this is a time when our mental health is at risk? Of course not. Be kind to yourself! Antenatal depression affects one in eight women. You’re not alone. It will feel like it. And it can be scary to ask for help. I really thought my kids would be taken from me when I asked for help. But I’m so glad I reached out. If you’re reading this and you recognise these symptoms as your own – talk to your midwife or GP. If you recognise them in your partner – talk to them. Ask them about how they’re feeling. Suggest seeing your GP or midwife together. What’s the worst that can happen?

What’s the worst that can happen if you get help? I got help and I got better. Way better. Really quickly. I’m stronger now for having gone through this. And it wasn’t the terrifying ordeal I thought it would be. I wasn’t taken away by force. My children weren’t taken from me. I wasn’t sedated. I recognise my privilege in this – and that I live in a country with free health care and I think a good maternal mental health system

(at least in Wellington – my experience was positive). Treatment for me was simple and easy and didn’t take long. There are lots of ways you can immediately begin to treat antenatal depression – my only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. As soon as you start to notice any of the symptoms above, talk to your midwife. Nip it in the bud. If all of the symptoms strike a chord with you, it’s not too late to get help. Even if you’re in your last week of pregnancy. Get help. You’re worth it. You matter. 

Emily Writes Emily is a mother of two, a best-selling author, and editor of The Spinoff Parents. Her first book ‘Rants in the Dark – From One Tired Mama To Another’ shot to the top of the New Zealand charts when it was published in March 2017. Emily is an advocate for mothers and children, and a volunteer for charities supporting parents and families. She lives in Wellington with her husband and her two-year-old and four-year-old. She has a social media presence reaching hundreds of thousands of mothers and her blogs on her website She runs Ballet is for Everyone, a charity that provides free ballet classes for children from low-income families and children with disabilities and is an unofficial ambassador for Mother’s Network Wellington, The NeoNatal Trust, Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Awareness, Double the Refugee Quota NZ and the Wellington Children’s Hospital.

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can struggle too Welcoming a new baby into the family marks a time of huge change for the parents, and most fathers react with great love, joy and pride to the arrival of a cherished daughter or son. But for others, the period of adjustment can be more difficult and some fathers can feel forgotten as mother and baby receive most of the attention. For many dads, babies are an unknown quantity. Contrary to popular belief, how to handle and relate to a baby does not always come naturally and adjusting to fatherhood can be a struggle. Recently, Auckland University researchers from the longitudinal Growing Up in New Zealand study found 2.3 per cent of fathers also experience depression during the pregnancy, and this reaches 4.3 percent nine months after their child is born. Other international studies put this figure even higher, suggesting that up to 1 in 10 new dads struggle with depression following the birth of their baby. Fathers most at risk of depression symptoms either felt stressed or were in poor health, although postnatal depression was also influenced by relationship factors. Paternal depression may affect their partner’s mental health and the ongoing development of their children. From early pregnancy and after baby is born, an involved dad can help, support or arrange to meet the needs of both the mother and child. A fully informed

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father is vital to recovery from birth or through relationship changes and that all-important period of perinatal adjustment. Men’s lack of awareness of how their relationship changes after baby is born is increasingly recognised as a factor in relationship breakdowns. Having a child is a major transition for the new parents, their family dynamic is altered forever, and some couples may not understand or anticipate the changes.

Before baby arrives Pregnancy is a reflective time for fathers as well as they consider big questions: What does the future hold? Will his partner and baby be healthy? Will he be able to provide for the family? How will his relationship with his partner change? Does he feel an important part of his baby’s growth and development? If a mother is unwell with her own stress or anxietyrelated condition, then fathers can have their own unique problems. Dads are expected to cope and provide support to mother and any other children and they can be overlooked as the mother struggles to cope. Men feel under more pressure at this time – they are often working as well as helping more at home.

After baby arrives A baby can bring great joy but may also add unpredictable stresses to the family. The relationship between father and baby is vital and needs to be nurtured and developed. A healthy adjustment means that a safe and secure relationship has occurred between father and baby. To help this happen, a dad must: Make a commitment to baby and mother.

Some research suggests that about 10% of dads can experience depression after childbirth.

Take and negotiate responsibilities. Develop and maintain the relationship. Maintain family integrity. Balance activities. Have a strong sense of being a father. The way a man adjusts to becoming a dad depends on many factors. He will have his own experience of being fathered to fall back on, and this may be good or bad. It will depend on whether he finds relationships easy or challenging and whether he has had hands-on contact with babies and children as he was growing up. Modern day expectations on fathers can also be stressful. Early discharge from hospital and less availability of family support in communities can place more burdens on the father. In some instances, dads can feel excluded from the relationship between the mother and the baby. Two-thirds of fathers may experience their own version of the ‘blues’. They can feel inadequate for the task at hand, less in control of their own lives and “on the outer” in their relationship with their partner.

John’s story John was 32 years old when he and his wife had their first baby. He wondered what had struck him when the first nine months of living with the new baby became sheer hell. He had moved house, started a new job, and now the baby had colic. The months dragged by with his partner and him sharing no meals together, always taking turns holding baby. Despite feeling exhausted, sleep eluded him and his life felt out of control. John felt overwhelmed with stress and worry. He felt a huge responsibility being a father who should financially support the household and keep things together. Although his GP tried to help and put him on medication, John didn’t improve. Finally, he went to a psychiatrist and he remembers feeling a huge sense of relief. The psychiatrist seemed to understand how John was feeling. With new medication and new hope, John noticed a turnabout. Within a few weeks he was improving and more in control.

Fathers tend to have less robust social support compared to women. It is not the “male thing” to talk about adjusting to fatherhood and the extra stresses that go with it. Men are also more reluctant to seek help for emotional issues.

For John, it was a confidence-eroding, relationshiptesting time. He had panic attacks, and experienced a very fine line between being well and being unwell. He remembers the advertisements of John Kirwan admitting he had depression and felt relieved that other men felt as he had. He admired his courage to admit this so-called “weakness”. John now believes that most people don’t recognise that men can get postnatal depression and how serious this can be, and feels that it is largely undetected and untreated.

Studies show that dads adjust best if they are included in the process of pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for the baby. They need to spend time developing their relationship with the baby.

John is finally able to talk about his PND and has found that there are many more men like him. He realises that it takes time to recover but it is worth the long hard journey and that personal strength can be gained. 

Mothers don’t mean to exclude the father but they are often trying so hard to get their own mothering right that they become preoccupied with the baby and overlook their partner.

If you are at all concerned about a new dad, or if you are finding fatherhood a struggle, make sure to access support and advice as soon as possible. Contact a health professional who works with families during the perinatal period – childbirth educators, midwives, obstetricians, GPs, Well Child providers – who will be able to assess and support dads during pregnancy or after the birth. Remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness – rather, it is a sign that you are taking courageous steps to be the best father you can be to your children.

Brendon Smith As a new father, Brendon sank into depression while trying to cope with the needs of his partner and two babies. Brendon is a support worker for Father and Child, a Trust set up by fathers for fathers, based in Auckland.

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Adjusting to

change Helping someone with anxiety or depression The arrival of a baby into a family affects many people, not only the parents. The new baby will forever alter the family dynamics and this may have special significance for siblings, grandparents, and the extended whanau. Many things influence the way the new pepe is integrated into the family. This includes things like the culture the baby is born into, the expectations of family members – even the baby’s gender. Over time, the new baby will make their own emotional connections within their family.

Recognising postnatal distress or a related condition Often friends and family can miss the signs of postnatal depression. A mum can be afraid that if she tells others how she feels she will be judged to be “not maternal” or a “bad mother” for not coping. A mother whose daughter experienced postnatal depression explains: “I did not experience PND when I had my three children and, as a consequence,

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did not pick up on any of the signs or symptoms. I did not know anything about PND. It was difficult for us as a family because we had no information. We often felt isolated not knowing what was going on. I feel that new mothers today do not get as much support as we did in our day.” The father of this daughter says: “I thought my daughter was acting like a hypochondriac and I told her to pull her socks up and get her act together. Obviously now I know that this was not the right way to approach the situation. As a consequence, the relationship with my daughter was rather strained for a time.”

Ways you can support a mother Listen quietly but with interest and try to understand – it’s hard for someone who is depressed or anxious to explain how they feel. Avoid judging or getting angry – it’s no one's fault. Be there (this means to be emotionally available as well as physically present). Be patient. Help reduce stresses. Offer practical help. If a person isn’t sure what help they want, offer alternatives or suggestions e.g. “I would like to help, can I cook a meal or take the older children out?” Support her to take care for her baby herself rather than take over (unless she asks you to). Just being with her when she is anxious will help. Give positive words of support, affection and encouragement. Be positive about any accomplishments no matter how small they might seem.

Don’t take what they say personally. Remember that when a person is unwell or stressed they can say things they don’t mean, and their mood can change quickly. Stay positive. Provide encouragement and lots of positive reinforcement – even if what you are saying seems obvious. When someone is depressed they are not thinking in their usual way and they have difficulty seeing the positives. When reassuring, try not to dismiss their concerns. Instead of saying something isn’t a problem say, for example, “I can see that is really worrying you – I will be with you to help with that.” Due to the indecisiveness of depression a person may need guidance and support with decision making – but don’t jump in too early with your solutions. Offer distracting thoughts or activities, especially if you can see that they are going round and round in circles in their thinking or are feeling overwhelmed. Help them to get out and have fresh air and exercise. They may not feel motivated to do so but will often feel better if they do. Help to provide regular meals or snacks, especially if mum is breastfeeding. Help her to have time away from her baby doing something pleasurable, such as getting her hair cut, having a massage or going for a walk – doing the groceries doesn't count as alone time. If she is suffering a lot and not getting better, help her to get help from a health professional.

“We were all really surprised when Katie told us that she had postnatal depression. She had always seemed so capable and would take everything in her stride. It just goes to show that PND can happen to anyone. Our whole family became very supportive of Katie. We all talked about what was happening and now that she is well, we still talk about it. We felt it was important to be open and honest and involve everyone in the family. We tried to be supportive of her without taking control. She still had a new baby that she needed to bond with. We would do practical stuff for her, such as cleaning, washing and preparing meals. We were lucky that we could be on hand whenever she needed us” – Elaine, a grandmother “Family support was the most important thing to help me get through. I didn’t need medication. As soon as I told everyone how I felt and what was happening everything started to get heaps better.” – Katie, a mum

What should I say to the children? This will depend on the age of the child, their developmental stage, their ability to understand, and their own emotional state. Give a simple and brief explanation and don’t go into too much detail about underlying feelings or thoughts. For a preschool child, you might say, ”mummy is resting because she is very tired.” It is important to explain that “mummy will get better” but that you are not sure when. Children may secretly blame themselves so reassure them that it is not their fault. “It’s no one's fault and this can happen sometimes in a family but it will go away.” Do not blame anyone.

Always take seriously any negative thoughts she may have about harming herself, or her baby, and get help urgently.

Explain to children that their mother is being looked after and getting help.

Remember that sometimes offering help is not easy and it may not seem to be appreciated.

Children should not feel as though they must look after their mother.

Supporting the whole family

Don’t expect too much of children – they also need time to adjust.

Family members often forget that the partner of a woman with PND will also be suffering. Remember to offer them your support and help as well. Men are often less likely to want to talk but encourage them gently if they seem ready for this. You could offer some openings for them to talk like asking: “It can be tough with a new baby – how’s it going?” Just as for mums, offers of practical support can make a huge difference. Being available to them so that you are there when they feel they can talk is also important.

Maintain their routines whenever possible

The needs of any other children in the family also need attention. Mums with depression may barely be able to care for the new baby. They may not be able to cope with any demands from their other children. Family members and friends can help care for older siblings. Older children may feel rejected and confused if they no longer have time with their mother because she is busy with the baby and depressed.

Do not look to the children for emotional support.

Remember that children have an amazing capacity to ‘get through’ as long as they have someone they can feel close to.

Take care of yourself too It can be hard work caring for someone who is mentally unwell so you need to look after yourself during this challenging time. It may bring back issues that you have hidden about your own parenting. Some women recognise their own past PND when seeing it in their daughters and friends. You may find that you need your own counselling to deal with some issues – it is never too late to seek help and you may find that you can be a better parent, grandparent or friend because of it. 

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Protecting your most important asset Your children are precious – that’s why you need to protect your income. As everyone knows, having children can be a financial strain as well as a tremendous source of pleasure. It’s something we’re all taught to prepare for, from before the first time we hear a heartbeat. However, floating in that new-baby bubble, insurance isn’t usually the first thing on parents’ minds. “While many new parents will spend a lot of time and money finding safe but affordable cots, car seats and even cars, they don’t always consider what they can do to ensure their kids will always enjoy our amazing Kiwi way of life. Most parents don’t realise that one of the most essential things to safeguard for their child is actually their own income,” says Nadine Tereora, chief executive of Fidelity Life. When budgeting for the arrival of your new baby, it makes sense to factor in the cost of income protection insurance. As a rule, Kiwis are underinsured, relying on good luck and the “she’ll be right” attitude to see them through. However, in a land of sports-lovers, risk-takers and, unfortunately, earthquakes, a positive attitude isn’t always enough to keep worry from your door. Budgeting a few extra dollars a week can ensure families have a safety net in case the unthinkable happens. Depending on which policy and options you select, if the income-earner is made redundant, is involved in an accident or falls ill and is unable to work, income protection insurance can keep regular payments coming in, protecting the roof over your

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child’s head and reducing the stress and disruption these events can cause the whole family. The cover can even help with the cost of modifying your house or re-training for a new job if required. There’s also no better skill to teach your child than planning for the future. Setting goals, establishing good habits early on, and making insurance an accepted part of life, means you’ve helped prepare your child for the financial trials life can bring. When they’re older, talk to them about what you’re insured for, and why. Kids are often curious about “What would happen if?”, and that can be a great occasion to start a conversation. Another great way to secure their independence is to add on future insurability cover. For as little as $2 per month, parents can arrange for their child to get no-questions-asked life insurance in the future. “We had two parents take out future insurability cover for their 11-year-old son,” says Nadine. “Even though he was diagnosed with diabetes four years later, he was still entitled to life insurance at the standard price when he got married, without any extra fees or questions. By taking out that policy, his parents safeguarded his children’s future as well.” You can’t plan for everything, but if your income is covered, your family will have solid ground to stand on, no matter what. Take care of the big stuff so you can sweat the small stuff instead – like the day they get their drivers licence.

We help protect Kiwis

big and small.

For over 40 years, Fidelity Life has been providing life insurance to Kiwis. If you haven’t already, now is the time to find out how you can protect your family’s future with a New Zealand insurer. To get started, call Terri or Sharon at SHARE on 0800 02 00 55 or email them at

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Babywearing refers to the practice of keeping your baby or toddler close and connected to you while you go about your normal daily activities using one of a wide range of different types of baby carriers. Babywearing has been a traditional practice in many cultures ever since mothers have been delivering babies then taking any fabric at their disposal and using it to tie their infant to their back. After babies are born, they have become used to feeling their mothers’ breathing and heartbeats, hearing familiar voices, and feeling movements as mums walk about. This means babywearing can feel extremely natural to them, providing comfort, warmth and safety. Babies often fall asleep easier in carriers, and because their weight is evenly distributed and the carriers’ shoulders aren’t rounded forward to cradle-hold them, the person doing the carrying can stand straighter, which is better for posture. You also know where baby is at all times and have both hands free to go about your daily tasks. Best of all, it can be practised by everyone – mums, dads, grandparents, siblings, nannies, friends – in short, anyone who cares for a newborn, infant, or toddler. There is growing evidence that babywearing has many benefits for both babies and caregivers. It can promote bonding and attachment, support breastfeeding and can help to combat postnatal anxiety and depression. Practically speaking, it makes looking after baby just that little bit easier. Modern baby carriers come in a variety of styles to suit every taste and budget. Choosing which carrier to buy can be a bit daunting because there are so many options in a bewildering range of styles, colours, and sizes. Talk to other parents about the options they prefer – if at all possible, borrow or try on a few options to see which feel comfortable for you.

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There are many products on the market that are made of inferior fabrics and parts which can affect the safety and/or durability of the carrier. It’s best to purchase from a reputable seller to ensure you aren’t buying a dud product. Most baby carriers fall into one of five types – wraps, ring slings, pouch slings, Mei Tais, or buckle or soft structured carriers. Before you decide which carrier will work for you, it is a good idea to think through a few things.

How long do you plan to babywear? Do you use it primarily during the first few months or do you prefer a carrier that will last through the first year or even longer?

Who will use the carrier? Will the carrier be used exclusively by one person or do you want something that can be easily exchanged between caregivers without having to do too much adjustment? Some carriers are size-specific and cannot be shared between people with different body shapes and sizes, whereas others can be adjusted to fit a wide range of individuals.

Do you want the one carrier to last for your entire babywearing time? You may need to consider using more than one carrier for different situations, ages, and stages.

What will it cost? There is a range of good quality, ergonomic carriers for under $100, with other more expensive options offering additional features. Used carriers can be a budget-friendly option too. Make sure your carrier complies with all safety standards and labelling requirements for you and your baby’s safety and protection.

Do the research There’s a huge amount of information available online, and some good support to help you find the type of carrier that would best suit you. There may be a Sling Library near you where you can rent or borrow carriers so that you can try them out before deciding what to buy. Take your baby with you when you buy a sling to make sure that the product you buy is a safe fit for you both. Ask the shop assistant for a demonstration of how to use the carrier correctly. If they aren’t sure – go elsewhere.

Ensure any carrier you buy comes with detailed instructions for use. Make sure you follow them and get someone to help until you are familiar with how to use it. Choose products that stop a baby from moving into a position where they can suffocate. Choose products that are appropriate for your baby’s stage of development. To make sure that your precious baby is safe while you are babywearing, it is important to learn how to use your carrier/s correctly for the safety of both your baby and yourself. Make sure your child’s airway remains open at all times. The best way to do this is to keep baby in an upright position, high enough on your body to monitor breathing and ensure that their chin is off their chest. Babywearing International recommends that infants only be held in a horizontal or cradle position while breastfeeding and then return to an upright or vertical position as soon as they have finished.

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Regularly check: Baby’s face is clear. Baby’s spine is straight.

It is also important that your carrier provides good support for your infant’s developing neck and spine. Ideally baby should be held with knees higher than their bottom with legs in a spread squat position and support from knee to knee, although with older babies and toddlers full knee to knee support is not always possible or necessary. An ergonomic carrier of any sort will provide better support for baby and will be more comfortable for the caregiver as well. Regularly inspect your carrier for wear and tear or damage, examining it for weak spots, loose stitching, worn fabrics, etc. Practise all carries – especially back carries – over a bed or couch, or low to the ground until you are completely confident. In most cases it is best to be comfortable with front carries before attempting back carries.

What are the dangers? Tragically, babies have suffocated while being carried in slings. They are at risk if placed incorrectly as they are not able to move out of dangerous positions which block their airways. Babies who are low birth weight, born prematurely, or who have breathing issues such as a cold appear to be at most risk. Parents and carers should take extreme care if using slings and

28 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

pouches to carry babies under four months old or up to four kilograms. Two positions present significant danger: a curved back with the chin resting on the chest having the face pressed against the fabric of the sling or the wearer’s body As well as the danger of suffocating, babies are also at risk of receiving low levels of oxygen because of the position they are in, or falling out and getting hurt. Don’t let anything block baby’s face – like the sling or the wearer’s body. Small babies cannot turn their heads to get fresh air. Never let baby lie in a curved position with their chin resting on their chest. Any pressure on the chin can push the tongue back and close the airway. Babies need to lie with a straight back so that the tummy muscles can pump old air out of the lungs and new air in, and their head up to ensure a clear airway. 

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Outside the

comfort zone

When I entered One Player Dad mode, along with the division of property that comes with the end of a relationship came the division of my daughter’s things, including her clothes. Prior to One Player Dad mode, I largely left the selection of Esme’s clothes to her mum (with a few random choices made by me, such as the odd t-shirt, pair of pyjamas or undergarments). My experience in this arena was pretty much zero, so I figured it was best to let the experts handle this one. However, once I was rolling solo I needed to fill out the rest of my daughter’s wardrobe, which meant I needed to step into that unknown arena – shopping for girls’ clothes on my own. My first expedition shopping for clothes for Esme by myself was a traumatic experience. I drove to a mall where there were a number of children’s clothing stores, figuring that this would be the best approach to see what’s in this foreign land of girls’ clothing. As soon as I walked into the first store, I realised I was way out of my comfort zone. This was no man’s land, literally – I saw no guys in these shops, just women working and shopping.

30 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

My first mistake was I didn’t know exactly what I was shopping for – I knew that I had about half of Esme’s clothes, I just didn’t know what those clothes were, so what was I buying to fill those gaps? I wandered the clothing racks aimlessly with a look of bewilderment and despair, which was clearly picked up by the shop assistants in the first store. “Can I help you with anything?” Yes, you can download ‘how to shop for girls’ clothes’ directly into my brain like The Matrix please, and don’t tell anyone about it.” Ah Neo, if only it were that easy… “No thanks, I’m just having a look,” was my slightly-lessthan-honest reply. No, really – clearly I know what I’m doing here, just leave me be and I’ll be making my wellinformed selections to be with you shortly to purchase said items… …or I’ll just walk out empty-handed and move on to the next store, where the same process is repeated: the shop assistants ask this clearly hapless father if he needs any help, and I walk out again, empty-handed. I left that first shopping expedition with a couple of t-shirts and a feeling of defeat, like I just got downed

One thing which makes shopping for my daughter’s clothes more challenging is the fact that I’m about as fussy with her clothes as I am with my own.

Anyone who’s ever gone clothes shopping with me knows that it can be an excruciating experience as I try things on, check all angles, and sometimes throw out a few breaking moves to test the practicality of the item of clothing. Being a (semi-retired) break boy doesn’t help either, where the freshness of your outfit says as much about you as the moves you throw down on the dance floor. A lot of this ‘selectivity’ carries over to clothes shopping for my daughter.

Make a plan, Stan in straight perfect rounds by someone at Tekken (not that I know what it feels like, but my friends tell me it sucks). When I first moved back to Wellington, one of my friends generously offered to take me shopping for clothes for Esme, and bought her a huge haul of clothing to set her up for winter. As we went to the different stores, my friend would ask me if I liked certain items, but I just stared blankly and threw up my hands in deference to her opinion. Friends also gave me clothes that didn’t fit their kids anymore, so that helped start me off with a new wardrobe for Esme. But, as children tend to do, my daughter kept growing which meant it wasn’t long before I needed to go shopping once again. Over time, I slowly worked out the whole buying clothes for girls thing, discovering what stores I gravitated towards, and what kind of style I tended to dress her in. Today, I’m much better at this clothes shopping business, but I’m no natural – it’s still a challenge! One thing which makes shopping for my daughter’s clothes more challenging is the fact that I’m about as fussy with her clothes as I am with my own.

So here’s my (slightly ridiculous) method for clothes shopping. Most of this will probably be unnecessary to most people (who aren’t as picky as me), but you might find one or two tips that could be useful to you:

The prep/recon phase Make a list of what clothes you need – duh. Don’t do what I did when I went shopping for the first time!

Online recon I’m not confident enough yet to shop online without seeing the clothes physically first, but I’ve started doing some scouting through the websites of the stores I usually shop at to save myself some time and eliminate the stores that don’t have what I’m after. It’s also useful to check out the outfits that the stores put together as suggestions, so you can see what works – and if you like what you see, just buy the combinations they suggest! Take a photo of the clothes you have – I don’t do this all the time, but if you’re shopping for a few things and don’t want to double up on similar looking items, or you’re wanting to see if your potential purchase will go with the clothes you currently have, take a quick photo of the clothes you want to compare at home before you hit the shops.

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The actual shopping phase This is a solo mission Well, it is for me anyway. With my daughter being so young, the last thing I need is for her to have to put up with my sloth-like, indecisive shopping process. Yes, there’s a downside of not being able to try things on for size, but I don’t think that would be happening at this age anyway. One of the few times I took her along with me clothes shopping, she wasn’t in a particularly jovial mood. When I saw this cool kimono-like dress and wanted to try it on her for size, she was all like “I don’t want it!” Well, if I listened to her, I wouldn’t have had a samurai daughter for our ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ cosplay.

Ask the shop assistants I have this thing with a lot of shops, but clothes shops in particular, where I don’t like being approached by the salespeople. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it’s hard to ask for something I’m not exactly sure about… plus I don’t like the feeling of being ‘sold’ to. However, they’re the professionals in this scenario – they know what you might be looking for, or what items go well together, so don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions. You’re not obliged to buy anything, so even if they try to guide you towards the checkout and you’re not ready or not sure, just say that you’re shopping around or checking out some other places before deciding.

32 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

When in doubt, always buy bigger Because generally speaking, kids don’t shrink. My daughter is apparently tall for her age, and the Plunket nurse says that she could end up as tall as me (182cm, or 5’11… so close to 6ft dammit!) when she’s an adult. So I’m usually buying clothes sized one year higher than her current age. Even if the clothes are a bit bigger (as the size of clothing of the same year varies a bit between stores), she’ll grow into them eventually, whereas a snug fit will be too small by dinner time.

The actual (time-consuming) shopping process So when it comes to actually heading to the shops, I usually head to a mall about 30 minutes drive away where most of the children’s clothing stores are that I want to check out. I do a round of the six stores I usually frequent – unless I’ve eliminated any from my list through the online recon process above. I note any potential items for purchase in those stores, sometimes by taking a photo on my phone. Then I make my final decision, make the purchase, and the process is complete. Visiting all of those stores, and revisiting the final store(s) to complete my purchases is timeconsuming and probably unnecessary. However, it’s the only way to satisfy my fussy clothes selection habits, and reduce buyer’s remorse if I see something I would have preferred at another store.

Funnily enough, I still feel out-of-place in these stores sometimes, and if I leave it too long between shopping trips those feelings of befuddlement come back again. The skill of shopping for girls’ clothes is similar to training a muscle, in that it needs to be worked regularly or you become ‘unfit’. As my daughter gets older I know she’ll want a say in what she wears, so this process will undoubtedly change many times (and hopefully get easier!), but for now this is how I navigate the previously unfamiliar terrain of shopping for girls’ clothes. It’s a time-consuming, challenging process made worse by my pickiness, but I’ve come a long way from my first feeble attempt. 

Ben Tafau Ben is the author of The 1 Player Dad Strategy Guide and He’s a single dad with shared care of an amazing 3-year-old daughter, and writes about his journey playing the parenting game in ‘1 Player Mode’ in Wellington.

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Read the

cues Understand what your baby is trying to tell you

34 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years



So often, I see confused new mums trying to implement a strict routine that doesn’t seem to be working with their uniquely individual baby. A little bit of questioning reveals that the mum is trying so hard to implement the routine because she wants to understand her baby better. You see, there are books that suggest if you follow the clock you will get to know what your baby needs. For instance, if the clock says it’s feeding time, you will ‘know’ your baby is hungry. If the clock says it’s bedtime, you will ‘know’ your baby is tired. The only thing is, if your baby doesn’t fit neatly into this ‘one-size-fits-all’ template, what do you do? How do you guess what your baby needs? Rather than watching the clock, if you watch your tiny baby, you will soon learn exactly what YOUR baby needs, you and your baby will become attuned to each other, your confidence will soar and you won’t need to second guess yourself or wonder, ‘Is baby hungry? Or tired? What am I doing wrong?’ Your baby’s cues, or non-verbal language, are their way of trying to tell you what they need. It may take a few weeks to get to know your baby’s cues. But if you do some

baby-watching, you will be amazed at how even very young babies can give clear signals that they want to interact (or not), are tired or hungry. Responding to your baby's cues – day and night – will help them develop a sense of trust in their ability to influence their environment. It will also help them form a secure attachment to you. These are important prerequisites for later emotional development and relationships. Your responsiveness will also help your baby learn what psychologists call ’emotional regulation’ which is the capacity to understand that we have control over our emotions.

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As you soothe your baby, you are teaching them that when they are upset, they can calm down. When baby’s signals are ignored, and they escalate to cries that are not responded to, the baby fails to develop the understanding that they can regulate their own emotions.

Continued overleaf...

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Your child will develop their own unique way of communicating with each person in their world, and you and your partner will learn to respond in just the way that suits your own precious baby. before becoming exhausted (from crying before being fed), they will probably sleep for a very short time then wake for another feed as their tiny tummy quickly empties.

Baby Cue #1: I’m hungry Babies give a lot of subtle cues that they are ready to feed, long before they begin to cry. From rooting with their mouths to making sucking noises and trying to suck on their fists, as well as little noises that say, ‘I’m working up to a cry’. If these signals are ignored, they will yell. Crying is a late hunger cue, and when we repeatedly wait until a young baby cries (sometimes it is unavoidable) or we try to space feeds to fit into a strict routine, we can set ourselves on a path to unnecessary feeding problems. Notice where your baby’s tongue lies when they are yelling. A baby can’t latch on to feed when the tongue is up against the roof of their mouth. If you do manage to calm baby enough to latch on and feed, their suck is likely to be disorganised, or they may be exhausted from crying. This means they’ll likely only take a small feed before falling asleep. Baby won’t empty your breasts effectively and this, in turn, can impact your milk supply. And if your baby only takes a small feed

On the other hand, if you feed your baby when you see the early feeding cues, they will feed efficiently, will drain your breasts well and encourage a healthy milk supply (remember, the more milk you remove, the more milk your breasts will be signalled to make). Your baby will also be more settled and sleep for longer with a nice full tummy.

Baby Cue #2: Play with me Tiny babies have very short periods where they can actually ‘engage’ and interact with you. But as baby grows, your little one will be able to play for longer periods, and their signals will become much clearer. When your baby wants you to play, their eyes will become wide and bright. They may purse their tiny lips as though they are saying ‘ooh’ as baby turns towards your voice or looks at your face. Movements of their arms and legs will be smooth (as opposed to jerky) as baby reaches out to you. Your baby might grasp your finger or hold onto you. If you respond, your baby will make

eye contact and smile, coo, babble or talk. These signals, or ‘engagement cues’ are your baby’s way of saying, ‘Please play with me.’

Baby Cue #3: Give me a break When your baby needs a break from what they are doing, they will give very clear ‘disengaging’ signals. These may be: Looking away (little babies can only maintain eye contact for short periods so may look away then continue gazing at you after a break) or turning their head away. Squirming or kicking, coughing, spitting up or arching their back. Some babies will even put up their hand in a sort of ‘stop’ sign. More subtle cues that your baby is tiring from playing or needs a change of pace or activity include, yawning, wrinkling their forehead or frowning. If you keep playing when your baby tries to tell you they want to stop, they will become agitated and make thrashing movements, or will start fussing and crying.

Continued overleaf...

“Suddenly I am absolutely loving motherhood. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to this magical journey – there are no words to thank you enough.” - Emily

36 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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Baby Cue #4: I’m sleepy None of us likes being kept awake when we are craving sleep. So rather than waiting until your baby is ‘past it’, put them to bed as soon as they show sleepy signs. Common sleepy signs include: becoming quiet losing interest in people and toys making jerky movements (in small babies) becoming very still (these babies relax and fall asleep easily) yawning, frowning or knotting her eyebrows

As you play with your baby you will often notice a mixture of engagement and disengagement signals, so take your time getting to know your own special baby’s way of communicating. You will soon learn when baby is enjoying playing, when they are feeling a bit overwhelmed and need a break, and when they are becoming hungry or tired. Your baby’s signals may seem unclear but, by spending lots of time just watching your baby and being present with them, along with some trial and error working out what your baby is telling you, you will soon become attuned to each other. Your child will develop their own unique way of communicating with each person in their world and you and your partner will learn to respond in just the way that suits your own precious baby. 

clenching her fists into tight balls rubbing her eyes and ears and fussing. If you miss this window of opportunity, your baby is likely to become grumpy and find it difficult to settle. If you miss your baby’s tired signs, they may become hyped up and will be much harder to settle. Although these baby cues are typical signs that most babies use to elicit the care they need, individual babies will not use all of these cues all of the time. Each baby will develop their own mix of signals. For instance, one tired baby may lie still and watch their tiny fist as they become increasingly drowsy, another may have less control over their movements which could be jerky if they are young, or seemingly uncoordinated if baby is already mobile… yet another baby may rub their eyes and fuss.

38 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Pinky McKay An International Board certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and ex-Parents Centre mum, with a busy private practice in Melbourne, Pinky is a best-selling author with four titles published by Penguin Random House. She is a sought-after media commentator as well as a guest and keynote speaker at seminars for health professionals and parents in Australia and internationally. Pinky writes for a number of publications around the world.

In this section Centre of the month awards

Volunteer networks through Parents Centres Those who can, do. Those who volunteer, do more! A volunteer is someone who is socially conscious. It takes an exceptional person to recognise the benefits that go with giving something of themselves and their time, sharing their skills, without needing payment as a reward.

Outstanding volunters Answering the call Jaffa race Spotlight on Baby and You programmes Find a Centre

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Parents Centres around the country. We wouldn’t exist without the extraordinary enthusiasm and energy of so many generous and proactive people nationwide. Volunteering is rewarding, skill building, good for communities and, let’s not forget, it can be great fun! It fosters a strong sense of belonging and community connection. Time and again our volunteers are people who are full-time parents, have paid jobs as well as other commitments, yet who still manage to find the time to volunteer for their local Centre. It’s heartening to see the wide number of benefits that volunteering brings. These include career opportunities, the ability to expand a CV for returning to the paid workforce, friendships, personal and professional growth and, often, the overall satisfaction that comes from being able to help other parents and their families. Read the stories on the following pages about Centres that are making a huge contribution to their communities – all powered by inspirational volunteers. If you are not already enjoying the benefits of volunteering – why don’t you have a go? Your local Centre will welcome you with open arms! To all of our volunteers who have been before, who are with us now and who will join us in the future, Parents Centre New Zealand is thankful for your input and honoured to work alongside you for the betterment of parenting in New Zealand. 

To locate a Centre near you and to find out more about volunteering with Parents Centre visit:

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to the Centre and to her community. Fantastic work, Andrea, we hope you enjoy the Hell Pizza vouchers!

Gemma Casson

Celebrating the volunteers who power Parents Centres Outstanding volunteers Andrea Tait The team at National Support Centre wants to recognise... Andrea Tait! Andrea has been a Parents Centre childbirth educator (CBE) for over eight years in Taranaki. More recently, there has been a shortage of CBEs in this region and we did a big marketing push to entice students to start studying to ensure the future-proofing of Childbirth Education in Taranaki. Through conversations with students and graduates, Andrea's name regularly pops up: “Andrea gave me the opportunity to facilitate small pockets of her class to gain some confidence and experience”, “Andrea met with me and looked over my teaching plans”, “Andrea shared some of her resources”, “Andrea encouraged me to complete my studies”, “Andrea was a fabulous mentor”, etc. Student CBEs all remember what it was like being a student, and having an experienced CBE to guide, support and mentor makes such a huge difference when studying long-distance, often with a feeling of isolation. Andrea is also one of the first to respond to calls for help. She put her hand up to critique, update and re-write handouts, and was quick to apply for the Train the Trainer opportunity. Andrea has a strong relationship with her committee and has added huge value both


We also want to recognise Gemma Casson from Hibiscus Coast Parents Centre. Over the last year this Centre has had their ups and downs. Gemma has worked incredibly hard, doing what needs to be done to keep services available for parents in her community. Gemma is always willing to get stuck in and sort things out when issues crop up, she follows through on tasks and will always ask for advice and additional support where needed. She has picked up the lion’s share of keeping the Centre activities ticking over during a difficult period of transition as well as keeping an eye on the finances of the Centre. Every Centre can go through times of difficulty, and the volunteers that reach out and ask for support and help often come out the other side with a stronger Centre. Gemma, we think you are an Outstanding Volunteer. As a small token of our appreciation, a Coffee Club voucher is on its way to you – we hope you enjoy it!

Alice Waitoa The committee at Rotorua Parents Centre recently told us how awesome Alice Waitoa is. Here is what they had to say: “We are in complete agreement that Alice ’Superwoman’ Waitoa has been the mainstay of the committee over a tumultuous year, including taking over the role as Interim President when our President had to suddenly leave. Not only that but she is the CBE coordinator for the classes, was until recently the only CBE teacher for RPC, by day is a Porse caregiver and in her spare time (what spare time?) has decided to set up a charity that takes car seat donations and installs the seats for needy families. She also is a wife and a mother to five lovely children. I think she may sleep between 2:00 and 3:00am!” Alice has been involved with Parents Centre for a number of years and we appreciate that she also mentors students coming through their studies. Coffee Club has kindly given us vouchers for our volunteer recognition. Alice, one is coming your way – we hope you can enjoy a well-deserved treat! 

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Congratulations to the Centre of the Month Award winners He aha te mea nui o te ao. He ta-ngata, he ta-ngata, he ta-ngata What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people. (Ma-ori proverb)

July winner Wellington North Parents Centre This wonderful Centre provides 25 classes per year with 13–14 couples in each. In addition, they run 10–11 Baby and You programmes as well – this is no small task!

June winner Cambridge Parents Centre

Wellington North Parents Centre recognises that in order to continue offering a large number of CBE programmes each year, to meet demand in their community, they needed to fill a funding gap. They approached the Funding Manager for help and have worked hard to do their first funding applications. They have received their first two grants and now have a volunteer on board to do this role for them. It’s great to see the Centre trying new revenue streams and using the support available from the national support team.

The Early Pregnancy Programme was offered to this Centre to pilot the programme. They embraced the opportunity, taking on the task of implementing a new programme with excitement and enthusiasm. They then completed the course successfully and had wonderful feedback from participants and from the CBE who was thrilled to have the challenge of being part of the pilot – she had nothing but great things to say about the committee support she received.

The committee has worked hard to build strong relationships with their CBEs. One tells us that the committee goes above and beyond in all aspects of their volunteering roles. “They fully support me as a CBE which makes my life easier. Co-presidents Rebecca and Sophie are always happy to answer my phone calls or Facebook messages and even happily tweaked the schedule to allow me to take a few months off for a family holiday. My role would be much harder without this committee.”

Whilst managing and juggling a new programme, Cambridge Parents Centre also successfully held their Bonanza sale of pre-loved baby clothes, maternity clothes and nursery equipment. The committee is motivated, enthusiastic and striving to make the Centre the best it can be. They are very active in their community and provide plenty of opportunity for members to engage with one another through coffee groups, pregnancy and post-natal exercise classes, weekly ‘buggyfit’ classes and monthly walking groups. Great work, Cambridge Parents Centre!

Building strong relationships with CBEs is one of the key elements to being successful and this Centre proves that. Wellington North Parents Centre was named as one of the finalists in the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards 2017. Fantastic work! 

Sponsored by SHARE

This award, launched earlier this year, recognises the huge contribution that Centres make towards achieving great things in their communities. The great work their team does in their community Centres that are engaged in delivering national as well as local initiatives Initiatives that demonstrate growth in membership and volunteers New ideas and initiatives that benefit Parents Centre locally and nationally

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Because of losses in the business, he was only entitled to a minimal amount of ACC compensation. ACC is calculated on your declared earnings, and levies are charged accordingly. Tom had low earnings in his first year so I knew that he would receive little income from that source, therefore his cover was going to play an important part over the next month or two.

Answering the call Insurance advisers are often the first people you call when something goes wrong and you think you may need to claim on your insurance cover. Exactly that happened one evening in June 2015 when my phone went and it was my client Tom calling. Your first thought is, ‘What’s happened?’ and a part of you prepares for the worst. You never know what you are going to be told when you answer that call. I was aware his wife Nicole was currently on maternity leave, having had their first child five months earlier. They had also bought their first home a year or so earlier – it was an exciting time in their lives. Tom, a self-employed builder, was now the main income earner in the house and had just completed his first year in business as a builder. Because of the outlay required to set up the new venture, he had made a loss due to the set-up costs associated with getting his business underway. Tom told me that he thought he had rolled his ankle and believed it was just a sprain, but the pain was getting worse and he was off to the doctor. The x-rays showed the ‘sprain’ was actually two broken bones in his ankle, and he needed to be off his feet to enable it heal properly. We had put cover in place that allowed a lump sum pay-out for specified injuries – fractures of the bones being one, so I knew we would get them an initial up-front payment as well as their monthly benefit cover (mortgage cover).

By October, with the doctor’s sign-off, Tom came off claim and returned to work. Although it appeared his ankle had healed, he was still in constant pain, due to complications of the break. The only option was major surgery which would result in further time off work for full rehabilitation. My phone went again with this news in the New Year of 2016 and it was back to begin the claim process once more. In between the initial recovery period and the reoccurrence of the injury, Tom and Nicole found their dream house. We used the ‘special event’ benefit to increase the monthly cover to the new mortgage repayment amount. With the increased cover, it meant that they were able to claim a higher amount when they found out Tom would require surgery. In total, Tom was on claim for 19 months and says “I would always recommend that you get your cover via an insurance adviser. The adviser liaises between all parties – they have your best interests at heart and will work hard to get the best outcome for you.” Nicole added that without the much-needed monthly insurance contribution they would have had to sell their home. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy being an insurance adviser. We get to make a difference in our clients’ lives when they need it most. 

Terry McGuire Terri is a SHARE insurance adviser who, together with Sharon Pearce, looks after the Wellington region and Wairarapa Parents Centres.

Here to help you protect what matters most – your family. SHARE’s specialist advisers are experts at finding the right insurance solution that fits within your budget. That’s why Parents Centre chose SHARE to look after you and your family!


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

TALK TO US TODAY 0800 02 00 55

Each edition of Kiwiparent will profile one of Parents Centre's renowned parent education programmes.

This month the spotlight is on:

Baby and You “Early parenthood is a life-changing experience into which we all go unrehearsed.” The ‘Baby and You’ programme follows on from antenatal classes and offers sound tips and strategies as you begin your remarkable journey into parenthood. In your newborn child, you have a very special little individual who will grow and develop with your care and guidance. Contributing to the growth and development of your child can be hugely rewarding. To see your baby smile, play and grow – so helpless and dependent – can be an extraordinary experience. You will have feelings of tenderness, closeness and a sense of awe at the miracles of ‘first milestones’ – smiling, crawling, steps and games. But with a new baby comes uncharted waters. Your tiny bundle may rule the entire household through his routines, sleep patterns and behaviours. This can be very challenging. Many parents, particularly new mums, find the information and support in the ‘Baby and You’ programme extremely helpful in managing the challenges, and making the most of the rewards, that a new baby brings into their life. Parents Centre believes strongly in the strength of support networks in getting through – and enjoying! – those early months. Firm friendships are often formed between course participants, through shared experiences and understandings.

changes. For example: what are some successful infant feeding practices? How do you handle other people’s often well-meaning advice about feeding? There are often very simple strategies for coping, and discussing issues as they arise is often the first step to successful feeding. Discovering that other new parents experience similar difficulties or have the same questions can be hugely supportive. Babies grow quickly and they go through a variety of stages. ‘Baby and You’ explores the first three months of your baby’s life and gives practical information about stimulation for babies, age-appropriate toys and the key milestones of your baby’s growth. The programme also recognises the heavy demands babies have on parents’ time and attention. It is common for parents to feel a loss of independence, a huge lack of sleep and worries around employment and financial changes. Included is a section on self-care strategies for parents – it’s a challenging time and let’s not forget to meet the needs of mum and dad! 

Participating in the ‘Baby and You’ programme will give you the much-needed tools over those first uncertain months to enable you to grow in confidence. Your baby, and you, will benefit enormously.


Discussion topics include issues around post-natal realities, identifying physical, emotional and relationship

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Find a Centre near you Parents Centres span the entire country with 47 locations around New Zealand. Contact your local Centre for details of programmes and support available in your area, or go to:

North Island Auckland Region 1

Bay of Plenty





Bays North Harbour


Hibiscus Coast




Auckland Region 2

New Plymouth

Auckland East



South Taranaki


East Coast North Island


Central Hawke's Bay

Auckland Region 3

Hawke's Bay

West Auckland

Central Districts

Central Auckland

Palmerston North

East & Bays







Lower Hutt




Upper Hutt


Wellington North


Wellington South

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


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Releasing the Jaffas Temperamental winter weather was not enough to stop the highly anticipated annual Jaffa Race in Dunedin. Originally scheduled for July, it was postponed because of heavy rain, but finally took place on August 19. The race has been held since 2001 and over that time has raised more than $600,000 for charities, with ticket sales from each of the three races of 25,000 Jaffas going towards this year's chosen charities: Make-AWish, Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Parents Centre. Once again, Taieri Parents Centre did their part to organise the event, supported by Centres around New Zealand who sold tickets for punters hoping to have the lucky Jaffa number.

Did you know? New Zealanders consume an average of 66,000 of Jaffas a day.

Arguably the best position was at the bottom, where hundreds of children and plenty of adults were waiting to collect the sticky – slightly damaged – treats. Three races were held on Dunedin's Baldwin St – known as the steepest street in the world. Four-year-old Lincoln Spencer from Taieri Parents Centre won the honour of releasing the purple Jaffas after selling the most tickets (an impressive 1,100!) for the race for Taieri Parents Centre. His mum, Samantha Reeves, said her son displayed a previously unknown flair for business during his fundraising work. ”He put in a good few hours a day asking people if they would buy a Jaffa. Not many people could say no to a 4-year-old,” she said. The Taieri Parents Centre committee would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that supported them through the Cadbury Jaffa Race, with special acknowledgement to their generous supporters: Cadbury Dunedin New World Mosgiel Goodman Feilder Mad Butcher South Dunedin Mitre 10 Mosgiel & Andersons Bay Road A special shout-out to the wonderful Robyn Thomas for all her hard work in organising and coordinating the Jaffa events. 

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Easing the


on landfill

Disposing of old car seats Have you ever wondered if you can dispose of old or damaged car seats in a way that means they won’t end up in landfill? Thanks to a recent nationwide initiative called SeatSmart, you can. When you drop off your seat at a SeatSmart collection point, it will be dismantled and the various materials separated for recycling or reuse. For example, the plastic shell will be broken down and recycled into products used in the building industry such as plastic caps for steel reinforcing bars, and the harnesses are used in the production of bags made from recycled products. Baby On The Move has worked with 3R Group’s SeatSmart program since its inception in 2015, initially starting with collections in just the Auckland area. In just a few years, SeatSmart has spread and is now operating in eight regions with 12 of the 19 collection sites located at Baby On The Move stores from Auckland to Christchurch. In one Auckland store alone over 400 seats have been dropped off and recycled. Spread numbers like that across New Zealand and it’s a huge number of seats that are not going to landfill. In addition to ending up in landfill, a large number of expired seats are passed on to others having children or appear on shelves in your local second-hand shops, when in fact they should be taken out of circulation entirely. Many people are still not aware that car seats do have an expiry date ranging from 5–10 years, depending on the brand and model. More than 40,000 child car seats reach their expiry date each year in New Zealand. Expiry dates are based on the materials being exposed to sunlight, stress caused by accidents, and changes in temperature which can degrade and weaken the plastic of your seat. All of these conditions can affect on how robust the material continues to be and therefore how the seat would perform in an accident. With the SeatSmart recycling scheme in place, for a small fee of $10 per seat which Baby On The Move collects on behalf of SeatSmart, expired or damaged seats can now be safely removed from circulation. Baby On The Move stores hope to help with the endof-life management for the products they hire and sell. To be part of this recycling programme means not only are they able to reduce their businesses’ waste but are also helping customers reduce their waste, which they all say is a great feeling!

More than 40,000 child car seats reach their expiry date each year in New Zealand.

46 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

There have been over 5,400 child car seats recycled to date, with an estimated 21 tonnes of plastic, metal and straps recycled or repurposed. This recycling saves virgin materials being imported into the country and stops useful materials ending up in landfill sites.

specia of fer






15 0

Baby On The Move is confident that giving people the option of recycling their seats will improve outcomes for both the environment and kids on our roads. Their staff speak with customers who purchase child restraints to inform them about the option of recycling expired restraints and the dangers of keeping them in circulation.

How to tell if your seat has expired Understanding the expiry date of your child restraint can sometimes be difficult to decipher. Most seats have a Date of Manufacture (DOM) so the expiry date then needs to be calculated based on the years of life that seat has. The life span is available from the manufacturers or by contacting the retailer/store you purchased it from. Many car seats will have a label located on the side or underneath the seat showing the DOM or a clock face embedded into the seat shell. These can be confusing to read. Effective from mid-2015,

some restraint manufacturers now recommend that the life of the restraint be taken from the date of purchase, this includes Britax, Evenflo, InfaSecure and Recaro to name a few. If in doubt about how to read expiry dates or any date of manufacture on your car seat, please contact one of Baby On The Move’s Child Restraint Technicians who have been trained in this field to advise if your seat is expired or not.

Learn more about disposing of expired car seats To find out where you can recycle your car seat, talk to your local Baby On The Move store, or visit or SeatSmart continues to expand across New Zealand so follow them on Facebook or keep an eye on their website for new collection sites.

Claire Turner Claire Turner and Fena Bavastro are both extremely proud New Zealanders and owners of Baby On The Move. Having children of their own, they are aware of the obstacles that young parents face with balancing financial interests and child safety. They are passionate about reducing the impact we have on the planet, whilst being mindful of our shared social and environmental responsibility.

A safer, more peaceful ride The Evenflo® Platinum Symphony™ DLX Castle car seat is among the award-winning car seats that carry forward passion for products that foster a safer, more peaceful ride. Featuring OUTLAST® performance fabric that absorbs hot and cold temperature, releasing as needed to balance your child’s body temperature. The new buckle pockets protect from hot buckle burns and eliminate digging under your child for lost buckles and the Quick Connector LATCH Technology offers easy, one-hand installation. Evenflo® continues to go above and beyond government standards to provide car seats that are two times the Federal Crash Test Standard. In addition to this, this seat includes e3 Side Impact™ Protection, which is designed and tested to reduce side impact forces up to 50%.

Order now and save $150! Offer only valid until 30 September 2017 and while stocks last.

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What does the law say about child safety seats in New Zealand? Children are too small for adult safety belts and so they must have special car seats or boosters to protect them when they travel in any vehicle. It is up to the driver to make sure that:

All child car restraints must meet approved safety standards; look for a label or sticker attached to the restraint mentioning: The joint Australia/New Zealand standard AS/NZS 1754 or

children under seven are restrained in a car seat or approved child restraint from the age of seven until their eighth birthday, the child uses a booster seat or an approved restraint children aged from eight to fourteen years wear a safety belt if one is available; otherwise they must sit in the back seat

The American standard FMVSS 213 or

any passengers over the age of 14 use safety belts where available. Plunket has these recommendations for the safest way to use child restraints depending on the age and size of the child: Use a rear-facing restraint (e.g. baby capsule) until the child is at least two years of age. The child can move to a forward-facing car seat from around the age of two. Move to a booster seat when the child is too big for a car seat e.g.

The European standard shown by E3 (or another number depicting the European country).

–– their eye level is at the top of the car seat or –– they are over the recommended maximum weight (as noted on the car seat).

48 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years



Many babies will wheeze or cough because their airways are very small, and it does not necessarily mean they have asthma. Most of these children grow out of their wheezy episodes by age three. They are sometimes called “happy wheezers” and they usually need little or no treatment. But the stark reality is a quarter of Kiwi kids will develop asthma.

Try to see your child’s own GP whenever possible, as other doctors will not know their history as well. Visits when your child is well will help health professionals check inhaler techniques, update management plans and monitor the difference between good and bad asthma health. Ask your doctor for a written management plan to show you what to do when your child’s asthma improves or gets worse.

Some signs of asthma in children are:

If you feel that your child’s asthma is still not under control, you can discuss your concerns with your doctor who may suggest a referral to a paediatrician.

coughing, particularly at night and after exercise breathlessness wheezing (noisy breathing) having a tight feeling in the chest. Most children with asthma live healthy lives if their asthma is under control, although some children may find physical activity difficult or have trouble sleeping due to coughing or asthma attacks. It is important to know as much as you can about your child’s asthma so that it has the least possible impact on their life. You, your child, your doctor, practice nurse, pharmacist and asthma educator make up a team looking after your child’s asthma.

50 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

What causes asthma? When you breathe, air travels into your lungs through your airways. People with asthma have over sensitive airways which react to triggers that don’t affect other people. These triggers cause the airways to tighten, partially close up, swell inside and make more mucus. This makes it hard to breathe in and even harder to breathe out.

If your child gets a cold or the flu, watch carefully for signs of asthma and ask your doctor’s advice.

Is coughing always a sign of asthma? Coughing is common in children, especially when they are preschoolers, and is usually short-lived. Up to twenty percent of preschoolers will cough for three weeks or more following a cold. Even children without a cold may cough on average ten times a day but not consistently every day, and usually not at night. But a daily cough that doesn’t clear up is NOT normal and may be a sign of chest disease. It is important to take your child to the doctor if they have a persistent daily cough for longer than four weeks or a cough and other problems, including: working hard with their breathing breathing fast having a temperature higher than 38.5°C not speaking normally or being unable to finish a whole sentence because of their coughing or breathing

underlying chest problems and your child should see a doctor. Other illness. Whooping cough or croup.

Triggers A trigger is quite simply something that makes asthma worse – knowing what makes a condition worse will help you to learn how to manage your home environment. Common asthma triggers are: colds and flu cigarette smoke certain plants cats and other furry pets weather changes house dust mites (found in all homes, especially in carpets and bedding) emotions some physical activity.

Common causes of different types of cough

The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can help to avoid asthma triggers around the home. These things will make a difference to managing your child’s asthma, particularly making sure that your house and all vehicles smoke-free.

Colds or upper respiratory tract infections. Young children usually have up to 12 of these a year.

Reduce your child’s exposure to house dust mites in bedding, soft toys and carpets by:

Asthma. An asthma cough is usually dry and occurs at night, with sport, or in the early morning. It is usually associated with other symptoms such as wheeze, allergy (eczema or hayfever), or a history of asthma and allergy in the family.

freezing soft toys for 72 hours every three weeks

Smoke exposure. Second-hand cigarette smoke commonly causes children to cough even when they are well. Make sure your child’s environment is smoke-free.

vacuuming weekly – including your child’s mattress – with a hepa-filter vacuum cleaner

wheezing or whistling in their chest.

Chest infections. A wet, chesty cough is likely to be an infection. If it lasts more than four weeks there may be

regularly airing the house and opening windows regularly airing bedding and rugs in the sun dusting with a damp cloth

buying special mattress and pillow covers. If you have bunk beds, make sure children with asthma sleep on the top bunk and family pets should not sleep in the same room as children with asthma.

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Food triggers In a small percentage of children, certain kinds of food or drink may make their asthma worse. The foods most commonly associated with food allergy are cow’s milk, wheat, seafood, eggs, soy and peanuts. The main symptoms of food allergy are hives, eczema, itching, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nasal congestion and wheezing.

Arei’s legacy I am the proud mummy to three beautiful children, Areiawa, Milan and Enzo. In the early hours of June 3rd 2013, at Waikato Hospital, our whole world came crashing down. Our beautiful baby, Areiawa, was just two years old when she took her last breath and collapsed in my arms – her precious life suddenly snatched by an acute asthma attack, leaving our hearts forever broken. It can be harder to diagnose asthma in a young child because of their smaller airways. In our baby’s situation, the visual sign of eczema and a family history of asthma were also ruled out. Arei had never been diagnosed with asthma, leaving us unaware of potential triggers and signs of a developing attack. The guilt of not being able to save our little girl will always haunt us but we are determined to help raise awareness of the importance of diagnosing this silent killer illness. It has been such a struggle knowing we could have received so much support if we had the chance.

Most childhood allergies are outgrown by the age of three. Contact your doctor before removing a food from your child’s diet, as it may be important and necessary for healthy growth.

Allergy season As we head into the warmer months when summer plants burst into life, hay fever can be a common trigger for asthma in children and adults. It can make asthma worse and make an accurate diagnosis of asthma more difficult. Around 80% of people with asthma also suffer from hay fever. Some common symptoms of hay fever can be any combination of itching in the back of the throat, eyes or nose, sneezing, runny eyes or nose, and a blocked nose. Seasonal hay fever is usually triggered by windborne pollen from trees, grass and weeds. Early spring symptoms point to tree pollen, while allergy in late spring and summer often point the finger at grass and weed pollens as the culprits. If your child’s hay fever persists all year round, it is probably caused by exposure to dust mites, pets or mould.

We encourage parents to be vigilant of their child’s behaviour, especially if diagnosis is uncertain. If you have been given a spacer/inhaler medication by your child’s GP as precaution, make sure you also learn the signs and symptoms of asthma. Talk with your child’s GP so they are aware of your concerns, especially if your child has a reoccurring cough that isn’t necessarily due to a cold virus.

At this time of year, it is difficult to avoid pollen, however you can avoid going outside when pollen counts are high. The amount of pollen in the air is highest:

Our lovely little girl has taught us many invaluable lessons throughout this painful experience. Arei’s Ray of Hope has given her baby siblings a better chance to breathe easier. We hope that by helping to raise awareness of asthma, it will become a highlighted topic in New Zealand.

after a thunderstorm.

To my sweet Areiawa. Not a day goes by when you are not on my mind. I look at your baby sister and brother, and see you. I hope you know how very proud I am to be your mummy. I hope you know how much I love and miss you beyond belief. Your infectious smile will forever light up our hearts. You will always be ‘my sunshine, my only sunshine’. I miss you! Love you always, Mummy. In love and light, Renarda Hooper

52 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

in the morning outside on windy days

Find out more about asthma by talking with your doctor or visit: 

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A part of the community for over 60 years! In the early 1950s, the New Zealand population had just hit the two million mark, the Auckland harbour bridge was completed and Opo the dolphin could be found frolicking with local children in the warm waters of the Hokianga. At the time, Whangarei was not officially known as a city (the population still hadn’t increased past the 20,000 mark yet) and the town was just on the cusp of a big boom. In 1954, a young Pharmacist decided to purchase a business in the town centre which he would gradually develop to become a beloved part of Whangarei’s social fabric. Ted Buchanan was a chemist with an excellent eye for detail and he knew that there was a niche in the market for a well-respected pharmacy. By 1987, Buchanan’s Pharmacy had relocated to Paramount Plaza in Tikipunga, Whangarei and has been serving this community with their healthcare needs ever since. Fast-forward to 2017 you will find a thriving pharmacy with a large range of services which many customers travel from the other side of the city and in fact from all around Northland, to gain access to. “We get a buzz from being able to help sometimes four generations of one family with their Pharmacy requirements”, says Gemma Buchanan, General Manager. The business is now co-owned by Iain and Gemma Buchanan who offer a variety of professional health services tailored to patient need, all with a friendly smile.

The experienced and approachable team at Buchanan’s Pharmacy is available to assist you with improving your health in a holistic way. From sleep problems to weight loss, the pharmacy has the tools to teach you new ways to support your health. One issue that Iain often comes across is the need for well-sustained sleep patterns. The pharmacy includes a Sleep Clinic (in conjunction with Sleepwell Clinic), which includes treatment for sleep apnoea. Iain has found that many of the patients who he has assisted, with sleep apnoea therapy, have gone on to find that their existing medical problems have also improved dramatically. For those with mobility issues, Buchanan’s has options for both sale and hire. From mobility aids to bathroom products – “we can provide personalised assistance and solutions to help you regain your independence,” says Iain. As medicine specialists, the team at Buchanan’s will also assist you with choosing from a wide range of natural health products, vitamins and minerals which are all available in-store. During this time, they can also help you balance your existing prescription medications with complimentary medicines that will assist in promoting healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. “It is hugely important for us to assist our customers with prevention rather than cure. We want to be the friendly face at the top of the cliff, rather than the ambulance at the bottom”. Buchanan’s also offers support with a full wound-care service where you will receive

Unichem Buchanans Pharmacy Paramount Plaza, 81 Paramount Parade, Tikipunga, Whangarei 54 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years Ph: 09 435 3323 Fax: 09 435 3375 Email:

advice on the latest and most advanced wound care technology providing a faster healing process, allowing you to get back on your feet. A full wound dressing service is also available in a private consultation room. Buchanans have been trained vaccinators for four years now – vaccinating both in the Pharmacy and providing this service to many businesses in Whangarei. Pharmacy services in New Zealand now extend way beyond dispensing medication and Buchanans is at the forefront of these services. Should you need advice with respect to Emergency Contraceptive, counselling relating to anti-depressants, treatment for urinary tract infections, a blood pressure check or lifestyle advice relating to diet – Buchanans does it all. Do you want to have more energy and have improved health? Or are you needing more support and information with regard to the medications you are taking. If so – come in and see Iain, Gemma and the team at Buchanans – they are passionate about health and wellbeing and have a wealth of knowledge to help you become the best you can be. For more information, visit www. or call one of the friendly team members on 09 435 3323. You can also stay up-to-date by ‘liking’ their Facebook page.

Meet your local

Pharmacısts E

veryday our Pharmacists

Most of our pharmacies have a

provide their communities

private area so you can discuss

with friendly, professional

your health related questions in

SOME OF THE SERVICES YOU CAN FIND AT YOUR LOCAL UNICHEM AND LIFE PHARMACIES INCLUDE: • Prescriptions for you and your family • Vaccinations for flu, whooping cough, meningococcal disease and shingles

health care and advice.

private and absolute confidence.

• Antibiotic treatment for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

They can recommend products

Conveniently located and with

• Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP)

and services to keep you and

no appointment needed you

• Blood pressure checks

your family healthy and treat a

can drop in and have a chat

wide range of common ailments

with your Phamacist where and

• Blood glucose checks

and illnesses.

when it suits you.

• Medication Information • Treatment for erectile dysfunction • Bowel health checks

With over 300 Unichem and Life Pharmacies throughout New Zealand there’s one of us in your community. Proud Supporter of Parents Centre New Zealand

Services available at selected Unichem and Life Pharmacies

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Eat smart Early pregnancy nutrition

Remember the old adage – ‘eating for two’? Unfortunately this is not strictly true (step away from the chocolate biscuits) and eating twice as much when you are pregnant is likely to cause you all kinds of problems. It is useful to remember that, nutritionally speaking, the baby will take everything they need and the mother will get what is left over. So it makes sense to eat well and to keep healthy and energised while you are busy growing another human being. Getting pregnant means adopting an eating regime that is high in nutrition and energy-giving foods which are designed to keep mum going and give baby the vitamins and minerals necessary to grow and thrive. To help combat tiredness, eat food rich in protein and iron, and include low-GI complex carbohydrates, such as oats, wholegrain bread and nuts. Research has shown that women who are well-nourished can be less inclined to suffer from nausea, particularly those with a diet rich in B-group vitamins. So concentrate on foods rich in these vitamins, such as bread, rice, cereals, legumes, nuts, yeast, Vegemite and Marmite, eggs, lean meat, chicken, fish, green leafy vegetables, milk and yoghurt.

Sick and tired During early pregnancy, a staggering 80% of women can experience nausea, vomiting and tiredness. This is usually referred to as morning sickness but symptoms can creep up at any time of the day. Normal morning sickness won’t threaten your baby’s health as long as you are able to keep food down, eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids. The good news is that in 9 out of 10 women symptoms disappear by the end of the first trimester. While different things work for different women, here are some ideas you can try to manage morning sickness.

56 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Food – Try eating a bland, proteinrich diet and avoid foods that are fatty. Eating small amounts often – five or six small meals a day – can help. Try to eat something light, like toast or crackers, before you get out of bed in the morning. Then eat a light snack high in protein and complex carbs just before you go to sleep at night (a banana muffin and glass of milk or a handful of nuts and dried apricots) which will keep you from being too hungry when you wake in the morning. Fluids – Always keep yourself well hydrated. If you find it difficult to drink big glasses of water, try crushed ice or have frequent small sips of fluids. Some women find icy cold fluids easier to get – and keep – down. Try drinking soups, smoothies and shakes as well.

Avoid food that’s high in salt and sugar and try to eat whole foods with healthy, natural fats

Ginger – Studies have shown that eating a small amount of ginger each day for at least four days can help ease morning sickness, so try drinking ginger tea, foods containing ginger or ask your pharmacist for ginger capsules.

Cooking up a storm

Exercise – Regular, gentle exercise and getting out in the fresh air can help ease your nausea. Open a window, turn on a fan or go for a short walk outside. When you are cooking, keep the area ventilated so that the cooking smells don’t make you feel ill.

While we are lucky to live in a country that has one of the safest food supplies in the world, it is important to take extra care about what you eat when you are pregnant. This is necessary to protect your own health as well as the health of your developing baby.

R&R – Make sure to get plenty of sleep and take extra rests to avoid getting tired. If at all possible, don’t try to maintain the same schedule or level of activity as you did before you became pregnant. Again, if at all possible, try to avoid stress or try stress-reduction techniques like meditation.

In extreme cases, bugs found in food can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth, serious illness, even death of newborn babies. Even less severe cases of foodborne illness can sideline you from the task at hand – developing a healthy baby.

Wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Be FoodSmart: clean, cook, chill. Avoid high-risk foods.

By taking some basic food safety steps, you and anyone else in your home who helps with the shopping and cooking can prevent most foodborne illness.

Clean Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before and after preparing food. This is especially important after handling raw meat, using the toilet or helping a child to go to the toilet, covering a sneeze or a cough,

changing nappies, touching pets, and gardening. Always use clean tea towels and fresh hand towels. Use different coloured cloths for the dishes, the bench and the floor, or use paper towels and disinfectant to wipe up raw meat juices or floor spills. Use separate chopping boards and utensils for raw meats and cooked or ready-to-eat foods (like salad) or wash the chopping board thoroughly between uses. Put cooked food onto a clean plate, definitely not the one you used when the food was raw. Change your dishcloths or sponges regularly and clean them by washing in hot water, soaking in bleach solution for at least an hour, wetting, then microwaving for two to four minutes on high, or putting through a full cycle in the dishwasher. Cover food to protect it from flies or any chance of crosscontamination from raw meat juices.

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Alcohol It is safest to avoid all alcohol during pregnancy or if you are trying to get pregnant. Alcohol crosses the placenta so baby is affected by whatever the mother drinks. Alcohol consumption is linked to fetal alcohol syndrome, which may damage baby’s brain. Even if the mother drinks only small amounts, her baby may show behavioural and learning difficulties linked to alcohol.

Cook Defrost food in the fridge overnight or on the defrost setting in the microwave and make sure it’s defrosted right through before cooking. Preheat the oven so that food cooks as quickly as possible. Keep raw and cooked foods separate. Cook or reheat food thoroughly. Cook chicken, mince and sausages right through – the only way to be really sure is to use a meat thermometer to check they are cooked to the safe internal temperature of 70°C. Marinate food in the fridge and cook the marinade before pouring it over cooked food. Eat cooked food while it is still hot – don’t leave it to stand at room temperature for more than two hours. Reheat leftovers until they are piping hot but don’t reheat more than once.

Chill Your fridge should be between 2ºC and 4ºC. If you overload the fridge or open it too often, it will have difficulty staying cold. Freezers should be between -15ºC and -18ºC so that food is frozen solid. Cover food before putting in the fridge or leaving out for serving – food can be covered and left at room temperature for up to two hours before it should be eaten, reheated right through, put back in the fridge, or thrown out.

Cover and store raw meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge so juices don’t drip on other food.

Best foods for mum and baby Eat a variety of healthy foods every day from each of the four main food groups: vegetables and fruit breads and cereals (wholegrain is best) milk and milk products (reducedor low-fat milk is best) well cooked seafood, lean meat and chicken, cooked eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds.

High-risk foods when you are pregnant chilled ready-to-eat foods (from a supermarket deli or restaurant buffet) unless heated until piping hot prepared ready-to-eat foods (like store-bought sandwiches) where you can’t be certain of how old the food is, storage conditions, or how good the preparer’s food handling practices are soft and semi-soft pasteurised cheese (sorry, best to avoid brie, camembert, feta, blue, mozzarella, ricotta) raw milk (unpasturised), raw milk cheeses and raw milk yoghurts cold cooked or smoked chicken processed meats (avoid deli foods like ham, pâté, salami, luncheon)

58 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

prepared salads (rice or pasta salad, coleslaw, roasted vegetable, green salads) raw or smoked seafood (hold off on the sushi, smoked salmon, marinated mussels, oysters) raw eggs (check what is in smoothies, mayonnaise or desserts like chocolate mousse) soft serve ice cream cream or custard (like pre-made cakes or pastries) – the good news is that newly opened or home-made and fresh is fine hummus and other dips containing tahini.

Don’t buy: food in damaged packets or tins or in loose vacuum packs – vacuum packaging should be tight around the food, with no air pockets chilled products that are not cold to the touch frozen products that are not frozen solid hot foods that are not piping hot – like a pre-cooked chicken.

Eating out There is no need to avoid eating out while you are pregnant – the principles of food safety are the same for restaurant and takeaway foods as they are for foods prepared at home. Food should be served piping hot – well-done meats and foods that have been well-cooked immediately before eating are generally considered safe. You should still be able to enjoy things like cooked-to-order meals, deep-fried and baked foods, or hot freshly made pizza. Don’t eat high-risk foods such as sushi, salads and sandwiches that may been made some time earlier. Avoid buffets or smorgasbords where food could have been sitting uncovered, allowed to cool, or even contaminated by other people. 

Find out more about what to eat and drink when you are pregnant from your midwife or GP, or visit:


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My journey to


60 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

“Where do you want to birth your baby?” I remember clearly when my midwife asked us that question when I was pregnant with my first daughter. Well. I didn't know where I wanted to birth my baby. I didn’t really know because I hadn’t really ever thought about it before. I had been to both my brothers’ births as a child, one at home, one at a birthing unit. But I had never closely considered what I would actually do for myself. I asked her about the options we had. “Well, there is the hospital, there is a birthing unit, but it is about 30 minutes away, and you can birth at home.” Different pictures flashed through my head. I had never really liked hospitals (and I doubt many people do!) and was not thrilled by the thought of birthing my baby there. As a newly pregnant mama I felt overwhelmed with the amount of choices I already ‘had’ to make for my baby. Of course there was my husband, who had to adjust to the thought of now being responsible for a tiny human being, and who of course weighed into the decisions. But the hormonal cocktail and embodied sensations of this inside growth couldn’t compare. What can I eat? Can I still run? Does it matter that I had a glass of wine before I knew I was pregnant? Do we want the scans? And what about vitamin K? Which antenatal course? How long could or would I be able to take off my study? And where, just where would I birth my baby? While feeling overwhelmed by all these decisions however, I also felt incredibly blessed that I was given these choices.

Feeling empowered The most important thing to me, about my birth, was that I felt empowered. Empowerment is a wonderful concept, it helps you feel like you are on top of the world and have control over your life. The funny thing is though, we are all empowered in different ways. Some need autonomy, others need the feeling of less control to be more empowered. Thus, in that sense, it would be incredibly hard to determine what an empowered birth would look like. Empowerment, it seems, would be much better to judge by enabling respect for a woman’s needs and wants in her birth. Finding out how you will best feel empowered in your birth is not always easy. After all, we haven’t given birth before. Back then I didn’t know too much about the history of birth, the medicalisation of birth or even the ways in which women’s consent can be totally overridden.

Finding out how you will best feel empowered in your birth is not always easy.

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Looking back, this would have definitely led me down the homebirth path faster. But back then, back then I started this decision making journey by a feeling in my gut (no pun intended!). Personally, I just didn’t like hospitals. The birth centre seemed a little far away. So logically, that left home. But my choosing a homebirth wasn’t a sudden: “I will birth at home”, but rather a gradual exploration of the pros and cons of this option. We asked our midwife in which instances we would need the hospital. She went through each thinkable complication that could arise during labour, for which we would have no problem getting to the hospital in time. She also told us about all the equipment she would have with her, equivalent to what is available in a birthing unit, as well as a second midwife. While this was a little helpful to me (for some reason I just personally had no doubts that I could have my baby at home), it really helped my husband feel safe to birth our baby at home. And it was important that he too made that decision. Now coming up five years from this birth, and having learned so much about the world of pregnancy, birth and beyond, I feel like I really didn’t know all that much about it all. I wasn’t in any ‘mummy Facebook groups’, nor homebirth groups. I didn’t even really know anyone else who'd had a baby, let alone a homebirth. Besides people telling me I was “brave” to have my baby at home, I didn’t really think too much of it. Throughout my pregnancy our midwife helped us prepare. She told us what we needed (which wasn’t actually much at all!) and went through when to contact her, and what to do when labour started. We also visited the hospital and she registered us, in case we needed it. In our birth plan we considered plan A, B and C, to make sure I had considered that the “plan” may not go to plan. Even though this was a little uncomfortable, it felt important to go through this process. I felt totally on board with my decision, and knew that I could also, at any time, change the plan and go to hospital if I felt that was the right thing for me.

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‘Tis the season to be jolly Being due on Christmas day, I somehow swum in the illusion I would give birth after Christmas, apparently first babies can often come late!? Not so much. On the 10th December I spent the whole day (yes the whole day) doing my annual Christmas cookie baking. That evening was our last antenatal class, and also the evening we got the birth pool. After going to bed, I lay in bed for a while, and then, you guessed it, had to get up to empty my poor pushed-to-the-side bladder. This was just after midnight, I stood up from the toilet, when a big splash of water landed on the bathroom floor. So loud, my husband heard it from the bedroom across the hallway. They told us the waters never break first! And that babies never come as quick as in the movies. My baby thought that seemed like a good rule to break (which she still likes to do these days). Our first call to the midwife ended with a “try and get some rest, I will check in in the morning”. Unlikely that

was going to happen anyway, but, within the hour I was having contractions so frequently that we called her again, and she said she would come. I recall vaguely, but with amusement, my husband running down to the car to get the pool, pumping it up and rearranging furniture with our flatmate (who thereafter fled as fast as he could). Our midwife arrived, about 1:45am, and soon told me that I was fully dilated! (Which I was bloody grateful for as the past half hour had been hideous, a violent transition stage as I then recalled from our classes.) Dan then went on a mission running around the house to fill the birth pool. All faucets were running. Thank god for infinity hot water. I recall with amusement how he came in between every emptying of a water bucket to gently touch my hand. I just made it into the pool (it had to be deep enough) in time. After pushing her head out leaning forward, my midwife encouraged me to lean back and catch her myself. As awkward and uncomfortable it is to move with a head stuck between your legs, I was so grateful for her encouragement. I pulled my baby up onto my

chest in a stunned, but wonderful, state. She was born at 2:46am under the glow of the Christmas lights. She lay there on my chest for a while before finding her way to the breast for her first latch. I felt truly amazing that I actually grew a human being (sounds weird doesn’t it), but it really was such an emotional firework that I can’t even begin to describe all the things going on. My mum arrived, too late as usual, and was surprised she missed the birth. Our little girl had obviously been in quite a rush to join us and didn’t want to wait around. One thing I particularly loved about my home birth was that everything was on my clock. It was probably not for 45 minutes where I decided to leave the pool, which then also encouraged the placenta to make its way out. We had planned for a lotus birth, so left baby and placenta in one. I then got to go take a shower while Dan got his first chest-to-chest snuggle. Around 6am our midwife left, and there next to me in my bed lay this tiny little new baby girl; and she was mine.

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Plans can change You know I sometimes wonder how it would have been for me if my ‘plans’ hadn’t gone to plan. To me the most important thing was to think through all the scenarios. Even though my plan was the home birth, it was so important to think through how it would be if I had to go to hospital or even have a c-section. Rather than pretending that this would not happen we talked about it and we made sure our midwife knew our wishes in any of the scenarios. Even though none of them (luckily) played out, I felt I wouldn’t have to feel robbed or disappointed if my baby wanted or needed a different birth than me. I think this realisation is so important. Always remember, the most important thing is that you make the right choice for you. What counts is that you feel safe, that you know different ways in which your birth could unfold and what you want in each of these scenarios. We also birthed our second daughter at home. My husband is a total home birth convert. Being an American, the exposure to medicalised birth had been quite present. He tells me he has fond memories of a celebratory cold beer from our fridge, of course to celebrate my amazing body and our new baby girl. If you asked me, I would say I had a perfect birth. If you asked someone who chose to birth in a hospital, they would say they had a perfect birth. And if you asked someone who had an elective c-section, they would say they had a perfect birth. You see, it’s much more about what makes you feel safe and empowered in your birth than the objective words we use to describe a birth. When you work through this decision labyrinth that is motherhood, do listen to stories, read, and inform yourself. But always remember, the most important thing is that you make the right choice for you. What counts is that you feel safe, that you know different ways in which your birth could unfold and what you want in each of these scenarios. Listen to your gut, your baby will help you feel what is right for you. 

Dr Eva Neely Eva is a lecturer in the School of Public Health at Massey University with a particular interest in health promotion using strengths-based and empowerment-focused approaches to health and well-being. Her research interests include maternal health and holistic concepts of health. Eva is currently conducting a research project on breastfeeding resilience in young mothers, alongside teaching and curriculum development in health promotion. She lives in Wellington with her husband and two children.

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Great parents

grow great kids

Arm yourself with knowledge as you grow as a parent alongside your child by taking part in one of the Parents Centre programmes that run nationwide. Having a new baby is a time of significant change – your brain is working overtime with questions, your body is going through amazing changes. It's quite a journey. Parents Centre has been supporting parents for 65 years. Become a member of Parents Centre and we can support you too! You’ll get access to quality pregnancy, childbirth and parent education that will help you gain invaluable knowledge and learning on your pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting journey. It’s a great way to meet other new parents that are on the same journey as you. They often become lifelong friends. You get support through coffee groups that meet on a regular basis and ongoing education programmes to help you navigate the stages of pregnancy and parenthood. With 47 Centres nationwide, we provide many opportunities for social engagement for both parents and children. Many of our Centres offer playgroups and music classes, and these are a great way to learn with your children while you get to socialise with other parents at the same time.

You also gain skills and experience that will be a real asset when you decide to rejoin the workforce. We look forward to having you join our Parents Centre family and supporting you on your parenting journey! Early Pregnancy – a special programme tailored for your 12th to 24th week of pregnancy. Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parent Education (Antenatal) – essential information to prepare you for childbirth and early parenting. Baby and You – practical and sensible tips and advice for enjoying and making the most of those first months with your newborn. Parenting with Purpose – consciously focusing on how you want to parent and how your child ticks. Return to Work – advice for preparing and returning to the paid workforce. Magic Moments – strategies for positive communication and discipline with your child. Moving and Munching – exploring baby's first foods and developmental stages.

As a Parents Centre member you will receive loads of free giveaways and samples, as well as special discount shopping days, and discounted products and services exclusive to Parents Centre members. Who doesn’t love freebies and discounts!

Music and Movement – stimulating music activities for your baby and toddler.

Many of our members gain so much from being a Parents Centre member that they want to ‘give back’ and become volunteers for their local Centre, ensuring that new parents can continue to benefit from the skills, knowledge, friendships and support they’ve received. 

Tinies to Tots – positively encouraging your emerging adventurous toddler.

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Don’t think you’d ever fall for a scam or online fraud? Think again. Emails and phone call scams are becoming more and more sophisticated – and can catch out the most digital savvy of us. If you’ve ever received a strange cold call, an email with a deal too good to be true, a subscription you don’t think you signed up for, or an online sale that didn’t eventuate, there’s a pretty good chance it’s a scam. And it’s not just scams you need to watch out for – online shopping fraud and identity theft are on the rise around the world. While hackers and fraudsters are developing new hacking methods, many online shoppers are still unaware of basic online privacy rules. NordVPN, a company specialising in Virtual Private Networks, recently conducted a survey, where it found that as many as one-third of respondents believe that various activities – such as checking email, logging into a social media account, shopping online or checking a bank account – are safe on public Wi-Fi. While checking a bank account on a public hotspot is assumed to be very risky (less than 2% agree that is safe), entering banking credentials to make a purchase online is seen as a lesser risk (23% think it is safe). “This points to a lack of understanding of just how vulnerable users can be on public networks, where the level of security is unknown and anyone with basic hacking skills can access sensitive data of everyone connected,” said Marty P. Kamden from NordVPN. Online fraud usually happens when people are not careful with their online activities – not using strong passwords, entering credit card information without making sure the website is not a fake, and doing any online transaction on unsecured hotspots. Here are some ways to protect yourself and your family from online fraud:

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Check the https The first thing you should always see while making an online payment is whether the payment gateway has an https URL. The ‘s’ in the URL means that it is a secure protocol and your data is encrypted properly.

Be wary Being vigilant can help you a lot with the task of shopping online securely. Whenever a website requests more information than is usually required, it usually spells fraud. You should always be cautious before giving your personal or financial details anywhere on the Internet.

Stay away from public terminals It cannot be stressed enough how dangerous it is to share your personal or financial information with any website or any person while using a public Internet connection. Public Wi-Fi networks are common hunting grounds for attackers and data snoopers who try to access your personal information and use it for their benefit at your expense. Since public networks have negligible security, you should try and avoid using them while making online payments. If you must do online transactions while using a public network, then you have to use a VPN to stay safe.

Use a VPN VPNs – Virtual Private Networks – encrypt Internet traffic on any website. They are the best security mechanism you can employ to make sure your Internet traffic is safe from prying eyes and remains confidential.

Beef up your passwords Perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account setup is using strong passwords. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into your account and cause damage. It’s always advised to change passwords in order to

stay safe online, and that means having to use a unique password for each site or account. Apps such as 1Password for Families allow a family to share passwords, credit cards, and other sensitive information.

Think before saying yes: Often scammers will offer you “deals” with a time limit and then pressure you into purchasing. Alternatively, they might pressure you into making a payment or passing over details by threatening legal action.

Protect yourself from scams

Review the amount of personal information you share online: This information could be used to trick you into thinking a scammer is legitimate, or could be used to guess your online passwords. For example, if your password is your pet’s name (which we strongly advise against) and then you post about them online, someone may use that information to guess your password.

Netsafe, an independent non-profit New Zealand organsiation focused on online safety, receives daily reports from people who have been scammed or who report an online scam that they’ve seen. The good news is, there are things that you can do to help protect yourself. Be vigilant: Be wary of emails and phone calls that you’re not expecting – even from organisations that you know. If there’s an invoice or extra payment that you weren’t expecting, contact the organisation by phone. Don’t use a phone number the potential scammer is giving you – use the phone number from their official website or from a phone book.

Start changing all your account passwords regularly: A strong password helps protect your important information, like banking details, email and your favourite online shopping sites. Have a different password for all of your accounts, and make sure you turn two-factor authentication on if it’s available, as an added protection. 

If you come across a scam, report it to Netsafe or the Police. We use this information to track what the scam landscape looks like in New Zealand, and to educate others on emerging scam trends. If you’ve been affected by a scam, you can contact Netsafe for advice on what your options are.

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You be the


68 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Most children have the most incredible imaginations. Often, they surprise us with what creatively drives and motivates them. Having a space that expresses who your child is and what they love may not always be easy to accomplish if their colour choices and theme ideas are not the current trend. But, fret not, you can create a room for your precious one that ticks all their (and your budget's) boxes with some do-it-yourself ideas, multi-purposeful objects and good old think-outside-the-box Kiwi ingenuity! Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of assisting the parents of a fantastic six-year-old boy in redecorating his bedroom. The prerequisites were an ‘’outer space’’ theme, alongside a love for bright colours, an area for his electric drum kit to sit, a cozy nook to read, a space for Lego to be built, and soft bedding for him to relax in. What a fun space to create! Here are some of the things we did to accomplish this gorgeous, yet not necessarily “on trend”, bedroom. So, first things first. Drum kit. Large instruments, like drums and pianos, can be quite hard to place well in a bedroom, so look for textures, colours and patterns within such large items and base your design around them. The drums were really the basis of the entire room design here, with the shapes within shapes and hard colour blocking. “Outer space” is the kind of theme that can feel overbearing, so to rein it in a wee bit, we only painted the ceiling and top quarter of the walls a dark charcoal blue, as opposed to the entire room. To incorporate some bright colours, we blocked out a lighter blue on one wall (inspired by a small strip of blue on the bed head that was already in the room) with hints of orange, yellow and green applied through shelving, wall stickers, soft furnishings and a vector art piece that I created.

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Reach for the stars Such a theme certainly calls for stars. To avoid spending up large by installing LED lights directly into the ceiling, we created our own, removable, light installations for around $22 each. After painting a circular canvas art piece from The Warehouse (on clearance, so a very good price) the same colour as the ceiling, we used an electric drill to place holes randomly into the canvas, leaving room to poke solar LED fairy lights through the holes. A drop of hot glue on the back of each LED and voila! On a side note, I would only advise using solar lights if the room gets a fair amount of sunshine during the day – if not, use plug-ins.

Planets made from polystyrene balls covered in ripped paper applied with Mod Podge have been hung above the bed from a hula hoop covered in black tape. So inexpensive. So effective. Shelving can be made from anything. We painted cloud shaped boxes ($5 for a pair) from Kmart in our theme colours and stuck them to the wall in the "cozy corner". We also painted ready-made $10 shelving from Kmart in our theme colours for above the lego table and some triangle shelves already found in the home. Our little spaceman’s mum found a wonderful astronaut helmet at an op-shop for $4, so we put a cheap touch lamp inside to create some bespoke lighting and added a warm-coloured lava lamp (resembling a space ship) as the icing on the cake. In a room with a lot going on, it’s best to keep bedding neutral and minimal. This will ensure that accessories can be easily moved around the room without affecting the overall design. So there you have it, an incredibly functional, inviting space made with our own hands, using our own creativity, creating our own trend. 

Leila Malthus Leila is a stay-at-home mum and wife who is passionate about creative exploration. Trained in computer graphics, Leila has a background in children’s television and film in the New Zealand animation industry. Being a mother has enabled her to stretch that creativity to benefit her family’s everyday life through interior design, photography and illustration. Visit Leila on Instagram @leilamalthuscreative

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The way we were

An extract from 'The Trouble With Women' The Story of Parents Centre New Zealand By Mary Dobbie. Published by Cape Catley Limited.

The idea of asking for help from Madam Gisa Taglicht, director of the YWCA’s classes in rhythmical gymnastics, came from her friend [and Parents Centre founder] Chris Cole-Catley.

movement. Canvassing Wellington for friendly doctors and specialists, the Greys found more goodwill than they had hoped for, although “ignorance and threat held many back.”

Gisa had come to New Zealand as a refugee from Hitler’s invasion of Austria. She had worked under Professor Philip Smithells at the Dunedin School of Physical Education, then moved to Wellington to take private classes and to teach at the YWCA.

But most who aspired to natural childbirth were frustrated. It was not that the method failed them. Rather, it was doctors and nurses whose attitudes were negative, scornful and intimidating. The idea that a woman might ease her labour by relaxing her body was acceptable enough. But that she might know enough about the course of her own labour to express opinions about it – even attempt to control its course by breathing in a special way and delaying the use of drugs – this was taken as a criticism of nursing and obstetrical knowledge. It was not taken well.

She was a gifted and creative teacher, and the National Film Unit made a film of her work, Rhythm and Movement, with music by Douglas Lilburn. Gisa loved flowing movement and coaxed women into a new awareness of their bodies, and a new sense of harmony and grace. Relaxation and breathing control were essential to her teaching. She was sure she could teach expectant mothers the correct breathing for labour. To the Natural Childbirth Committee she made another significant suggestion. Why not augment the relaxation classes with lectures by medical practitioners or midwives? It was a suggestion the committee lost no time in adopting. Lex Grey, senior tutor at Victoria University’s Department of Adult Education, had fossicked out from the National Film Library the first really suitable film for class use, ‘Human Reproduction’. Lex and his wife Doris had been early converts to the natural childbirth idea, having borrowed Grantley Dick-Read’s ‘Revelation of Childbirth’ in 1946 from friends who had worked with him in Africa. It was in time for their first child, although, as Lex recalled, “Our attempts to have me present at the birth failed lamentably.” Home births and the possibility of a husband’s presence at a hospital birth were themes explored in the Adult Education family relationships groups that Lex led from 1948. They added to the groundswell of opinion which prepared the way for the natural childbirth

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Angered by what they saw as an attempt to oversimplify their special knowledge and question their routine practices, not to mention penetrating the mystique of childbirth, doctors and nurses were less than sympathetic. The age of consumerism, of parents as consumers with opinions and rights, was inconceivable. The prospect of having a husband present in the room of his labouring wife was particularly repugnant. Chris Cole-Catley recalled the eminent obstetrician in 1950, chosen because he lived nearby, who recoiled from her with the tart dismissal, “Indeed not – never heard anything so extraordinary!” 

Look for a short extract from this iconic book in each issue of Kiwiparent. It details the struggle women and men had to persuade hearts and minds to adopt a less medicalised approach to childbirth and child-rearing in the 1950s.


Congratulations to the lucky winners From issue 279

Woolbabe Sleeping Bag

Bath toy prize pack

Jade Young Auckland

Kate Scheres Putaruru

Self-Warming Feeder Brooke Kinsey Greymouth

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Headlice Treatment Emma Bentley Porirua Tonya Savage Auckland

Philips Avent Breastpump combo Anna McLean Outram

Snugglewrap and helmet Sarah Anderson Wanganui

Family Festival tickets

Zuru Microboat

Lisa Ellis Palmerston North

Nikita Eaves Auckland

Erin Kavanagh Auckland

Anna McCarthy Christchurch

Claire Oakley Lower Hutt

Kushlia Taloa-Davey New Plymouth

Samantha Evans Nelson Sara Fourie Khandallah

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partners Partnering to support families As a not-for-profit organisation, strategic partnerships and alliances are essential to enable us to fund the work we do as well as provide resources and benefits to our Centres and, most importantly, our membership. When entering partnerships we ensure there is a philosophical alignment between our organisation and the company – we look at the benefit to ALL centres in the form of products, resources, education and fundraising opportunities.

of partnerships, such as roadshows and ongoing education for our members and committees. I’m very proud to work with such great partners as Huggies Nappies. They really do go the extra mile in ensuring that we can give our centres and members a range of information and products

We seek to develop partnerships with credible organisations in order to continue to attract members, deliver our services and be commercially viable. We continue to refine and collaborate on aspects

Taslim Parsons

Business Development and Social Enterprise Manager, Parents Centres New Zealand

A word from Huggies For 18 years Huggies have proudly partnered with Parents Centre New Zealand. We believe in supporting parents by providing the best change-time solutions and keeping baby’s skin as healthy as possible. We understand that the parenting journey brings both uncertainty and excitement. This is why we are delighted to have the opportunity to support Parents Centre who endeavour to educate and assist New Zealand parents during pregnancy and the critical months and years following birth. Like Parents Centre, Huggies believe in community and creating an environment in which children can thrive. Jason Biggs, Marketing Manager, Huggies


Johnson & Johnson For over 100 years, JOHNSON'S® baby has been dedicated to designing gentle and mild products, especially for baby. We continuously apply our knowledge and research to create innovative products with safety at their core. That's why parents and healthcare professionals around the world have trusted JOHNSON'S® baby to nurture the little ones in their care.

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

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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

supporting Kiwi parents

Life Pharmacy & Unichem Every day Life and Unichem pharmacists provide their communities with friendly professional health care and advice. With over 300 pharmacies throughout NZ there's one of us in your community.

Au Pair Link New Zealand Since 2006 we've been flying loving au pairs from all corners of the globe to join busy Kiwi host families, providing quality in-home care and education for their little ones. Today we have hundreds of families enrolled in early learning programmes and staff across New Zealand. This means our customers benefit from a personal, safe and reliable service throughout New Zealand.

Fidelity Life From humble beginnings, Fidelity Life has become the country’s largest locally owned and operated life insurance company. We believe good insurance cover gives you peace of mind that you, your family, your people and your business can be looked after financially if things go wrong.

SHARE SHARE is New Zealand's leading network of experienced financial advisers, providing specialist insurance, investment, KiwiSaver and mortgage advice to all New Zealanders. SHARE has advisers around the country. For more information please call: 0800 02 00 55 or email

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PORSE Our babies are born with the need to connect. PORSE in-home educators, nannies and au pairs provide a calm and stable home environment to nurture close connected relationships, setting the foundation for lifelong learning. Phone: 0800 023 456

Baby On The Move Specialists in quality, affordable baby products that 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


Beef + Lamb Beef + Lamb New Zealand is responsible for the promotion of beef and lamb in New Zealand. The organisation is voluntarily funded by Kiwi farmers, retailers and processors, and focuses on promoting the nutritional aspects of lean red meat including the importance of iron during pregnancy and for infants and young children. For healthy recipe ideas using lean beef and lamb, visit:


The Sleep Store Since 2006 The Sleep Store has been helping babies sleep with FREE expert sleep advice and a huge range of hand-picked baby, toddler and preschooler essentials. All with excellent customer service and prompt nationwide delivery. Recently voted the best online baby store. For details on the exclusive Parents Centre offers visit: content/parentscentre

Mumma Bubba Jewellery A safe alternative to costume jewellery providing relief to tender gums, these products provide an innovative solution , to teething Accessorytroubles with a range Fashion essityseasonal, ! of colourful, fashionable ec N y b Ba accessories which young babies and their mums love. Silicone Jewellery Free of BPA & lead Dishwasher safe

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Shopping cart Pregnant?

Get your own copy of NZ’s best-selling guide to childbirth and newborns - now completely revised and updated.

Sleep know-how & essentials The Sleep Store, helping babies sleep since 2006, with specialist hand-picked ranges & FREE expert sleep advice.

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Works even in the toughest cases!

Get your own copy of Kathy’s internationally popular ‘triadic & wholistic’ revolutionary guide to parenting.

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Co-created by Kathy, this utterly unique and well-proven attached sleep-bag is designed for 3-30 month olds ... teaching great sleep habits, and keeping them cosily secure in their cot, then transitioning to a bed. You’ll wonder how you ever did without one! BUY NOW VIA

20% OFF COUPON! Use code PARENTS20 & save on selected items from The Sleep Store. To see which items you can use your coupon on & for further details go to

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



76 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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)

Our proud history... Parents Centres have been supporting parents for decades, keeping up to date, and relevant, to parenting today – and we continue to lead the way in the wonderful world of parenting!

Join your local Parents Centre today for the Pump anytime, anywhere, following and benefits:around anyone. THE LATEST INNOVATION IN BREAST PUMPS

• Expertly facilitated parent education classes • Hot topic workshops • One year’s subscription to New Zealand’s leading parenting magazine, Kiwiparent • Exclusive special discount shopping days • Discounted products and services • Friendship, coffee groups and support • Social events

We have a long list of proud achievements since 1952 which include: •

Initiation of Antenatal Education Classes in New Zealand

Promotion of breastfeeding as being best for baby

Successful lobbying for open visiting hours, parents-stay for children in hospital and rooming in with baby’

Pioneering classes for adoptive parents

Supporting domiciliary midwifery as an option

Introducing on-going postnatal support groups

Representing parents on government committees

Providing training in leadership skills and personal and professional development for volunteers

Establishing the only recognised New Zealand diploma for training Childbirth Educators

Ongoing development of Parent Education Programmes

Lobbying for and supporting legislative changes that protect the rights of children at all times

Promoting flexible working conditions for parents

Establishing Parenting Programmes in 19 of New Zealand’s prisons

Dad’s and partners in the birthing room with their partner

And the list continues!

• Advocatinghome-made for mother’s maternity needs, because isincluding best informed consent to obstetric procedures such as anaesthetisation for your baby


• Information and resources

In selected Centres:

• Playgroups

Your local Parents Centre

• Equipment hire • Libraries

A Hands-free, Concealable to Breast Pump Go Collection System. to locate a centre near you



Compatible with Medela, Avent, NUK, Spectra & Unimom

Available now at

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

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Shopping cart 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!

To advertise in

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78 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Rants in the Dark: From One Tired Mama to Another

Congratulations to the lucky winners of the competitions we ran during the Baby Show

By Emily Writes Published by Penguin New Zealand In the middle of the night back in March 2015, a tired, hormonal and hungry Wellington mum, wrote an emotional and honest blog. Within just a few days of posting it online, it was read by more than one million people around the world. Since then her posts, often written in the small hours when her beloved boys are – finally – asleep, have resonated with untold parents. Emily writes with compassion and humour, telling the uncompromising raw truth about parenthood without coming across as condescending. She describes her frustrations and fears in all their glory, as well as the tender moments of parenting. You are never in doubt about just how much she loves her boys and her husband. Emily has not had an easy path through motherhood. Diagnosed with anxiety and depression, she has confronted bleak times, and found the courage to talk about her struggles. Something that is both moving and inspiring. ‘Rants in the Dark’ is a collection of Emily’s blogs, as well as new writing. Fans will recognise some of the posts and enjoy reading them for the second, or third, time. They are just as rewarding when being reread. The book also contains a lot of new material too, including

Huggies New Born Nappies Pack Stella Lai

Green Cross Pamper Basket Natasha Coghlan

Avent Breast Feeding Support Kit Simon Wong

touching anecdotes and conversations with four-year-old Eddie. If you have ever struggled with anxiety, sleepless babies, sick children, selfdoubt, exhaustion – or experienced unexpected moments of grace, humour and love as a parent, then this book will resonate. A perfect gift for parents-to-be to offer a different perspective on the sometimes unrealistic expectations perpetuated about parenthood.

Johnson & Johnson Mummy & Baby Basket Tammy Buckley

The Sleep Store Feast High Chair Diane Murphy

The Sleep Store Drift Travel Cot Jylissa Schofield

“Parenting is hard. And awesome. And the best thing ever. And it’s so hard. And amazing, It’s a mess of contradictions and we can’t get through it alone.” – Emily Writes.

Certified organic, herbal products for the whole family. Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional. TAPS PP8542 | Phytomed, Auckland.


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kiwiparent 8/12/16 794:06 pm

6940M Parent Centres 60mm x 60mm advert.indd 1

win great giveaways Be in the draw to win a Mayka Toy Block Tape Prize pack Win one of 3 Mayka Toy Block Tape Prize packs and build around corners and up walls to MAYKA 3D world! Compatible with LEGO® – there’s no limit to what can be built. Build planets and rocket ships off your ceiling or race that police car right up the wall! Ages 3+. Prize packs are valued at $44.97, Mayka Toy Block Tape: 4 stud, 2m, RRP $19.99 2 stud, 2m, RRP $14.99 2 stud, 1m, RRP $9.99

Enter online at and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm November 3, 2017. Winners will be published in issue 281.

Win a Drift Travel Cot The Sleep Store Drift Travel Cot has been designed with parents in mind. Quick to assemble and easy to pack down, the Drift takes away some of the stress of holidays with babies. It comes with legs attached, just open and click into place. The mattress has a firm base and lightly cushioned top, with velcro tabs to safely secure the mattress. The sides are mesh to the ground, a requirement of the safety standard to ensure it is fully breathable. Cotton Mattress Covers are available to purchase separately on our website. Use your exclusive Parents Centre coupon code to save: PARENTS 20.

3 Robo Alive prize packs to be won from Zuru Bring play to life with ROBO ALIVE’s lifelike robotic reptiles. Robotic technology allows it to scurry at speed, outrunning even the fastest of predators – can you catch him?! Watch as the Robo Alive Snake silently slithers, while flicking its tongue on the hunt for its next meal or the lifelike Lizard’s eyes, soft rubber tail and head, plus an ultra-cool head-tilt sensor meaning it stops and searches for prey when you tilt its neck. Available at The Warehouse and Whitcoulls #roboalive Each prize pack contains: Snake, $19.99 Lizard, $19.99 Crocodile, $14.99 Fish $14.99

Win a Plane Pal inflatable cushion

Win a Nurture Box Book Box!

Plane Pal is an easy-to-use, custom-designed inflatable cushion that fills the previously wasted space between your child’s seat and the seat in front. It creates a flat surface for your child to either lay flat and (hopefully) sleep on OR to extend their legs in the sitting position. Made from high-quality nylon, it is lightweight and compact, and comes with a pump and small bag – making it the perfect travel companion. Plane Pal can also be used for train, bus and car travel.

Nurture Box is offering two lucky Kiwiparent readers a six month subscription to their Book Box (One Baby Book Box and One Picture Book Box) worth $210 each. When entering, let us know which box you would like to win. Nurture Box offers gift boxes filled with beautifully constructed toys or books designed to excite, educate and inspire your child. Each box is a mix of the best quality New Zealand and internationally crafted products. We offer a subscription service, so you can deliver wonder year round.

80 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

PORSE Partnership Programme Want to earn a living while at home raising your own child?

Working for PORSE is an ideal option for stay at home parents, grandparents, family members, friends, or anyone who touches the heart and mind of a baby.

Enrol with PORSE to receive: Discounted, low ratio childcare - one adult to a maximum of four children. Full and part time care with flexible hours and locations. FREE weekly playgroup, music sessions and outings. WAIVED weekly admin and placement fees. FREE weekly playgroup, music sessions and outings. Daily journals that share your child’s learning experiences. Access to our For Life Education & Training parenting workshops.

Want to earn a living while at home raising your own child? Working for PORSE is an ideal option for stay at home parents, grandparents, family members, friends, or anyone who touches the heart and mind of a baby.

Enquire today!

FREE professional development package

0800 023 456


The product most recommended by doctors for pregnancy stretch marks. Colmar Brunton, 2016

“I was already using Bio-Oil before my pregnancy because it was so dry where I was living and I found it was just really convenient for me. So when I got pregnant I thought that’s the best way to deal with stretch marks. And it was. I used to put it on after my shower. And I thought I’m big, my tummy’s in the way, it’s harder to bend... but I was thrilled because it just kinda went in.”


Hayley with Zoe

Bio-Oil® helps reduce the possibility of pregnancy stretch marks forming by increasing the skin’s elasticity. It should be applied twice daily from the start of the second trimester. For comprehensive product information, and details of clinical trials, please visit Bio-Oil is available at pharmacies and selected retailers. Individual results will vary. Bio-Oil is distributed in New Zealand by Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Auckland.

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